The Annual Performance Report for Meharry Medical College as presented outlines the goal attainment and substantial progress made in achieving the Title III first year stated performance measures from October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015.
Highlighted below are the major program milestones that fulfilled the legislative intent this fiscal year.
Meharry Medical College supported four full-tuition scholarships for high-performing fourth-year students. Aggregate loan indebtedness, student engagement/leadership and academic achievement were among the criteria considered in awarding The Presidential Student Leadership Scholarships.
The School of Medicine Scholar is a fourth-year student from Miami, Florida who is seeking a residency in Family Medicine. In the top 1% of her class with an earned GPA of 3.8636, this Scholar’s desire to pursue medicine began in high school when she fell in love with how the body works. The opportunity to impact a person’s health is what drives her to practice medicine. She has made the commitment to serve the underserved. As such, this Scholar desires to pursue a career in academic medicine inspiring the next generation of health professionals to consider primary care. Special accomplishments include service to the American Association of Medical Colleges as an Officer of Student Representatives, selection into the Arnold P. Gold Humanism Honor Society, and senior selection into the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Demonstrating her engagement and leadership, the School of Medicine Scholar served on the Pre-Alumni Association as Student-At-Large, Executive Vice President and Community Day Chair and the Student Vice President to Alumni Affairs, in addition to chairing the 2016 Match Day Committee.
The School of Dentistry Scholar is a fourth-year student from Akron, Ohio pursuing a career in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. This Scholar earned the highest GPA in her cohort at 3.7143. She realized at an early age that she wanted a career that allowed her to give back to the community, leave an imprint and improve society – one that bridges the gap between her artistic interests and love for healthcare. Her vision is to be a shining star example in the community raising dental health awareness, and advocating for comprehensive dental treatment to address overall health, teeth and finances.
As evidence of her leadership, the School of Dentistry Scholar served as President and Treasurer of the Student National Dental Association, Class of 2016 SOD Academic Vice President and Pre-Alumni Association Vice President, and Chair of the Community Day.
Full tuition support also recognized the achievements of two Master of Science in Public Health Scholars in the School of Graduate Studies and Research. Both School of Graduate Studies and Research Scholars boast 4.0 GPAs in their programs of study.
One scholar, from Horn Lake, Mississippi, has served as the Corresponding Secretary for the Pre-Alumni Association and Photographer of The Meharrian Yearbook. The second Scholar, from Madison, Alabama, is the MSPH Representative to the Graduate Student Association and Parliamentarian of the Division of Public Health Practice Student Association (DPHPSA). These Scholars have maintained an exceptional level of excellence in pursuit of their health professions education. Both intend to enter the field of Dentistry.
Throughout its storied legacy, Meharry Medical College has trained students whose families had limited financial resources. Today many of the College’s students are classified under federal guidelines as financially disadvantaged. Nearly 90% of all Meharry students receive some form of financial assistance to finance their education.
The total cost of attendance for a four-year dental or medical student at Meharry exceeds $300,000. Many students incur staggering debt and rely heavily on student loans in various forms. The result is that far too many Meharry students begin their career with substantially larger amounts of accumulated debt compared to their peers.
Despite this disproportionate financial burden, more than 65% of Meharry graduates choose to serve in disadvantaged and underserved communities. This legacy of service by Meharry alumni – indeed, this moral imperative and passion to serve at-risk populations – is what first attracts many to Meharry, and this same tradition inspires them to return to those communities that need them most.
This cohort of Scholars are among a generation of health professionals poised to impact lives of those they will treat and serve and address health disparities – a national imperative.
Providing direct support to students through Title III resources, the USDE has empowered Meharry Medical College to touch the lives of these students, their patients and in essence, the future.The intent of the Institutional Advancement activity is to support the College’s Strategic Plan of strengthening the fiscal position of the College through increasing scholarship funds available for student education. Further, the activity is cognizant of the Department’s focus on increasing the College’s competitiveness and reducing the loan indebtedness of students upon graduation.
With a stated goal of $2,000,000, the Advancement activity nearly doubled the amount of support for student scholarships with $3,804,653 in-hand and pledged scholarship support. Additionally, the objective achieved 100% of its goal regarding the provision of 10 (ten) professional development training sessions for staff.
