Harvard Macy Community Blog

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

The Accidental Academic: Bridging the Gap between Town and Gown

In the Middle Ages, students studying at European universities adopted the practice of wearing long black gowns. Not only did these gowns serve the practical purpose of keeping the students warm as they studied in unheated buildings, they were also a social symbol in that they were unsuited for doing manual labor. The distinctive gowns effectively distinguished students at academic institutions from the rest of the townspeople, giving rise to the phrase “town and gown.” In modern times, town and gown has often been used to reference the unfortunate tensions that can arise between college students and the surrounding community when there is a perceived gap between values and culture. Three years ago, I made my own transition from town to gown when I left my community practice to become faculty at a new medical school. As I simultaneously tried to adapt to academia while my medical school tried to integrate into the surrounding community, I began to reflect on what it means to be ‘academic’ versus ‘non-academic’ and how clinicians of both types interact.


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Vijaya (VJ) Iragavarapu-Charyulu

Town & Gown

Interesting article. I learned a new term, "Town & Gown". You are absolutely correct in transitions and learning new skills. I was... Read More
Monday, 04 December 2017 11:11 PM
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#MedEdPearls October 2017: Coaching for Peak Performance

COACHING for peak professional performance is making a strong appearance in academic health science organizations.  But, use of the word coaching can be confusing with so many applications including life coaching, academic coaching, and peer coaching. 

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#HMIchat September 2017- The “Post-AMEE chat”

During AMEE 2017 there were a few recurring concepts. One of them was Equity and how we, within health professions education, can both be more aware of our own biases and promote equity in health professions education. The subject resonated with a lot of us HMI alumni that attended the conference and we decided to see what our HMI community thought via our September Tweet Chat. 

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5 Faculty Development Trends Noticed at AMEE

The Harvard Macy Institute would like to thank our alumni, Eric Gantwerker, Atipong Pathanasethpong, and Arabella Simpkin, for co-authoring this blog.


A buzz of activity and energized bodies met us as we arrived for the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) 2017 pre-conference in Helsinki on faculty development. Recognizing the importance of faculty development in medical education, this pre-conference is in its 4th year with thought leaders from throughout the globe. Overall, there is no doubt “faculty development” was among the highlights at AMEE 2017, with 5 major trends coming to the forefront, which we detail below:

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Guest — alice fornari

AMEE 2017

Thank you for this great overview of AMEE (and including our session too!!) on this HMI BLOG-you captured so much to share-it was ... Read More
Wednesday, 20 September 2017 2:02 AM
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To Blueprint or not to Blueprint…that is not the question!

When I started working on the SaudiMED Framework project one year ago, I didn’t know that I would be working with all the medical and basic science department supervisors, coordinators, physicians and instructors! The project was intended to align the all course objectives with the SaudiMED competencies, in order to develop blueprints.

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Guest — Don Harting MA, ELS, CHCP

good article but. . . .

It would be even better if the author provided more of the physicians' perspective on WHY they do not agree with the educational v... Read More
Tuesday, 12 September 2017 4:04 PM
Nouf (Nova) Al-Rumaihi

physicians' perspective regard...

Thank you for your comment! During the past few days, I have taken the opportunity to speak with educators like me who are working... Read More
Tuesday, 19 September 2017 9:09 AM
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