Harvard Macy Community Blog

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

#MedEdPearl January 2020: About Learner Feedback: The Gift No One Likes to Give but Really Should

Let’s be honest about one thing: No one likes giving constructive feedback to learners. Even with the brightest learners, the process can be quite daunting and, at times, repetitive. Yet, we find ourselves seeking support from colleagues and other experts in the field to find fresh ways to deliver effective feedback. This #MedEdPearls highlights the SPIKES protocol as a tool for learner feedback. In 2011, the tool was adapted by Thomas and Arnold to identify parallels between giving feedback and delivering bad news to patients. Additionally, they found the structure of the SPIKES protocol served as a buttress of support for medical professionals newer to the role of instructor. Consider the use of SPIKES the next time you deliver feedback:

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Mastering 2020

I was recently asked by a colleague: “What are your goals for 2020?” As I began to write down the long list of possibilities and to articulate my answer, I started thinking about the question a little more deeply. What is a goal? And, do I really define myself by them?

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Virtual Communities of Practice in Health Professions Education

The Harvard Macy Institute Podcast aims to connect our Harvard Macy Institute community and to develop our interest in health professions education topics and literature. Our podcast is hosted by our Program for Educators in the Health Professions course faculty Victoria Brazil, and will feature interviews with health professions education authors and their research papers.

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#MedEdPearls December 2019: Is There A Transformational Book for Educators?

This #MedEdPearls highlights the Ignite session that focused on the book “Make It Stick” and was facilitated by Deb Hagen Moe and Carrie Bowler at The Generalists in Medical Education - #TGME19. The session highlighted how the principles in the book have both empowered learners and faculty and led to curricular innovations within Pathology programs at the Mayo Clinic. 

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Reflections of a Facilitator: Why I Come Back Each Year, or How My Life is One Big Kolb Cycle

As this year's Harvard Macy Program for Educators in Health Professions course drew to a close, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Harvard Macy Institute, I spent some extra time reflecting on what I learned this year, and why I keep coming back. The answer, I realized, surprised me.

I first came to the course in 2013 as a scholar. Like many others, I was in awe of the learning environment, and overwhelmed by the work. I spent long days and nights trying to keep up with the readings and assignments, and faced the humbling experience of having my project, which I had worked so hard on, get (significantly) revised by the new information I was taking in. When I left, I was physically and emotionally drained, yet I couldn't wait to come back. What was wrong with me?

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