As five Psychiatry trainees, we had the exciting opportunity to meet one another at the 2018 Program for Post-Graduate Trainees: Future Academic Clinician-Educators, co-sponsored by the Harvard Macy Institute, the MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. We quickly realized that we all shared the same passion and zeal for medical education, working with trainees, and collaborative work! This enthusiasm resulted in the spontaneous decision to collaborate on a combined "Harvard-Yale" project for the annual American Psychiatric Association Meeting.

Despite a rapidly approaching deadline, we worked cooperatively to apply the educational principles presented by faculty at the course. These principles included creating needs-based learning assessments, building on the learners base of knowledge to integrate new topics, and finding creative ways to make the material “sticky” and memorable.

One of the experiences which as most helpful to us was the interactive ‘micro-teaching’ sessions were particularly informative, as participants were challenged to demonstrate their skills, and helpful feedback was provided in the process. As participants, we each presented a 5-7 minute teaching session to a small group of residents and  faculty, which was video-recorded. We then exited the room while each small group came up with constructive, formative feedback. We were then brought back in the room and the feedback was shared with us over the course of 10 to 15 minutes. 

Towards the end of the course, we realized that the ability to learn, share and grow with other professionals with a passion for medical education presented a ripe opportunity for collaboration. With the upcoming American Psychiatric Association national conference deadline we urgently submitted an abstract regarding our individual projects reflecting trainee involvement in medical education.

As a group, we hope to foster growing enthusiasm in medical education and academia amongst psychiatry trainees when presenting at the national conference in May 2019. The poster session was well attended, and people were inspired by the collaboration across institutions for not only research, but for mentorship, sponsorship and fellowship. Indeed, we left the course inspired not only to do the work, but also equipped with a wealth of knowledge, and a new team of colleagues for future collaboration. Moreover, attending the course was inspirational in that it enabled us to meet like-minded educational enthusiasts and colleagues while immersing ourselves in a rich environment to learn, to grow, and to become motivated. We felt nurtured and were given the opportunity to receive support from seasoned educators. The expert consultation with like-minded peers was an added benefit to the wealth of faculty resources available for project development. 


The Harvard Macy Institute is accepting applications for the 2019 PGME cohort until Sunday, July 7, 2019.  If you are interested please click here to learn more. 


Author BIOS

Lilanthi Balasuriya, MD, MMS is a third year psychiatry resident in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Lilanthi’s areas of professional interest include diversity and inclusion, increasing recruitment and retention of underrepresented medical students, refugee mental health. Lilanthi can be followed on Twitter or LinkedIn.


Jessica S. Bayner, MD (Post-Graduate, ’18) is a clinical fellow in child and adolescent psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital. Jessica’s professional interests include forensic psychiatry and public psychiatry. Jessica can be followed on LinkedIn.


Martha J. Ignaszewski, MD (Post-Graduate, ’18) ) is a clinical fellow in child and adolescent psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital. Martha’s professional interests include academic psychiatry and collaborative and multidisciplinary teaching and treatment approaches. Martha can be reached via email.


Jessica Isom, MD, MPH (Post-Graduate, ’18) is a fourth year psychiatry resident in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University. Jessica’s areas of professional interest in medical education, social justice, and curriculum development. Jessica can be reached via email.


Tamar Katz, MD, PhD (Post-Graduate, ’18) is a clinical fellow in child and adolescent psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital and a visiting fellow in neuropsychiatry at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Tamar's professional interests include psychiatric genetics, neuropsychiatry, and behavioral neurology.  Tamar can be reached via email.



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