Harvard Macy Community Blog

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

What can you extract from a health related MBA?

 My first email contact with Dr. Liz Armstrong informing her of my plight was answered with a most caring note of empathy and reassurance. I was not to worry if I did not make it to the course she said, with provision made for coming the following year if required, fees intact. Could I manage it at all I asked myself? Everything was in place, funeral over, dues paid, flight and hotel booked, and rather than mope in my understandable moment of grief, I decided to go. It was one of the better decisions of my year.

Meeting Liz Armstrong for the first time, I felt a sense of presence from the outset. Later joined by Clay Christensen, Thomas Aretz, Connie Bowe, Sue Farrell and other faculty, a new world unraveled for me. While some moments were a blur, others were needle sharp. I was totally immersed in the Leading Innovations course in distraction, and it was the cure for mourning. Be practical. Life goes on regardless.

I made up my mind swiftly to return for another course in 2010 but I was pre-empted by being invited back as alumni faculty for the same program. Then I met Myra Hunt, coaching me in small group sessions with her dulcet Southern tones, always with enthusiasm and frequent humor. The seeds of wanting to pursue a Master’s degree were sown, but just what area remained undetermined. Exploring the Internet for possible avenues, I found an MBA in Leadership & Sustainability from the Robert Kennedy College (RKC) in Zurich, a highly ranked on-line program with a mandatory residency. I started my degree in 2011, meeting another array of audible but unseen professors as the modules progressed. What was entirely novel was communicating with global on-line colleagues, bent on the same ambition. They came from every walk of life, young, old, professionals, CEOs, COOs – I felt in good company.

Organizational behaviour was a blast. No problems, but then oh! marketing management. I gained a new respect for marketing and realized how little I actually knew, and it was nearly the cause of my downfall as I scraped a pass. Better effort required? No, more learning required. Money and then Financial Management modules followed before I arranged my residency. RKC being on-line has to collaborate with another institution, in this case, the University of Cumbria, UK, which grants any eventual degree.

Now into 2012, no HMI course! I suffered withdrawal syndrome so went back for the HMI Educators course in 2013. Surprisingly, HMI teaching and my MBA studies dovetailed extremely well. I felt “safely in the groove” but all was to change with Bob Kegan’s arrival on the scene. Bob is a man who transfixes your attention. His infamous one-man dialogue is worthy alone for attendance on the course, and he is faculty at Harvard Business School. Inspired with memorable instruction, I subsequently bought two of his books – “In over our heads – the mental demands of modern life” and “How the way we talk can change the way we work.” I strongly recommend both.

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Mohamud A Verjee

Thinking of an MBA?

Would the topic of "Approaching a Master's" be of interest to potential attendees at one of the break-out sessions on an HMI cours... Read More
Saturday, 20 August 2016 6:06 AM
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Active Learning Strategies – an interview with Dr. Alice Fornari

HMI: What led you and co-editor Dr Ann Poznanski to edit this manual on Active Learning for the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE)?

Dr. Fornari: We are both active members of the Publications Committee of IAMSE and there is a new initiative of resource manuals for members. This was a decided topic of interest to members and medical educators in general and I offered to write the manual if I had a co-writer.

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Diary of a Macy Returning Scholar - Part 2

Editor’s note: This series of 5 posts were written by Atipong Pathanasethpong, MD, MSc during the Harvard Macy Program for Educators in Health Professions 2016 May session.  A member of the Faculty of Medicine at Khon Kaen University, Thailand and a student in the Harvard Medical School Masters of Science in Medical Education program, Dr. Pathanesethpong began blogging daily as a way to reflect on his experience in the course. You can read his reflections on the January session here.

The process of writing is itself a learning opportunity - a special time to reorganize our ideas about the world and a chance to discover inner wisdoms that we might not be aware we already have.

Different types of information come to us at different times, in many forms, and in varying levels of maturity.  Sometimes it is hard for us to weed out great ideas from the rest. Writing provides us with a unique state of mind in which we are able to distill our thoughts and organize them.

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Rocket Fuel

I finished my family medicine residency training in 1997 and entered practice right away in the small fishing community of Placentia in Newfoundland and Labrador.  I was keen on comprehensive family medicine and razor-sharp-keen to teach it.  It was a delight to lead the development of Placentia into the most popular site for medical students from Memorial University of Newfoundland to do their mandatory rural family medicine rotation.  We were also thrilled to bring back Placentia as a four-month mandatory rural resident training site, also becoming the most popular for that group.


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Educating future educators: A teaching and learning course designed using evidenced-based educational research

Did you get the user’s guide on your first day on the job as an assistant professor?  Having trouble remembering?  Let me help…you receive this manual when you become a new faculty member.  This important guide has all the information one needs to be an effective educator. 

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