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Minutes: January 25, 2006

3 p.m., Wednesday, January 25, 2006
School of Medicine Administration, Board Room 103

PRESENT: Drs. Bergles, Bhatti, Choi, Colecraft, Dagnelie, Denmeade, Flynn, Gabrielson, Guity, Hillis, Holcroft, Honeycutt, Huang, Magaziner, Martins, Miller, Niv,  Pidcock, Sterni, Tompkins, Yaster, Zellars, Messrs. Prucz and Watkins, Mss. Foy, and  Sandone.

ABSENT: Drs. Adger, Ain, Aucott, Blok, Caterina, Chan, Cooper, Cormack, , DeLeon, Efron, Iacobuzio-Donahue, Lehmann, Liu, Lorsch, Mooney, Peters, Pomper, Robinson, Roper, Schulick, Walker, Woolf, Messrs. Bagga and Grelotti

GUESTS:  Drs. Clements and McMillan, Mss. Heiser, Conway, and Bryan

I.  Minutes

The minutes of the December 14, 2005 meeting were approved.

II. Vice Dean Report – Dr. Clements

            Dr. Clements introduced Ms. Lisa Heiser, the newly appointed Assistant Dean for Faculty Development and Equity.  Ms. Heiser is a 12 year University Human Resources employee with a background in career management programs.  Ms. Heiser will be working with Dr. Clements on faculty issues including salary equity, an exit interview program, and other work environment issues.  Her office is in the 2024 Building and she can be reached at

III. ACGME Update and Criminal Background Checks – Dr. Julia McMillan

ACGME Update 

Dr. McMillan, Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education, provided an overview of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) activities and its role in accrediting programs. 

Individuals cannot be board certified unless they complete training in an ACGME approved program. The ACGME accredits programs in 26 specialties, 86 subspecialties, and transitional year programs. In addition to accrediting specific programs, the ACGME accredits institutions, focusing on specific policies and procedures outlined in the ACGME Institutional Requirements document.  At the present time all 77 Johns Hopkins programs are approved.

Dr. McMillan outlined the role of the Graduate Medical Education Committee, which she chairs. She briefly touched on the six core competencies that all programs must include in their educational programs, the requirements for written goals and objectives for each rotation, and the various evaluation systems (faculty, resident and program) that are required.  She discussed evaluation methods for each competency and addressed some newer requirements such as documenting twice yearly meetings with the residents, residents’ evaluations of the faculty and the program, and the training program directors attestation at the end of training that the physician is qualified to practice competently and independently. 

Dr. McMillan called attention to an upcoming retreat on March 2, 2006 focusing on faculty development for training program directors and faculty involved in residency training.  Topics covered will include teaching residents to give talks, teaching ethics, simulation in teaching, and computer based learning.

During the question and answer portion, the postdoc representative asked if a similar oversight committee is in place for other postdoctoral programs.  It was reported there is no national effort to provide the same oversight for research postdoctoral programs.  There was also a brief discussion regarding the time commitment required for running an ACGME program and the evolving ACGME time requirements for training program directors.

Criminal Background Checks (CBC)

Dr. McMillan circulated a fact sheet on the criminal background checks for clinical and non-clinical students and trainees which provided a history and rationale for CBCs (see attached PDF file). 

Since May 2003 all new School of Medicine employees and faculty have been required to undergo a criminal background check prior to employment.  The Advisory Board of the Medical Faculty has recently extended this policy to clinical and non-clinical students and other trainees effective July 2007.  Those affected include medical students, graduate students, residents, and clinical and research fellows.

It is proposed that applicants would be told in advance of an offer of acceptance that a CBC would be performed between time of acceptance and matriculation in a program.  Consent forms would be obtained prior to initiating the CBC. The School of Medicine Human Resources office would serve as the central office for all CBCs. Positive results would be reported to the appropriate dean and relevant department director. A joint action decision will be made by the appropriate dean, department chair, training program director, and legal office for positive reports.  The CBC would cover the last seven years and address convictions for misdemeanors and felonies, not arrests and indictments.  International students would be exempt; the Institution will depend on the INS background review for this population of students.

 Implementation policies will be developed for each category of trainee.

IV. Changes in the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA) – Ms. Heidi Conway, University Director of Benefits Planning and Administration

Ms. Conway was invited to address the Medical School Council on recent changes in the DCFSA program affecting highly compensated employees.  IRS regulations require that the DCFSA benefit does not discriminate, in terms of availability and actual utilization, in favor of highly compensated employees.  The Johns Hopkins University test was done in August 2005 and the University learned in November 2005 that it did not pass the discrimination test.  The impact of this result meant that some 250 employees had their pretax dependent care amount reduced by almost 40% resulting in an increased tax liability.  For such employees utilizing the maximum dollars in a DCFSA, an additional $1,990 would be subject to taxes.  The timing of the announcement near the end of the tax year and the communication regarding the additional tax liability was an issue for many School of Medicine faculty.

Ms. Conway noted a new vendor (Wage Works) has been selected to manage the dependent care accounts and that an earlier testing period is planned for 2006.  At the present time the Benefits Office is unable to advise faculty and staff regarding the 2006 outcome, however, it is possible the outcome will be the same in 2006.

Ms Conway noted better education for employees will be undertaken so all members of the Hopkins community will be well informed of the benefit and the tax advantages of the DCFSA.  Ms Conway informed the Medical School Council of additional enhancements in the benefit programs including the use of a debit card to pay for services covered under the flexible spending accounts.

Ms. Conway thanked the Medical School Council for the opportunity to address concerns raised by faculty.               

V. Review of the Silver Book – Drs. Hillis and Sterni

A draft of the Silver Book was circulated.  It was emphasized the Silver Book is a professional development guide and not a School of Medicine policy document. 

The revisions follow changes made in the Gold Book relating to expanded career pathways with a focus on excellence in educational activities.

The Silver Book contains a section on creating an educator’s portfolio that will document the quantity and quality of a faculty member’s educational activities.  The portfolio is designed to be a supplement to the approved curriculum vitae format which does not lend itself to expressing teaching contributions in a comprehensive way. 

Medical School Council members were asked to review the draft and to contact Dr. Hillis or Dr. Sterni with suggested changes to the document.

VI. Other Business

There being no further business this meeting was adjourned at 4:55  p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary E. Foy

Future Medical School Council meetings:

All meetings will be held in the School of Medicine Board Room (SOM 103), 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

February 15, 2006

March 15, 2006

April 19, 2006

May 24, 2006

June 21, 2006