Harvard Macy Community Blog

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

Harvard Macy Institiute

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The Harvard Macy Institute brings together health care professionals, educators, and leaders to discuss the critical challenges of the day and design innovative solutions that have a lasting impact on the way medicine is practiced and students are educated. Our goal is to foster transformative learning experiences that prepare the Harvard Macy scholars to lead institutional change as well as discover and harness new perspectives which may contribute to their professional growth. 

Interactive Video Blog Series: Support Students and Faculty through Application of Learning Sciences

How can we apply the wealth of research from the cognitive sciences to improve teaching and learning? In these 3 short videos, Dr. Holly Gooding interviews Dr. Jennifer Meka, Director of the Woodward Center for Excellence in Health Sciences Education and Cognitive Skills Programs at Penn State College of Medicine Director, to find answers to this key question. They review spaced education, retrieval practice, time management skills, metacognition, and more in this series of video blogs.

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Once a scholar, forever a scholar

Blog authors: Aida Darweish and Nouf (Nova) Al-Rumaihi

Attending Harvard Macy Institute courses brings a unique kind of excitement to those who attend, and this is a sentiment expressed by many faculty and scholars. As a scholar, the most striking part of Harvard Macy courses is creating a psychologically safe, positive learning environment. This optimizes learners’ interactions and has a tremendous effect on immediate and later outcomes of the learning process. In a safe learning environment, all learners can share their experiences and express their opinions without embarrassment at any point. The other thing that is unique about HMI courses is creating a community of practice where we are connected forever, where we receive advice and share thoughts from long life colleagues and friends from all over the world. They are always ready to help and collaborate on medical education projects.

Last summer, we attended the Harvard Macy Institute Leading Innovations in Health Care and Education course in Boston. As a result, we were asked by Margaret Hay (Educators ‘10, Assessment ‘10, Leaders ‘11) to serve as course faculty for the “Leadership and Innovation in Healthcare” course at the Monash Institute for Health and Clinical Education (MIHCE, Monash University, Australia). This course is a unique collaboration between the MICHE and the Harvard Macy Institute (Boston, USA), and was held in the United Arab Emirates in November 2017. We were amazed to meet so many dedicated educators and innovators from around the world including Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United States, and United Arab Emirates. Indeed, we were no longer scholars, but now valuable members of the core faculty team!

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Bedside teaching – in person, and on screen; a tale of two techniques

The adage coined by Sir William Osler that “medicine is learned by the bedside and not in the classroom” remains a founding principle of medical schools internationally. In recent decades, changes in the healthcare environment have seen an erosion in time spent by the student at the bedside: rapid patient turnover; shorter-than-ever hospital stays; and increased community care have all limited the exposure to stark physical findings of disease which were so commonplace in centuries gone by. In addition, an explosion of technological aids and simulated learning environments are transforming teaching opportunities and the term “bedside” is not as unilateral as it perhaps once was. 

For students to leave medical school with excellent diagnostic and clinical examination skills remains as essential today as it was in Osler’s time. How we can ensure this is cultivated in a challenging new era is an important focus for medical education. How can technology be used to our advantage to enhance medical education? What areas can it be applied effectively to? How can we ensure traditional bedside teaching does not suffer in an era where time by the bedside can be challenged?


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Gregg Wells

deliberate, realistic, & safe ...

"The aim is not to replace in-person teaching, or in the case of NeuroCog, teaching of physical signs by the bedside, but rather t... Read More
Wednesday, 09 May 2018 12:12 AM
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Exploration of Program Director Perspectives on Core EPAs for Entering Residency

This blog was co-authored by Gary L. Beck Dallaghan, Ph.D. and Michael Ashley, B.S.

In 2014, the Association of American Medical Colleges issued recommendations for essential activities every graduating medical student should be able to perform unsupervised. The guiding principles underscoring the development of these skills included patient safety and enhancing confidence of stakeholders regarding new residents' abilities. These activities are meant to be a foundational core and should complement specialty-specific competencies.

Englander and colleagues mirrored their conceptual framework of the core entrustable professional activities for medical students on that being used by residency training programs. This entailed systematically reviewing published graduation requirements, program director expectations for entering residents, and tasks residents perform without supervision. This helped them develop 21 distinct entrustable professional activities (EPAs) that are considered observable and measurable units of work that represent a variety of competencies expected of medical professionals. More than 100 unique educators representing the continuum of medical education settled on the 13 current EPAs.

