Harvard Macy Community Blog

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

CME on your smartphone? Meeting practicing professionals' needs

I came to Harvard Macy with the goal of developing an engaging and interactive continuing medical education (CME) online module for mobile devices. Existing literature around mobile medical education notes participants value the ability to find information in a format, such as a mobile device, that is best suited for their learning needs or preferences at the time. Learning time is increasingly seen as a type of resource or commodity, and users want convenience and ease of access to CME. Offering CME learning on mobile devices allows audiences to access it during downtimes, such as bus or rail commuting.

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HMI Assessment 2016: A Global Adventure

Although this is my sixth “A Systems Approach to Assessment in Health Professions Education” course, my sense of excited anticipation is as strong today as it was when I first participated in this course in 2010. What a privilege it is to sit in the conference centre rotunda amongst 64 scholars and 34 faculty, from 51 schools across 12 countries.

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Breaking down hierarchical relationships: A nurse’s perspective

As a little girl, my friends and I would line up my stuffed animals and listen intently to their hearts and tummies, check their ears for hidden treasures, and diagnose a plethora of make-believe health problems during the process.  Childhood entertainment found in my hometown in Eastern North Carolina was often limited to outside play and imagination rather than on-demand movies, home computers or social media platforms frequently found today.  I often think that those innocent, imaginative games laid the foundation for my appreciation of working on a team and fostered my on-going commitment to caring for, and serving, others.   As young children engaged in magical play, we shared a common goal of “caring” for our make-believe friends.  While our skill sets were questionable by today’s standards, we were confidant and committed to working together to improve the outcomes of those battered stuffed animals—we were a team.

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Stuffed Animals Don't Sue for ...

This is a well-written article -- the author has taken the time to start off with a vivid personal anecdote, and then move into an... Read More
Thursday, 03 March 2016 6:06 PM
Audra N Rankin, DNP, APRN, CPNP


Mr. Harting, Thank you for your thoughtful comments about this blog post. I would like to challenge you to think of interprofessi... Read More
Monday, 07 March 2016 8:08 PM
Holly C Gooding, MD, MSc

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Thank you for engaging with the Harvard Macy Community Blog Mr Harting. We are a not-for-profit institute dedicated to improving ... Read More
Monday, 07 March 2016 9:09 PM
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Transformation: a buzzword word or something more?

Transformation is a bit of a buzzword word these days.  Transformation of healthcare to meet the Triple AIM; transformation of graduate medical education (GME) in the Next Accreditation System; transformation of healthcare delivery with interprofessional practice.  But, at the Harvard Macy Institute we dug deep with personal transformation, which I propose is the essential ingredient for true healthcare transformation.

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Making Learning Stick – an interview with the founders of the revolutionary learning platform Osmosis.org

HMI: What led you to start Osmosis?

Shiv and Ryan: We met at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine as anatomy team-based learning partners. A week after anatomy ended, we were quizzing each other on material that we had known extremely well just a few weeks earlier and were shocked to realize that we had already forgotten much of it.

That did not bode well for the next four years of med school followed by 3-7 years of residency, not to mention a lifetime of practice. We found that our classmates had similar issues with retention. Compounding this problem was that we had an overwhelming number of resources – books, question banks, videos, reference articles, etc. – that were not being organized or presented to us in an easily digestible or optimal way.

Given that both of us had backgrounds in neuroscience and engineering, we did a literature review and found proven cognitive techniques such as spaced repetition and test-enhanced learning that were implemented only in isolation in medical school curricula, if at all.  We decided to start building a tool that would essentially help a student “manage medical school.” The idea was to create a virtual tutor that knew exactly what we were learning, could recommended high-yield resources, and would quiz us periodically to ensure we were staying up-to-date. Within a few weeks of releasing this tool – Osmosis - to our classmates at Johns Hopkins we started hearing from friends of friends at Tufts, Northwestern, Columbia, and a few other medical schools who wanted to use it. We decided to keep developing it and almost three years later we now have 35,000 medical students and 16 schools using it to improve the way they learn and teach, respectively.


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