Harvard Macy Community Blog

Fostering the ongoing connectedness of health professions educators committed to transforming health care delivery and education.

Design Thinking in Health Professions Education - reflections on our January #HMIChat

Authors: HMI Chat team

 This #HMIchat moderated by Jeff Wong (@jwonguprcmeded) and Mark Stephens (@mbstephensmd), from Penn State Hershey (@PennStHershey), in January 2018 focused on #DesignThinking in medical education (#MedEd) and health professions education (#HPE). This topic especially hit home with the HMI Chat team (@teresasoro @kreutermd and me (@erhall1)) given #DesignThinking is grounded in “abductive logic” which facilitates a growth mindset of “what might be” rather than “what might have been.” The @HarvardMacy #HMIChat community wholeheartedly embraces a “what might be” approach and imagines the possibilities as we wrestle with hot topics in medical education with subject matter experts and international colleagues. 

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Well-being in Healthcare: Where are We Today?

During my attendance at the Harvard Macy Institute Health Care Education 2.0 course, I was surprised when we were asked to participate in a mindfulness exercise every morning. I must admit that I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of spending time focusing on my breathing when I could be utilizing that time to work or learn. As the course carried on, I began to realize how we, as professionals, can be so focused on outcomes that we lose track of the journey, and how it affects us. 

While healthcare providers, with their rigorous selection process and training, are expected to be resilient under significant physical and emotional stress, the numbers say quite the opposite. Levels of burnout (exhaustion of physical or emotional strength and lack of motivation) among healthcare providers are increasing every year, and have reached nearly 60% in some disciplines. Rates of provider distress (burnout, anxiety, depression, and suicide) are higher than the general population. These numbers have implications beyond the affected healthcare provider, as studies have associated providers in distress with inferior quality of care, increased errors, decreased patient satisfaction, and even increased patient mortality. 

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#MedEdPearls January 2018 Reflective Practice

Reflective Practice:  Your BEST Professional Development Tool

With the start of a new year and scores of self-improvement resolutions underway, what better time to think about resources to help attain your goals and avoid barriers that might impede success in your self-improvement efforts.

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Maximizing your Networking Time at Harvard Macy

Harvard Macy is a community of educators and leaders dedicated to transforming healthcare education. In addition to being a top course in research, teaching, and learning in health professions education, Harvard Macy is itself a community of practice – a group of people who share a craft and/or a profession – and thus a prime opportunity to grow your professional network. 

What can you do to embrace networking while a Harvard Macy scholar? Here are 8 tips to consider: 

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Taking Care of Y-O-U in the New Year


Blog co-authors: Kristina Dzara and Beth Pegg Frates

As we enter 2018, the field of health professions education is embracing the notion that we must encourage wellbeing and resilience, and work to empower ourselves, our colleagues, and our learners to prioritize self-care.

A busy schedule with multiple time demands can make the goal of effective work-life integration seem elusive – if not impossible. But it is possible when you are equipped with effective tips and tools that guide you to practice routine exercise, restful sleep, stress resilience, and healthy eating. Certainly, there is no magic pill for a healthy lifestyle. In this post, we offer a few strategies you can implement today. Even small changes have the ability to impact your life in a big way.

 1) Stress: Stress is “an innate survival response in which certain hormones are released, increasing blood flow to the brain or heart. The stress response leads to an energy surge, enabling a person to flee dangerous situations. Ongoing stress, however, can sap energy and damage health.” Some stress is good for us, and in fact can help us get in a work zone. Yet, when the tensions run high at work, we can benefit from an “in the moment” stress reduction technique that works. Here is an easy suggestion:

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