Harvard Macy Community Blog

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

The Harvard Macy Institute Podcast #8: Leadership and Change – Reflections on the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Harvard Macy Institute Podcast aims to connect our Harvard Macy Institute community and to develop our interest in health professions education topics and literature. Our podcast is hosted by our Program for Educators in the Health Professions course faculty Victoria Brazil, and will feature interviews with health professions education authors and their research papers.

Podcast #8 was recorded live at the October 2020 Program for Educators in the Health Professions. It features Peter Waters (Chief of Orthopedic Surgery) and Peter Weinstock (Director, SIMPeds) discussing their approach to leading change in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic at Boston Children’s Hospital.


Continue reading
598 Hits

Debt of Gratitude

As we usher in our season of Thanksgiving and prepare for the upcoming holidays in New England we give special thanks to our global community of healthcare providers and educators who have overcome extraordinary challenges while implementing innovations to care for societies worldwide and to educate the next generation of professionals in healthcare during the pandemic.
We owe you all a very special debt of gratitude.

Please enjoy the much deserved time with your families.


From the HMI team

330 Hits

#MedEdPearl November 2020; Coaching in Graduate Medical Education

Mentoring, coaching, and sponsoring are terms sometimes used interchangeably and often performed fluidly without role identification. This blogpost focuses specifically on the role of coaching in medical education.

The business leadership world has inspired medical educators to introduce coaching into the academic arena. Coaching best practices have been developed and disseminated for undergraduate and graduate medical trainees. Coaching has also been described as an important need for faculty in continuing professional development.


Continue reading
1216 Hits

Personal Protective Equipment vs Empathy: How to Defeat the Barriers

For those of us working in healthcare, we know that empathy is a fundamental part of our everyday labor. Being able to read and even feel patients’ emotions, and adequately respond to them, is sometimes as important as being able to give patients a correct diagnosis. We also know that being empathetic sometimes entails major challenges, since it can be difficult to relate and understand someone culturally, physically, or generationally different from us. Furthermore, living in the current COVID-19 era we all share an added challenge that threatens empathy and rapport: personal protective equipment (PPE). Health care providers are now wearing a large number of PPE, which clearly obstructs our human relations. How can we respond to our patients’ emotions in an empathic way if we are covered in PPE? How can we show them our empathy? The E.M.P.A.T.H.Y.® acronym and effective verbal communication may be of help. 

Recent Comments
Guest — Pablo Gálvez

Very Useful

Very interesting and useful info. i think this kind of skills is a HUGE lack in health professionals education.
Wednesday, 11 November 2020 11:11 PM
Guest — Mariana Ramirez


Very interesting and important ajillo in our profesión and these days. Greetings from Chile!
Thursday, 12 November 2020 12:12 AM
Guest — Mariana Ramirez

Great article

Very interesting and important skill in our profession and on these days. Greetings from Chile
Thursday, 12 November 2020 12:12 AM
Continue reading
1038 Hits

Together, When Apart

On March 6th 2020, I wished our first year medical students good luck on their Physiology exam, and told them I hoped I would see them on Monday. Alas, on March 8th, the dreaded (but expected) email arrived. Due to COVID19, all in person classes were suspended immediately. With one day's notice, and with no preparation, we all moved to a world of Zoom. 

As course director, I quickly learned the basic features of Zoom, created meeting links, and began to lecture and facilitate small groups from my apartment. That, it turned out, was the easy part.  It soon became clear that there was a much bigger need to address: the mental health and well-being of our students. For many, class time is an integral part of their social life and gives their day purpose and structure. Now, as they were sheltering in place, with many returning to homes across the country, they were far removed from their study buddies and the camaraderie that infuses a medical school class. Moving lectures online is a matter of technology. How do we replace the “we’re all in this together” spirit of the lecture hall and small group room?

Continue reading
1044 Hits