Harvard Macy Community Blog

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

Scholar Testimonials of the Leadership and Innovation in Health Professions Course, Melbourne, Australia 2019

Our fourth iteration of the Leadership and Innovation in Health course was successfully held in February 2019 at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

The Harvard Macy Institute, in collaboration with the Monash Institute for Health and Clinical Education brought together faculty and scholars from across Australia and internationally to share their expertise and innovative responses to global health care and education challenges.

The response from our scholars was overwhelmingly positive with many enthusiastically providing testimonials to celebrate their successful learnings from the course, and their anticipated changes to their practice from these learnings.

We are proud to welcome another group of motivated health care professionals to the Harvard Macy Institute global community of practice.

Click here to learn more about our course and register your interest for Leadership and Innovation in Health, Melbourne, Australia, February 10-14, 2020. 

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Peer Instruction-A Med Ed Pearl from the 2019 Annual CGEA Conference

At the 2019 Central Group on Educational Affairs Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Irina Overman and Brenda Roman from the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine shared their experiences with Peer Instruction (PI). PI is a learner‐centered instructional approach developed at Harvard University by Eric Mazur and a straight forward method for encouraging active learning.

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Health Systems Science: The future of medical education and the solution to improving health care

This is an exciting time in medical education – as educators we have realized the importance of medical education reform and are in the process of rethinking how we educate our learners. There are many exciting innovators and innovations – but none with more potential and direct applicability than the implementation of Health Systems Science into medical education curricula.

What is Health Systems Science? Also known as the Science of Health Care Delivery, it refers to the critical competencies that are necessary for us to deliver the highest quality value-based health care in a manner that is both patient and population centered. It is how we can operationalize the education necessary to meet the Triple Aim of health care. Many of the hot topics currently being addressed in both the undergraduate medical education and graduate medical education spheres already encompass some Health Systems Science competencies. These competencies include population health (social determinants and healthcare equity), value-based care, health care policy and economics, interprofessional skills, informatics, and health system improvement. 

Why is Health Systems Science so important? In order to move beyond Flexner and truly embrace the continuum of medical education, we need to start thinking about foundational knowledge and clinical knowledge in a synthetic fashion and move away from the traditional 2+2 medical education model.  We have an opportunity to truly integrate the foundational sciences and clinical knowledge that our learners need, to use pedagogical approaches that will facilitate the integration of their foundational and clinical learning, and to ensure our students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to be excellent physicians. Threads now incorporated into many curricula such as clinical reasoning, leadership, professionalism, and reflection are all critical subcompetencies of each of the Health Systems Science competency domains. Health Systems Science is the scaffolding upon which competency based medical education will thrive and ensure that our future physicians have the knowledge and skills to meet the needs of their patients. 

What are some early outcomes of Health Systems Science? As with any change in approach to medical education, innovative change without program evaluation impedes meaningful dissemination. Some of the early outcomes that speak to the importance and value of Health Systems Science have been the adaptation and implementation of the components of Health Systems Science into Undergraduate Medical Education programs. Some examples include:

1) Design of curricular frameworks for Health Systems Science

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F.O.C.U.S.E.D on Improving on the Dental Education

It is 5 pm on a Friday in the pre-doctoral dental clinic at your institution. A procedure has taken 5 hours, when it seemingly could have taken 90 minutes. Frustrated and exhausted, the student cannot seem to apply the content that they have learned in the classroom into real life. As an instructor you can’t help but think “What could we, as dental educators, have done to prevent this?”

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Pedagogy and Discharge Instructions: Do We Practice What We Preach?

“OK, so we think you have pleurisy. Your D-dimer was negative. You should take ibuprofen, rest and stay hydrated, then follow-up with your primary care physician. Any questions?”

My daughter reached for her discharge papers as she slid off the exam table and we thanked the staff as we made our way out of the urgent care part of a local emergency department.

She was eighteen at the time, a college freshman studying sociology. She called me to tell me she had been experiencing two days of pleuritic chest pain and felt a little short of breath. Because our logical, medical brains turn into parent brains when our child is sick, I dropped everything I was doing to go and see her. She looked fine, the pain was probably just musculoskeletal; she is a ballet dancer and these minor aches and pains are common. But, I thought, “What about a pulmonary embolism?” “Not likely” I thought, “but I’m here so let’s go get it checked out”.

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