Harvard Macy Community Blog

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

The Harvard Macy Institute Podcast: What’s Next for Systems of Assessment in Educational Settings

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.

Podcast #3 explores Four big issues for assessment in health professions education in discussion with Louis Pangaro, and guest comments from  Sharon Mickan and Martin Pusic. This discussion was originally prepared for the 2020 Systems Approach to Assessment in Health Professions Education course in Boston, where both Lou and Martin were expected to participate as faculty. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the course was postponed and rescheduled for October 18th through October 22nd, 2020 (the Systems course will now be offered annually in October). 

Continue reading
138 Hits
0 Comments

#MedEdPearl March 2020: Learning style preferences across a spectrum of learners

Have you ever encountered a cohort of learners who are all exactly the same? Likely not.Diversity in learning style preferences is increasing! A learning style preference is a desired or default set of cognitive, psychological, and social characteristics that learners exhibit in educational environments. In education, it is sometimes important to introduce desirable difficulty so learners are challenged to make concepts stick.

However, preceptors must be mindful of the myriad interactions with learners and modify their teaching styles accordingly to the learning style preference encountered (2). To illustrate, try this simple activity: Using a pencil, print your first and last name. Now repeat this same task but switch hands. What did you experience? While using your non-dominant hand, you probably experienced increased anxiety and decreased confidence and automaticity, and the task required increased time, concentration, effort, and attention while the quality of your handwriting decreased. By not attending to learning style preferences, it is akin to forcing learners to write with their non-dominant, non-preferred hand (3).

This pearl is a first of three devoted to the application of learning styles research in medical education.

How do you recognize learning style preference in your learners? Share your thoughts on Twitter at #MedEdPearls!

  1. Grasha A. 1994. A Matter of Style: The Teacher as Expert, Formal Authority, Personal Model, Facilitator, and Delegator. College Teaching, 42(4), 142-149.
  1. Vaughn L., Baker R. 2001. Teaching in the medical setting: balancing teaching styles, learning styles and teaching methods. Medical Teacher, 23(6), 610-612.
  1. Grasha I. 2010. The dynamics of one-on-one teaching. College Teaching, 50(4) 139-146.

 

...
Continue reading
227 Hits
1 Comment

The Challenge of Giving and Receiving Feedback in the Operating Room

Verbal feedback from senior surgeons represents an essential part of surgical training. As an organizational psychologist who has spent time observing and measuring communication in the operating room (OR), I have observed a great deal of feedback from surgeons to surgical residents, students or more junior team members; most were constructive and expressed respectfully. However, in some cases, I observed feedback that seemed unsupportive and challenging to interpret, such as: “No, no, you should do this like this and not like this [showing how to handle an instrument], as I already told you twice. You are still working like an intern.”

Continue reading
455 Hits
0 Comments

Growth mindset and medical education: What is the connection?

“Stop!” the attending blurts out as the trainee was about to make a miscalculated maneuver with her surgical instrument. The resident’s stomach flips as she realizes her potential error and readjusts. The attending, likewise, breathes a sigh of relief as the surgery is turned back on course.

As medical educators, we have all experienced high stakes moments like this one. But what is the best way to debrief this encounter? And how do we turn the “fight or flight” inducing stomach-churn into an educational opportunity? Sure, we can give feedback, and we should. However, to the learner, this experience may feel like a “mini-fail” and lead to feelings of guilt or shame, and possibly avoidance of similarly challenging scenarios in the future. Can we redirect a trainee’s learning trajectory just as we redirected the surgery? I think we can, with a secret ingredient called “growth mindset.”

Continue reading
909 Hits
0 Comments

So I have this consult...Using the consult as a means of teaching and learning

I remember being a first-year physician in training, picking up the phone, and calling consults. I remember calling consults even if I found I did not always understand the question we had for our consultants. It bothered me at the time, but I was so busy, and asking why sometimes seemed like more energy than I could muster.

Continue reading
495 Hits
1 Comment

#MedEdPearls February 2020: Psychological Safety and Accountability - The Secret Sauce of Health Professions Education

Think of a time when you were a member of an effective team (that was diverse or geographically dispersed. Why was it effective? How did this make you feel as a team member?

Continue reading
797 Hits
1 Comment

The Harvard Macy Institute Podcast: Leadership development for the health professions

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.

Podcast #2 explores Leadership development for health professionals with Cathy Green and Grant Phelps in preparation for the Monash Institute for Health and Clinical Education (MIHCE) Leadership and Innovations course.

Continue reading
846 Hits
0 Comments

Teaching Clinical Reasoning: How early is too early?

Although most medical schools have a pre-clerkship course dedicated to history taking, physical exam, and early patient exposure, clinical reasoning is rarely taught during the first years of medical school. Educators routinely wait until the more clinically focused clerkship to introduce and foster these skills. A recent national survey of clerkship directors found that most students enter clerkship with a “poor to fair” knowledge of clinical reasoning concepts. As a result, early clerkship students are left to merely observe the complex cognitive processes of more experienced clinicians that result in diagnostic and management decisions. Questions such as “How did you get to that?,” “How did you process all of that information so quickly?,” and “How did you know which questions to ask?” are common.

