Connect with Aquifer at COMSEP in Cincinnati

Aquifer will be attending the COMSEP Annual Meeting from March 10-13, 2020 at the Hilton Netherland Plaza in Cincinnati, Ohio to share updates on our developing projects and help faculty and staff make the most of their subscriptions.

If you are attending the meeting, we hope to see you at:

Workshop: Basic Science Saves the Day

Wednesday, March 11 from 10:00am – 11:30am

  • 4249: Basic Science Saves the Day: Using Integrated Teaching Tools to Support Safe Clinical Decision Making and Ensure Better Patient Care
Basic Science Saves the Day: Using Integrated Teaching Tools to Support Safe Clinical Decision Making and Ensure Better Patient Care

Presenters: Robin English, MD; Michael Dell, MD; Leslie Fall, MD; Kathryn Miller, MD; Amy Wilson-Delfosse, PhD

Despite the inclusion of clinical cases in pre-clerkship courses, students often learn basic science in these courses without understanding how underlying causal mechanisms relate to  disease manifestations. The paucity of basic science teaching in the clerkships adds to the difficulty that students face when making clinical decisions and using basic science to justify those decisions.  Utilizing teaching modalities that integrate basic science with clinical features can help students apply basic science principles to the decisions that they make for their patients. Several studies have demonstrated that when students learn about disease processes and clinical features along with the underlying causal mechanisms, they retain basic science knowledge and improve diagnostic accuracy better than those who learn about disease manifestations in isolation.  

Our workshop will prompt educators to identify common conditions for which learners frequently make mistakes in their decision making.  Participants will collaboratively develop a teaching case that focuses on one of those common conditions, using specific types of clinical decision and basic science justification questions.  Our methodology also includes direct consideration of the harm that can come to a patient if underlying basic science mechanisms are not well understood and incorporated into decision making.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe how incorporating basic science causal mechanisms into clinical teaching improves students’ knowledge retention and diagnostic accuracy.
  • Develop an integrated teaching case on a common condition, utilizing a questioning methodology that requires a clinical decision with a basic science justification.
  • Describe the harm that can come to a patient if a student does not understand the underlying causal mechanisms of a clinical condition.

Programs & Partners Session

Wednesday, March 11 from 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Connect directly with your COMSEP colleague members of the Aquifer Pediatrics Course Board.  Bring your questions, ask for integration and teaching advice, and get the latest updates on:

Individual Training or Q&A

Cate Hancock, Aquifer Relationship Manager, will be available throughout the conference for one-on-one meetings to update you on our developing sciences and assessment projects, answer any questions, or provide a tailored training session for you and/or your colleagues. Please email Cate if you would like to arrange a time to meet.

We look forward to seeing you in Cincinnati!

Aquifer Launches Student Advisory Group

Aquifer-Student-Advisory-Group

Aquifer is excited to announce the launch of our Student Advisory Group. This newly formed board of medical and health professions students will provide essential feedback on Aquifer’s new learning tools.

Helping Build the Best Possible Tools for Clinical Learning

Aquifer is in the process of developing new assessments, Integrated Illness Scripts, cases, and other learning tools. Student voices and ideas are critical to ensure that our solutions provide the most value to students.

Student Advisory Group members are invited to preview and provide honest, in-depth feedback on Aquifer’s new developing learning tools, designed to be used in medical and health professions programs across the country. Feedback from this group will be used to optimize the technology and content in our tools, inform communications, and develop training resources.

After a competitive selection process, we are pleased to welcome a strong group of students from institutions around the country:

  • Julie Chew, United States University Nurse Practitioner Program
  • Parissa Ferguson, Bryant University Physician Assistant Program
  • Timothy Fisher, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University 
  • Philip Jurasinski, Des Moines University
  • Priya Kantesaria, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
  • Hope Knochenhauer, Duke University School of Medicine 
  • Andres Lopez, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine 
  • Brienna Milleson, Saint Louis University School of Medicine
  • Wafa Nabi, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
  • Evgeniya Rakitina, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
  • Yana Salei, Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine 
  • Sapna Syal, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • Georgia Vasilakis, West Virginia University School of Medicine

The Student Advisory Group will work closely with the medical educators of the Aquifer Student Engagement Group, a working group of the Aquifer Educators Consortium, along with the teams developing Aquifer’s new learning tools. The Aquifer Student Engagement Group is led by Katherine Chretien, MD (Associate Dean for Student Affairs; George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences) and Jennifer Bierman, MD (Clerkship Director, Education Centered Medical Home; Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine).


Aquifer—a unique non-profit organization—makes a big impact on medical and health professions education. Used in 95% of U.S. allopathic medical schools, 66% of U.S. osteopathic programs, and a growing number of physician assistant, and nurse practitioner programs—with over 13 million virtual patient cases completed since our founding in 2006—Aquifer is a leader in clinical learning.

Multiple-Choice Exams Extended to June 2022

Family Medicine – Pediatrics – Radiology

Aquifer’s online multiple-choice exams will now be available for Family Medicine, Pediatrics, and Radiology through June 30, 2022. We are pleased to offer this extension to current exam users to help facilitate a smooth transition to alternative assessments, including our new formative assessments which are in development.


Formative Assessments in Development

Pilot Testing Planned for Early 2021

In development for Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Radiology, Internal Medicine

Aquifer’s new formative assessments will combine the concepts of test-enhanced learning and distributed practice to help build more efficient, effective learners. The new assessments will be:

  • Single best-answer multiple-choice exams with a certainty rating for each question.
  • Shorter assessments that can be given twice during a clerkship or course.
  • 25-45 questions long and designed to take approximately 1 hour to complete.
  • Easy to administer (no proctoring required). Assigned students complete the exam on their own or as directed by their program.
  • Comprehensive and mapped to learning objectives and teaching points in Aquifer cases, which cover the national curriculum for STFM, AUR, COMSEP, and CDIM.
  • Developed, written, and peer-reviewed by teams of trained medical educators.
Project Status

Aquifer plans to enter a robust pilot testing phase for Family Medicine, Pediatrics, and Radiology in early 2021. Internal Medicine pilot testing plans are TBD.