The Construction, Maintenance and Renovation activity met its program objectives by reducing emergency repairs by 50% as compared to 2007 and facilitating a 10% decrease in energy cost/consumption rates as compared to FY2014. Additionally, the activity renovated seven (7) classrooms, laboratories and study areas, exceeding the goal of 5 (five) classrooms or 4,000 square feet. Enhancing institutional sustainability, the Construction activity also initiated a phased LCD lighting project to improve security on campus in areas with high student traffic. There has been a realized energy cost avoidance of $4.2 million over a five year period through conservative energy management.
The Center for Educational Development and Support (CEDS) enhanced its Peer Tutor Program by conducting tutoring sessions in the Gross Anatomy Laboratory with trained tutors. The activity met the stated objective of preparing first-year students to enhance course and subject board performance leading to increased pass rates on national standardized certification examinations by providing academic support services and has made measurable and observable contributions to the student learning outcomes and timely progression to graduation.
The library activity was designed to provide digital library resources for the institution to support the academic programs, research, and teaching and learning processes at Meharry through library instructional sessions, training on hand-held devices and medical apps, and the addition of new hardware and software to streamline digital operations. Efficiency of the digital library was increased by decreasing the error rate to five percent (5%) from the baseline of six percent (6%). Additionally, 15 (fifteen) group training sessions were held, exceeding the training session goal by 125%.
The School of Graduate Studies and Research provided support to two programs, the Master of Science in Public Health and the Doctor of Philosophy program in the biomedical sciences by increasing the number of highly qualified students admitted to the two programs. The SOGSR was able to provide stipend support for four (4) Ph.D. candidates pursuing terminal degrees in the biomedical sciences. The School was also successful in placing eight (8) Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) students in externships with organizations across the state, nation and internationally in the summer of 2015,thus meeting all objectives.
The School of Medicine provided enriching environments ensuring and sustaining academic excellence and professional competency in all academic programs by enhancing and strengthening the quality of instructional programs. The program objectives were met through the objectives outlined in the grant proposal. The SOM exposed more than 513 students and residents to medical simulation via a state-of-the-art medical simulation center. The total average for the Clinical subject board scores increased from 70.83% to 72.17% over the last year. There was an increase in the scores of 5 of the 6 medical disciplines tested: 4% improvement in Pediatrics and Psychiatry, 2% in Internal Medicine and Surgery, and a 1% improvement in Obstetrics & Gynecology. The activity exceeded the goal of exposing 20% of SOM students to a diverse patient base with the expansion of training sites by exposing 52% of SOM students to a diverse patient base. The students rotated across five (5) medical specialties: Internal Medicine, OB-Gyn, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Surgery.
The School of Dentistry activity increased the entering student mean GPA from 3.17 to 3.23 and the mean Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) scores from 17 to 17.8. Performance on national dental licensure examinations improved in 2015. The first-time taker pass rate for 2015 on the National Board of Dental Examination (NBDE) was 94.7%, exceeding the goal of 90%. The first-time taker pass rate on the NBDE Part II fell slightly below goal at 84.9%.
Institutional researchers utilized the Centralized Institutional Research Reporting System (CIRRS) captured the following alumni physician and dentist practicing information for the assessment of the fulfillment of Meharry’s mission: Of the 3,864 medical and dental graduates in years of 1975 – 2013, 83% were practicing in disadvantaged communities. In addition, the College had a higher percentage (56%) of medical and dental graduates practicing in primary care than the national figure of 43%. The research findings indicated that the medical and dental graduates from the College were upholding the College’s mission of training primary care professionals to serve disadvantaged communities. In addition, the Office of IR conducted the USMLE Step 1 prediction model for the School of Medicine. The prediction results from the simulation model could help the school build a consensus that (1) MCAT Physical Science and Biological Science scores are significant predictors of USMLE Step 1 performances; and (2) the school should continue its efforts in admitting medical students with high MCAT Physical Science and Biological Science scores. The Admissions Committee could screen the qualified student applicants for interviews based on the study results of sensitivity analysis. Furthermore, the Office of IR assisted the Schools of Medicine and Dentistry assessing their program effectiveness based on graduating student survey results. Most medical student respondents agreed that the medical curriculum was coherent and compatible with Meharry’s mission.