Harvard Macy Community Blog

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

Co-facilitating Small Group Learning Environments: Creating Meaningful Connections at a Virtual Conference

Virtual conferences appear to be the new reality. Although this format offers a number of advantages such as better accessibility for learners and the possibility to have speakers from all over the world without the need to travel, the main difficulty lies in creating “real” connections and networking opportunities. This is paramount for a conference such as the Harvard Macy Institute Program for Educators in the Health Professions, which offers a number of small group activities where interaction and connection amongst scholars is essential to have fruitful discussions. In this blog we offer our tips for co-facilitating in virtual environments.

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Transitioning #HMIChat Leadership After 5 Wonderful Years

In February of 2021, our monthly Harvard Macy Twitter Chat (#HMIChat) celebrated 5 wonderful years of engagement, learning, and building community worldwide. The aim has always been to connect Harvard Macy Institute scholars around the world, to continue the conversations, and learn from and with each other. The result is more than 62 chats and over 40,000 tweets. Since 2016, #HMIChat has been curated by Elissa Hall, EdD, Justin Kreuter, MD, and Teresa Soro, MS and under their leadership our chat has grown into a known and respected learning experience in the health professions education social media space.

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April 2021 #MedEdPearls: Teaching in the aftermath of COVID-19: Applying principles of trauma-informed care to our return to classroom teaching

One year ago, I contributed a MedEdPearl titled "Mastering Adaptive Teaching in the Midst of COVID-19" that offered strategies for maintaining teacher, social and cognitive presence during our rapid transition to remote online learning. And now, I consider our needs as educators as we prepare for the possible transition back to the classroom this fall. Unlike last year, though, this possibility is conflated by more issues than merely the learning environment. As I write this blog, I reflect on a recent opinion article titled "America Isn't Ready for the Coming Wave of Grief." In addition to the direct human cost and long-haul effects of the pandemic, delayed mourning, physical isolation, economic burden, and exaggerated inequalities have compounded the toll on our collective mental health. So once again, I find myself asking how we as medical and health professions educators can prepare, stay resilient and step courageously into this unfamiliar territory?  

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A PEACEful approach to virtual teaching

Have you found yourself wishing your virtual teaching was more PEACEful? In this blog post, we draw on two theoretical frameworks – Cognitive Load Theory and Self Determination Theory – to outline five key steps for improving your virtual teaching. Together with my colleagues Dr. Deepa Rangachari and Dr. Jeremy Cetnar, we generated a useful mnemonic for these key principles of virtual teaching: PEACE.

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Silver Lining of the New Virtual World: Virtual Mentoring

This post was inspired by a recent assignment I completed as part of the Harvard Macy Program for Educators in the Health Professions. We were asked to write about a “silver lining” that transpired from the COVID-19 pandemic. I struggled with thinking of something positive when I was surrounded by so much loss, including parents of my patients struggling with employment and food insecurity, and even death. However, I challenged myself to recognize my privilege and, in my reflection, I was able to consider how my professional life had actually improved in a very noticeable way.

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