Continuous Professional Development
Please note: Year 1 (AY 2023-24) of implementation would only be M1 and M2 students, and year 2 (AY 2024-25) implementation would be M1, M2 and M3 classes.
Life-long learning and continuous professional development are critical elements to being a competent physician. Like continuous medical education (CME) programs required by physician licensing boards, medical students at the COM are required to participate in activities that promote their professional growth in areas self-identified by students relevant to the knowledge, skills and behaviors they wish to develop further or applicable to current experiences in which they are participating.
M1, M2 and M3 students will be required to earn a defined number of professional development credits during each academic year of the COM. The M4 year is designed with professional development at its core given the ability of students to select coursework that is applicable to their chosen career(s) and interests.
M1, M2 and M3 students will be expected to earn 10 credits of professional development each semester. Credits are due by the end of each respective semester and students should have their logging complete by the last day of class each semester. Students are required to log and complete an evaluation form for each activity in the COM evaluation platform to earn credits.
Approved activities for credits are listed in the table at the end of this section. M1 and M2 students are required to earn a minimum of 4 credits each semester by completing community service. Community service activities must be completed at a site from the approved COM Service Learning list or from the University of South Alabama South Serves service project platform. Students may seek approval of activities for professional development and/or community service by submitting an approval form [PDF] in advance of the activity. No approvals will be granted for activities if the necessary paperwork is submitted after the activity.
To promote and encourage professional development, the following honors/awards will be presented annually:
- Professional Development Certificate of Honor – awarded to the M1, M2 and M3 student(s) in each class with the most recorded professional development credits in a given academic year exceeding the minimum COM requirement.
- Community Service Certificate of Honor – awarded to the M1, M2 and M3 student(s) in each class with the most recorded community service credits in a given academic year exceeding the minimum COM requirement.
- Dean’s Award for Life-Long Learning – awarded to the M3 student(s) with the most cumulative professional development credits recorded for the combined M1, M2 and M3 years.
- Dean’s Award for Service to the Community – awarded to the M3 student(s) with the most cumulative community service credits recorded for the combined M1, M2 and M3 years.
Students who do not complete the necessary professional development credits each semester
will be expected to meet with the Associate Dean of Medical Education or their designee.
For the first occurrence, students missing credits will be added to the subsequent
semester (ex. fall semester to spring semester, spring semester to the next fall semester)
for completion. For subsequent occurrences, the above will occur in addition to the
student receiving a Physician Early Concern (PEC) note.
|Approved Activity||Earned Credits|
|Affinity Group Meeting||1 credit|
|Career Exploration – Approved by Student Affairs||1 hour = 1 credit|
|Clinical Department Grand Rounds||1 credit|
|COM Lunch N’ Learn Session||1 credit|
|Community Service||1 hour = 1 credit
(minimum of 4 per semester)
|Distinguished Science Seminar||1 credit|
|Interest Group Meeting||1 credit|
|Leadership or Officer Position (Ex: class officer, school representative, interest group officer, professional organization, or community organization)||1 credit|
|Peer-Reviewed Publication (excluding published poster abstracts)||6 credits|
|Professional Society Meeting Session Attendance||1 session = 1 credit|
|Research Project Participation (Basic, Clinical, Translational, or Quality Improvement/Patient
USACOM Summer Research Program is excluded.
|1 hour = 1 credit|
|Scientific/Professional Meeting Poster or Podium Presentation (Includes local, state, regional, or national presentations)||4 credits|