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Department: MEGNT-Molecular and Human Genetics
Course: 520-Genetics Track Curriculum (GTC) Journal Club
Track:

Course Coordinator: Dr. Raye Alford
Course Faculty: Dr. Raye Alford,Dr. Lorraine Potocki,Dr. Seema Lalani,Dr. Frank Probst,Dr. Shweta U. Dhar
Elective Location:
Periods Elective offered: Block: 1
Min. Number of Students:Max: 20
Course Level: Pre-Clinical Block Elective
Credit: 1
Pre-requisites:
Visiting Student Elective: No
Open to International Students: No
Grading: Pass/Fail Only
Faculty Approval: Yes

Time Commitment Percentage of time expected
Regular Hours (Mon-Fri): Inpatient Ward:
Night Call: Inpatient consultations:
Number on-call nights: Outpatient clinics:
Weekends: Surgery:
    Laboratory
  Didactic:
  Other:
Statement of Goals:
The GTC Journal Club course is a preclinical elective course for medical students. The GTC Journal Club course is a required element of the Genetics Track Curriculum (GTC) specialty track. The GTC Journal Club course is intended to help students develop the skills required to critically assess articles in the scientific literature including evaluation of the design of experiments, the capabilities and limitations of methods utilized, the reliability/validity of results, the reasonableness of conclusions, the relevance of the article to what was previously known, and the future directions the findings support. Students will also develop communication skills through in-class discussions. To achieve these goals, one clinically relevant research article will be selected each month for in-class review and discussion. The skills developed through this course will help students assess scientific publications throughout their careers, prepare to serve as reviewers and editors for journals, and develop, conduct and present future research of their own.
Learning Activities
LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Through this course, students will: 1) Gain skills in using bioinformatics resources such as PubMed to search the scientific literature; 2) Learn how scientific investigations are developed, conducted, and presented for publication; 3) Develop critical thinking skills through the assessment of published scientific investigations; and 4) Practice communication skills through in-class presentations and discussions. SCHEDULE OF CLASSES: The GTC Journal Club course meets once each month, August-June, from Noon-1PM. In August and January, the GTC Journal Club will meet on the second Thursday of the month. In all other months, the GTC Journal Club will meet on the first Thursday of the month. Room locations for class meetings will be posted in the Blackboard course for this elective. There is no dress code requirement for this course; students may attend dressed as they are for the rest of their activities that day. MATERIAL TO BE COVERED IN EACH CLASS SESSION: Each GTC Journal Club class will consist of review and discussion of one genetics-related article, selected by the course faculty, from the current scientific literature. Assigned articles will be available for free download, online, through the “Search PubMed” link on the web page of the Houston Academy of Medicine – Texas Medical Center (HAM-TMC) Library (http://www.library.tmc.edu). Students will need to obtain free a HAM-TMC Library library card (http://www.library.tmc.edu/usingthelibrary/membership.html) and eResource Access account (http://www.library.tmc.edu/resourceaccess/) for this course. The reading list for the GTC Journal Club course will be posted in the Blackboard course for this elective.
Evaluation Methods
Students are required to attend 8 GTC Journal Club class meetings during their MS1 year in order to receive credit for this course. Attendees are expected to read the assigned article in advance of each class and participate actively, constructively and respectfully in the in-class discussion by asking questions, making observations, offering additional information from their own experience or readings, raising ideas, questions, compliments or concerns about the work described in the article, discussing future directions for the relevant field or area of study, and making any other relevant comments. Grading for the GTC Journal Club course is Pass/Fail. To receive credit for the course, students must attend and participate in 8 GTC Journal Club classes during their MS1 year. Students are expected to lead at least one in-class discussion during this course, either on their own or in partnership with 1 or 2 other students. Students are invited and encouraged to participate in more than the 8 required sessions the GTC Journal Club course. Accommodations for illness, leave, or other special circumstances will be considered by the course faculty on a case by case basis.
When and Where to report on first day of service:
The schedule and location of classes will be posted in the Blackboard course for this elective.
For additional information regarding this elective contact:
Contact Name: Raye Alford
Contact Phone: 713-798-8599
Contact Fax: 713-798-1227
Contact Location:
Address: NA-102
Email: ralford@bcm.edu
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