Harvard Macy Community Blog

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

The Great Divide: Bringing educational theory to practice in surgical education

This time last year I was sitting in a classroom at the school of education, learning about metacognition, reflection, and deep understanding.  It had only been 18 short years since I graduated high school and I couldn’t help but wonder - How did I get here?  I had finished my ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgical training and quickly went from learning about resecting cancer and performing airway reconstruction to learning about teaching for understanding. 

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Guest — Lawrence chauke

Thank you

Thank you for such important and insightful blog.
Wednesday, 12 April 2017 4:04 PM
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The Multiple Choice Conundrum

For anyone who has ever written multiple choice questions, or taken a multiple choice exam (which includes basically everyone on the planet who can read), the limitations of this type of test are pretty obvious. In fact, if you look into the history of the multiple choice question (MCQ) format, it is interesting to learn that it was never meant to become our only standardized test method. It was invented to test potential military recruits for intelligence, but was later discarded when it was found not to be reliable. The uses we now put MCQ tests to are staggering.

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Gregg Wells

MCQs have roles in the future ...

MCQs should not retire, but they need to stay employed with tasks for which they are best suited. MCQs help a student devel... Read More
Monday, 27 June 2016 1:01 AM
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Back in the Scholar Seat

The view is certainly familiar, yet the perspective is unique.  As an alum of the Program for Educators in Health Professions (2010) and Health Care Education 2.0 (2014) courses, I’ve been able to experience the courses again and again as a faculty facilitator.  But there is nothing like sitting in the middle of the rotunda as a current scholar, my role this week in the Harvard Macy Leading Innovations in Health Care Education course.  Below are 3 observations of my first 3 days in the course:

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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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