Harvard Macy Community Blog

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

#HMIchat September 2018 - How Do We Use and Foster Curiosity and Creativity as Educators?

I arrived home from Basel energized and inspired by AMEE 2018. The conference’s fringe sessions were the inspiration for this month’s chat, which aimed to answer the question, “How to use and foster curiosity and creativity as educators?

Many students enter medical school with open minds and a thirst for knowledge. Unfortunately, that insatiable curiosity can fade somewhere along the path of medical school and residency. This brings to mind a few questions. First, what factors in our own training programs can lead to that loss of curiosity? And secondly, and maybe more importantly, is it possible to relight that flame, or to guard against it ever going out? I personally love the idea of arts and humanities courses for medical students. Atipong Pathanasethpong (@atipongpath) told us about Khon Kaen University’s art classes for first year medical students. Such an innovative idea!

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Disrupting Health Professions Education…What we learned from this month’s #HMIChat

We had a lively discussion during this month’s #HMIChat about disruptive innovation focused on health professions education. We discussed many sustaining innovations as well, and highlighted the difference between the two. For those interested in reading more check out the pre-reading for the chat. Obviously, the @HarvardMacy and #MedEd community at large is eager to innovate, whether it be sustaining or disruptive and quite frankly we need both types!

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#HMIchat July 2018 - What Image or Song Would You Choose?

For those of us in the United States, it was a special holiday version of #HMIchat on July 4th— a 24 hour asynchronous chat (no synchronous sessions this time)! Because July 1st marks the beginning of a new academic year here in the US, the focus was medical education goals for the 2018-2019 academic year. Personal, professional, and institutional medical education goals were all welcomed.

Despite the holiday, our @HarvardMacy community showed up to share & help! We shared goals such as: create a curriculum that is both sustainable and malleable, complete graduate training, learn about various education strategies, increase habits of self-care, and develop new research interests. Many of us struggle with how to move forward with a new goal. Fortunately, our community members shared several wonderful resources—here are just a few:

Great book for curriculum building, shared by Lonika Sood.

Great book for presenting the evidence in medical education, shared by Teresa Sörö.

How to write great multiple choice questions, shared by Teresa Sörö.

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#HMIchat June 2018 - What are We Really Teaching? Exploring The Hidden Curriculum.

Missed out on the June #HMIChat about the promises and perils of the hidden curriculum? In this post, we recap the key points from the conversation and further enhance our learning on the topic. 

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#HMIChat May 2018 on the Clinical Learning Environment

I’ll discuss each of these more in depth below. 

The first theme called attention to the importance of healthy interpersonal relationships. This discussion highlighted inter-professional relationships and the importance of trust and rapport between those working in the CLE. The necessity of clear and supportive communication strategies was also underscored here, ensuring the creation of safe learning environments that celebrate successes and foster a growth mindset culture within learning and work spaces. Designing learning environments in which there are communal, inter-professional work spaces or lounge spaces was a suggestion to encourage this community culture.

A second point of discussion was on the engagement of all stakeholders in the assessment and optimization of the CLE. This included patients and their families, inter-professional colleagues, and learners. In particular, the point on empowering learners resonated throughout the discussion as a valuable asset in improving the CLE. Speaking as an OBGYN resident, residency is a unique time in one’s medical career when we are gradually learning to take on more independence while still operating under a more experienced supervisor and teacher. We are truly entrenched in the CLE every day, and empowering learners (whether medical or nursing students, residents, registrars, or other trainees) to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of these environments is not only beneficial in the CLE QI process, but could also be beneficial for the learners’ sense of ownership over their continued learning. Co-production and co-leadership are buzz words that have been frequently cited in this capacity; concepts that restructure traditional decanal leadership into something more ‘horizontal’. These concepts can, of course, be applied to other stakeholder engagement as well, patients and inter-professionals included.

There were also some branching conversations around the various spaces in which we learn in medicine – consideration to in- versus out-patient settings, academic versus community hospitals, and time and workload pressures in different settings – and the cultures and climates that are so engrained within those spaces. There were some interesting discussions around the importance of ‘in-situ’ versus simulation center simulation and how best to integrate reflection and coaching into the learning environment.

Finally, there were a couple resources for assessment and diagnosis of the CLE that were frequently cited throughout this discussion.

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