Continue reading
1160 Hits
0 Comments

Building New #MedEd Communities with Old Friends

It started with a Twitter post. To celebrate #HMICommunity Day, Holly Gooding (Educators ’10) shared a photo from the rooftop of the Grady Hospital parking deck in downtown Atlanta, the gold dome of the State Capitol building gleaming in the background on a sweltering summer day. Lynda Goodfellow (Educators ’16) recognized that backdrop as the same one from her own office and reached out to Holly. Over coffee in the Georgia State University (GSU) Student Center, where she serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Lynda updated her former project group facilitator on the success of her HMI project. Lynda had just welcomed her inaugural class of interprofessional faculty into the Lewis College Teacher Scholar Academy at GSU. Wait a minute, thought Holly. That sounds similar to Linda Lewin’s (Educators ’97) Woodruff Health Educators Academy at Emory University, Holly’s new academic home. Could it be that both Linda and Lynda were transforming interprofessional education in Atlanta using Harvard Macy Institute principles?

Continue reading
519 Hits
0 Comments

#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:

Continue reading
1431 Hits
0 Comments

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?

Continue reading
471 Hits
0 Comments

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.

Continue reading
928 Hits
0 Comments

#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. 

Continue reading
1047 Hits
0 Comments

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?

Continue reading
655 Hits
0 Comments

My Medical Education Mantra: Small is OK! Imperfect is Better than Nothing!

In June 2019, a postcard came in the mail from my past self. At first, I was confused to receive a photo of Boston, where I live, but I recognized my own handwriting with my favorite blue super-fine pen. It was my 6-month follow-up postcard that I had written at the Harvard Macy Institute Program for Post-Graduate Trainees.

Continue reading
751 Hits
0 Comments

November #MedEdPearls: Trust Me – I’m a Doctor

Competency based medical education (CBME) is an outcomes-based time-independent concept that is informing curricular innovation across the country and beyond. The roll out of Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) has incited discussion about workplace-based assessment in the context of entrustment.

Continue reading
545 Hits
0 Comments

Making People Think at Grand Rounds

I recently had the opportunity to present at the Dell Medical School Palliative Care Grand Rounds. I was fresh from attending the Harvard Macy Institute Program for Educators in the Health Professions, and more fully aware of the significant learning benefits of an interactive lecture. I now had evidence that there are better ways to present material that would help people learn. Plus, I had experience as a learner that engaging, interactive lectures were just way more fun. Now I just had to figure out how to create one…

Continue reading
1209 Hits
1 Comment

#HMIchat August 2019: Developing Leaders: Busting Myths and Lifelong Learning

Despite numerous calls for an increase in physician leaders and leadership development in medical education, a 2018 systematic review found significant gaps exist in (1) understanding the best ways to teach leadership, (2) assessing and understanding the value of leadership training, and (3) overall reporting of curricula design. Participants in the August #HMIchat explored myths of leadership and leadership development, shared crucial advice, passed on resources, and discussed innovative ways to teach and develop leadership skills both in and beyond medical education. The chat was rich with ideas and resources to help us become better leaders.

 Here is a recap of some of the common themes and ideas shared by our community.

What are some common myths about leadership?

  • Leaders cannot show vulnerability; they must have all the answers… be the smartest in the room (@joshuadhartzell)
  • Everyone has the same access to leadership opportunities. Reality: There remains incredible bias and sponsorship is one way to work to create equity in leadership (@SusanHingle)
  • You have to be an extrovert to be a leader (@KFabsMD)
  • Leaders can only lead after they have “done their time” (@DrJRMarcelin)

As we discussed these myths, @Javeedsukhera remarked how “many myths related to leadership perpetuate gender and racial biases...make us question our leadership skills and competencies because we don’t ‘look’ like leaders.” In busting these myths, the #HMIchat turned to the critical value of personal mentors, coaches and sponsors in developing leaders, especially for women and minorities.

What are some common myths about teaching leadership:  

...
Continue reading
1487 Hits
0 Comments

Education as a Catalyst for Health Care Transformation

Improving community and population health is in the core mission statement of many medical schools. However, physician training happens within the same system that has led the United States to disproportionately spend on its healthcare system. While wealthy countries like the U.S., tend to spend more per person on health care and related expenses than lower income countries. However, the U.S. spends more per person on health than comparable countries. Health spending per person in the U.S. was $10,224 in 2017, which was 28% higher than Switzerland, the next highest per capita spender.  The all-encompassing social determinants of health, politics, and vested financial interests heavily influence policies affecting population health. It would be useful for us to take a moment reflect upon the problem.

Continue reading
1369 Hits
0 Comments

Interprofessional Education: Who is buzzing at your planning table?

For the past two years, I have been deeply involved in interprofessional education and collaboration efforts at Cleveland Clinic. As an instructional designer by training, I strive to engage all stakeholders any time I am designing educational programming. This is particularly important when your audiences are from a number of professions, with a wide range of expertise level and diverse views on the need for learning.

Continue reading
600 Hits
0 Comments