In 2011, as a recent graduate and a new faculty member, I attended the Macy program with an eagerness to become enculturated into a global learning community and an excitement to launch my academic career.

My project was ambitious and probably too big of an undertaking for someone fresh out of training. I was seeking to correlate our home-grown milestone-based evaluation system with a validated test of emotional intelligence. My project group was intrigued by this idea and contributed constructive suggestions to help me move forward. I left the Macy program convinced that my project would be a smashing success.


But the enthusiasm was short-lived. I had come back from 2 weeks of working with a like-minded group of educators who had cheered me on through my planning phase. So I was unprepared for what came next: the IRB. Having had only a paucity of experience with the IRB process, I was discouraged by months of delays. At the time, our IRB was not familiar with medical education projects and my project went through the same IRB process as clinical research. Finally, after many back and forth discussions with our IRB, my project was finally accepted without any major revisions. Having overcome this initial hurdle, I eagerly began to gather data only to find that our milestone-based evaluation tool was not being used frequently enough to even come close to constituting a full dataset. Months of hard work came to an end. As did my project.

While I thought that my project would be the most important outcome of the Macy program, I have come to realize that the program wasn’t the foundation for a successful project. Rather, the program developed in me the foundation upon which a successful educational career would be built. The project itself was a vehicle to learn about collaboration, the scholarly process, and the constant revision and transformation of ideas in progress.

I tried to follow Dr. Robert Kegan’s advice and refrain from showering unsuspecting colleagues back home with my Macy ideas like a “wet dog.” However, I will admit to being a “soggy dog” as I’ve left some wet paw prints from the Macy program at my home institution, Baystate Medical Center, over the past 6 years. The Macy curriculum helped me to build our Chief Resident Leadership Curriculum, design and implement a number of leadership retreats for our trainees, organize an educational day about the hidden curriculum with Macy expert, Dr. Elizabeth Gaufberg, and become comfortable networking and collaborating in my role as co-director of our Primary Care Residency Program.

At Baystate, I was asked to collaborate on an ambulatory evidence-based medicine curriculum developed by my mentor, Dr. Michael Rothberg, and we became interested in studying this innovative program. During the planning phase of the project, I realized that the curriculum was an obvious extension of Kolb experiential learning theory and Dr. Elizabeth Armstrong’s paper, How Can Physicians’ Learning Styles Drive Educational Planning?. With this framework in mind, my “new Macy project” came to be.

Ambulatory Morning Report: A Case-Based Method of Teaching EBM Through Experiential Learning, the paper that resulted from this project, was recently published. While my journey did eventually lead to a publication, it wasn’t the paper that I thought I’d be publishing when I left in May, 2011. In fact, my Macy journey has been marked by a number of papers, workshops and programs, but this scholarship tells only half of my story. Since Macy, I have also had big and small moments of growth, collaboration, innovation, and scholarly approach. Together, these efforts are the mile markers, reflecting the winding path of my journey to become not just an author, but a scholar and an educator.




Gina Luciano

Gina Luciano, MD, FACP is a 2011 Harvard Macy Program for Educators in Health Professions scholar and is currently the co-director of the Baystate Primary Care Residency Program. She has a passion for working with the underserved and is a clinician-educator at High Street Health Center.