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Discouraging Academic Dishonesty using Cognitive Science Concepts

The following blog was co-authored by: Atipong Pathanasethpong and Rosawan Areemit

Academic dishonesty plagues universities around the world, from the US to Taiwan to Australia and beyond. In this blog we would like to discuss ways to address it by employing educational concepts and frameworks to shape a culture and environment that reward honesty and reduce incentives for dishonesty. 

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Taking Care of Y-O-U in the New Year


Blog co-authors: Kristina Dzara and Beth Pegg Frates

As we enter 2018, the field of health professions education is embracing the notion that we must encourage wellbeing and resilience, and work to empower ourselves, our colleagues, and our learners to prioritize self-care.

A busy schedule with multiple time demands can make the goal of effective work-life integration seem elusive – if not impossible. But it is possible when you are equipped with effective tips and tools that guide you to practice routine exercise, restful sleep, stress resilience, and healthy eating. Certainly, there is no magic pill for a healthy lifestyle. In this post, we offer a few strategies you can implement today. Even small changes have the ability to impact your life in a big way.

 1) Stress: Stress is “an innate survival response in which certain hormones are released, increasing blood flow to the brain or heart. The stress response leads to an energy surge, enabling a person to flee dangerous situations. Ongoing stress, however, can sap energy and damage health.” Some stress is good for us, and in fact can help us get in a work zone. Yet, when the tensions run high at work, we can benefit from an “in the moment” stress reduction technique that works. Here is an easy suggestion:

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5 Faculty Development Trends Noticed at AMEE

The Harvard Macy Institute would like to thank our alumni, Eric Gantwerker, Atipong Pathanasethpong, and Arabella Simpkin, for co-authoring this blog.


A buzz of activity and energized bodies met us as we arrived for the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) 2017 pre-conference in Helsinki on faculty development. Recognizing the importance of faculty development in medical education, this pre-conference is in its 4th year with thought leaders from throughout the globe. Overall, there is no doubt “faculty development” was among the highlights at AMEE 2017, with 5 major trends coming to the forefront, which we detail below:

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Guest — alice fornari

AMEE 2017

Thank you for this great overview of AMEE (and including our session too!!) on this HMI BLOG-you captured so much to share-it was ... Read More
Wednesday, 20 September 2017 2:02 AM
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Interactive Video Blog Series: Design Thinking in Medical Education: creating a new school at Penn State University

Interactive Video Blog Series: Design Thinking in Medical Education: creating a new school at Penn State University

​What is design thinking and how can it be applied to the creation of a new medical school? In this video, Dr. Holly Gooding interviews the 5 student design partners for the new Penn State College of Medicine University Park Regional Campus. These 5 innovators were accepted to Penn State College of Medicine in 2016 but delayed the start of school for one year in order to design their own new curriculum. Watch our video to learn how they applied design thinking to create a whole new type of medical school at the University Park Regional Campus, and join us in congratulating them on realizing the fruition of their work this fall.

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Interactive Video Blog Series: Technology Adoption in Healthcare Education

Interactive Video Blog Series: Technology Adoption in Healthcare Education with Neil Mehta, Brent Thoma and Julian Genkins

In this video series, Dr. Neil Mehta, Assistant Dean of Education Technology at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine interviews Julian Genkins, a medical student at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Dr. Brent Thoma of the University of Saskatchewan. First the three discuss online communities of practice and challenges for both students and faculty to adopting technology in healthcare education. Next, Julian and Brent share some exciting examples of creative technological tools. Finally, the conclude with predictions for the future of successful technology implementation in higher education. All three teach with us in our Healthcare Education 2.0 Course – come learn how you can meet your educational challenges with creative technology use .

Applications are now being accepted for our 2017 course, learn more and apply here: http://www.harvardmacy.org/index.php/hmi-courses/hce2-0 

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Interactive Video Blog Series: The Evolution of Outcomes-based Competencies in Medical Education with Dr. Eric Holmboe

Video Blog Series:  The Evolution of
Outcomes-based Competencies in Medical Education with Dr. Eric Holmboe

Over the past two decades, a slow but steady shift in medical education has been in progress. Across the training continuum, the focus of medical curricula and assessment has expanded beyond the acquisition of medical knowledge and now incorporates the development of essential physician competencies for the comprehensive and effective delivery of high quality health care to meet society's evolving needs and expectations.In this video, Dr. Eric Holmboe reviews the rationale for outcomes-based medical curricula and the benefits of competency-based assessment.He and Dr. Connie Bowe discuss the progress that has been made to date and future changes that are still needed.To learn more about these issues, visit www.harvardmacy.org for information about current program offerings for the health care professions educators and leaders.

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