Harvard Macy Community Blog

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

A Millennial Learner’s Journey to Becoming a Physician Assistant

Growing up, I was often surrounded by health professionals as I accompanied my mother and brother to numerous medical appointments. I was immersed in the healthcare field starting at a very young age and that inspired me to work as a healthcare professional. The physician assistant profession was created in the mid-1960’s to ultimately expand the primary care workforce and address the shift of physicians training to provide specialty care. Over the last forty years, physician assistants have demonstrated that they are effective partners in a changing health care environment and have the ability to fill provider gaps and new roles in interprofessional team-based delivery systems. As a cohort, millennials aspire to have a career that allow us to be mission-driven, have good work-life integration, and experience personal happiness as well as professional success. These are just some of the reasons I - in addition to many other millennials - am drawn to pursuing a career as a physician assistant. In this blog post, I articulate the goals I have developed for my upcoming physician assistant training.

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Admin User

On Your Way, Alyssa!

Speaking as your former professor in Communication Skills, I'd say you learned your lessons well (and I LOVED that second paragrap... Read More
Wednesday, 06 March 2019 3:03 PM
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Behind the Curtain with Senthil Rajasekaran: Developing a Global Competency Framework for Universal Health Care

Recently, Senthil Kumar Rajasekaran was invited by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be a part of a small working group of health professions education experts to develop a global competency framework for universal health coverage. As an alumnus of the 2013 “Leading Innovations in Healthcare and Education” course – who has also served as course faculty - we thought we would sit down with Senthil and ask him some questions about this meeting, his participation, the team’s recommendations and to learn about the global competency framework as it applies to health professions education 

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The Role of "Instructor Talk" in the Classroom

You can impact student success simply by the way you speak in the classroom! Instructor Talk is a term coined by researchers who looked at the impact non-content related language had on student success. Non-content language is the little things we say to students during a class session that foster a positive learning environment. Just by switching up how we talk to students can impact their perceptions. For example, switching from, “I have extended the deadline for the project” to “I have extended the deadline for the project to give you additional timeor from “We will begin today discussing . . .” to “To get you prepared, we will begin today discussing . . .” can help.

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Great Advice

I really liked the idea of how adding a few additional words like “To get you prepared, we will begin today discussing . . .” to t... Read More
Wednesday, 20 February 2019 12:12 PM
Melissa Alexander

Important Tips for Directing A...

Thanks for some really useful phrases for directing learners’ attention!
Sunday, 24 February 2019 5:05 PM
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Digital Storytelling: Bringing the Power of Narratives to Life

Digital storytelling refers to the use of real-life experiences, stories and adventures combining narrative with digital content. This can include images, sounds, and videos to create a short movie, typically with a strong emotional component to help engage learners in learning. Digital storytelling is a powerful medium for teaching because it can increase engagement and retention of learning, and has been used in medical education.

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The Power of Interprofessional Education

The pager on my hip beeped at 1:22 am with a call from the ICU. The nurse on the other end asked if I would please come down and pronounce a patient who had passed away. “I’ll be right there,” I responded, put down the admission note I was writing, and set off toward the ICU. This was my first inpatient medicine rotation as an intern, so I was embracing this task with a mix of overconfidence and not knowing what I didn’t know. I was also trying not to disturb my senior resident who was either addressing some important tasks or sleeping. Hitting the wall plate to open the double doors to the ICU, a nurse behind a desk pointed in the direction of one of the patient rooms. As I approached the room, I realized that I didn’t actually know how to pronounce a patient and had never been taught how to do so in medical school.

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