LEARN MORE & VIEW LATEST UPDATES

2019 COMSEP Grant Awards Supported by Aquifer

Aquifer is pleased to congratulate the recipients of the 2019 COMSEP (Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics) Grant Program awards. The COMSEP Grant Program is funded in part by an annual educational grant from Aquifer to support advancing academic research in medical education.

As a non-profit organization, Aquifer is proud to continue funding this important work through COMSEP which aligns directly with our mission of advancing healthcare education through collaborative development and research into innovative, high-impact virtual teaching and learning methods. The COMSEP Grant Program promotes and supports innovative educational scholarship that is designed, implemented, and evaluated by COMSEP members.

Aquifer joins COMSEP in congratulating the 2019 COMSEP Grant Program recipients on the advancement of their research:

Nathan Gollehon, MD, University of Nebraska Medical Center

The Effect of CMS Guidelines on the Development of Medical Student Documentation Skills

This project focuses on assessing the impact of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rule change that allows student medical notes to be used by their preceptors for billing. Surveys and focus groups have been conducted to understand the impact of this change on learning and perceptions and experiences with student documentation. Investigators have submitted abstracts to present this work at the 2020 COMSEP Annual Meeting, with plans underway for publication submissions.

Molly Rideout, MD, University of Vermont Medical Center

The Effect of Pediatric Boot Camps on Performance in Early Internship

This study works to clarify whether pediatric-specific boot camp improves intern performance during the initial months of pediatric internships, and whether any difference persists at six months. Results will include faculty evaluations on interns from residency programs (17 are enrolled to date). Preliminary results will be presented at the COMSEP Annual Meeting in March 2020. This project is a joint project between COMSEP and APPD LEARN.

Aquifer (formerly MedU) has partnered with COMSEP since the 2006 launch of Aquifer Pediatrics (formerly CLIPP), which delivers on the learning objectives of the COMSEP curriculum. Aquifer’s grant program supports academic advancement through a series of partnerships with key national educator organizations. Working with our partners ensures that our grant dollars support initiatives that advance our mission and serve the needs of educators and students around the country. In 2019, Aquifer awarded grants totaling $65,000 a year to our national partner organizations:

Aquifer looks forward to the results of the 2019 COMSEP Grant Program projects and continuing to work with our partners to drive innovation in healthcare education.


Aquifer is a mission-driven non-profit organization dedicated to delivering the best healthcare education through collaborative development and research into innovative, high-impact virtual teaching and learning methods. Aquifer develops trusted, award-winning, virtual case-based courses derived from national healthcare curricula. Since Aquifer’s founding in 2006, over 13 million virtual cases have been completed by more than 300,000 students.

Call for Participation: Aquifer Osteopathic Task Force

Make an Impact: Work with Aquifer to Advance Medical Education

Aquifer—a unique non-profit organization dedicated to advancing healthcare education—is excited to announce the creation of an Osteopathic Task Force. This group will bring the voice, interests, and experiences of osteopathic medical educators to Aquifer, and work to develop faculty development materials and teaching tools for osteopathic educators using Aquifer courses.

This is an exciting opportunity to participate in a scholarly project on a national level. With over 12 million virtual patient cases completed since our founding in 2006, Aquifer is the leader in developing clinical teaching and learning tools.


Our Reach

Working with Aquifer, your work will make a big impact on osteopathic medical education. Currently, Aquifer is used by:

  • 66% of osteopathic medical schools—and 95% of US allopathic medical schools, and a growing number of health professions education programs.
  • 14,000 students in osteopathic medical schools.

Aquifer Osteopathic Task Force Details

Why: To further develop Aquifer’s teaching and learning resources as a valuable tool for osteopathic medical educators.

Who: This is an open invitation to all osteopathic educators who use Aquifer courses. The group will be supported by Aquifer staff and led by:

  • Erik Langenau, DO, MS, FAAP, FACOP
    Chief Academic Technology Officer, Dept of Professional Development and Online Learning
    Pediatrician, Dept of Family Medicine
    Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Barbara Capozzi, DO, CNS
    Clinical Dean
    Clinical Education Department
    Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine- Harlem
  • Alexander Chessman, MD
    Aquifer Academic Director for Curriculum
    Professor, Medical University of South Carolina

What: The Aquifer Osteopathic Task Force will:

  • Provide input to Aquifer leadership regarding  the priorities and unique needs of osteopathic programs
  • Develop and review faculty materials to support the use of Aquifer cases in the osteopathic curriculum

When: The Task Force will work actively for approximately 6 months, with work starting in early Fall of 2019. Work will include:

  • Monthly video conference calls
  • Working offline on prioritized projects, with work reviewed by the group on monthly calls.

If you are interested in joining or learning more about the Osteopathic Task Force, please let us know by contacting Leah Romano, Aquifer Business Development Manager.

We look forward to working with you to better serve the needs of osteopathic educators and students.

Thank You,

Erik Langenau, DO, MS, FAAP, FACOP
Chief Academic Technology Officer, Dept of Professional Development and Online Learning
Pediatrician, Dept of Family Medicine
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Barbara Capozzi, DO, CNS
Clinical Dean
Clinical Education Department
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine- Harlem

Alexander Chessman, MD
Aquifer Academic Director for Curriculum
Professor, Medical University of South Carolina

Leslie Fall, MD
Aquifer Executive Director & Chief Academic Officer