Harvard Macy Community Blog

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

Atipong Pathanasethpong, MD, MS

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Atipong Pathanasethpong, MD MMSc (MedEd) (Educators ’15, Leaders ‘15) is a graduate of the MMSc in Medical Education Program at Harvard Medical School. Atipong works as an anesthesiologist and medical educator at Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Thailand. He is currently active in instructional design and in disseminating cognitive science concepts to his trainees and colleagues. You can reach Atipong via Twitter at @AtipongPath.

Dear Native English Speakers, Please Make Sure Your English is Understandable

What do the AMEE Conference, Reddit, and popular programming languages - such as Java - have in common? If you answer that they are all based on English, you are correct. Though they are international, their medium of choice, like many other things, is English. The landscape of academia is also English-based, as English publications are far more numerous that those of other languages.

Therefore, native English speakers may naturally feel more at ease communicating with an international audience. However, this BBC article describes why non-native speakers can be more effectual English communicators in these settings, and native speakers should step up their game.

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Next-Levelling Your Conference: Attendees as Co-Producers of Knowledge

What was your role during the last academic conference you attended? One common answer is “an attendee,” which means that you were there but doesn’t provide details regarding what you actually did. Another common answer is “a participant,” which is only a bit more telling because now it suggests that you were taking part in something. These common answers are widely used, but somehow they only convey that someone goes somewhere and does something. From these terms, we simply cannot deduce exactly what roles the conference organizers, speakers, facilitators, and attendees fulfill.

Higher education has been facing the same problem - the terms “teacher” and “student” imply that one teaches and the other studies. But this leaves the details of roles and expectations to each person’s interpretation. For this reason, there have been attempts to employ terms that are better at defining the nature of the relationship. Metaphors such as “client,” “customer,” “partner,” and “consumer” have been used. These metaphors imply different roles and expectations for every party in the educational system and also how they relate to each other.

These terms are equally applicable to academic conferences. A client means you pay the organizers for a professional service. A customer means the organizers have to please you to get your money. A partner means you partially bear the same set of responsibilities as the organizers. With these definitions in mind, think back again to your role at the last conference you were in: Were you a client? A customer? A partner? Or a consumer?

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It Takes a Community to Raise a Tweet Chat

Just like how it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a community to raise a tweet chat.

 On the morning of May 3rd, I checked Twitter for the announcement of the May Harvard Macy (HMI) tweet chat. I typed in #hmichat and right at the top of the results I found the announcement. I read on - the session would be led by Andrew Linn, Brent Thoma, and Zineb Nouns. I had no idea who these people were, but that's the great thing about HMI chat.

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Diary of a Macy Returning Scholar - Part 2

Editor’s note: This series of 5 posts were written by Atipong Pathanasethpong, MD, MSc during the Harvard Macy Program for Educators in Health Professions 2016 May session.  A member of the Faculty of Medicine at Khon Kaen University, Thailand and a student in the Harvard Medical School Masters of Science in Medical Education program, Dr. Pathanesethpong began blogging daily as a way to reflect on his experience in the course. You can read his reflections on the January session here.

The process of writing is itself a learning opportunity - a special time to reorganize our ideas about the world and a chance to discover inner wisdoms that we might not be aware we already have.

Different types of information come to us at different times, in many forms, and in varying levels of maturity.  Sometimes it is hard for us to weed out great ideas from the rest. Writing provides us with a unique state of mind in which we are able to distill our thoughts and organize them.

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Diary of a Macy Returning Scholar

<Editor’s note: This series of eleven posts were written by Atipong Pathanasethpong, MD, MSc during the Harvard Macy Program for Educators in Health Professions January 2016 session.  A member of the Faculty of Medicine at Khon Kaen University, Thailand and a student in the Harvard Medical School Masters of Science in Medical Education program, Dr. Pathanesethpong began blogging daily as a way to reflect on his experience in the course.  

The process of writing is itself a learning opportunity - a special time to reorganize our ideas about the world and a chance to discover inner wisdoms that we might not be aware we already have.

Different types of information come to us at different times, in many forms, and in varying levels of maturity.  Sometimes it is hard for us to weed out great ideas from the rest. Writing provides us with a unique state of mind in which we are able to distill our thoughts and organize them.

To write is to grow.

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