Harvard Macy Community Blog

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

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

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#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.

 

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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. 

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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?

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October 2020 #MedEdPearls: Embracing the Power of Mentored Peer Review

Peer review of articles submitted to journals is the standard for determining the value of scientific scholarship for publication. As trained faculty and educators, it is part of our professional development and contribution to our scientific community to engage in peer review. However, the experience can be intimidating, isolating, and time consuming, especially when completed by an individual reviewer. Moreover, trainees or junior faculty may eschew peer review opportunities for lack of prior experience or feelings that they do not have the skills or preparation to complete a peer review independently.

 

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The Harvard Macy Institute Podcast #7: Systems of Assessment in Educational Settings

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 #7 explores systems of assessment. John Norcini joins host Victoria Brazil to discuss his article - What’s Next? Developing Systems of Assessment for Educational Settings. John is a senior faculty for the Harvard Macy Institute program A Systems Approach to Assessment in Health Professions Education, and this podcast is a complement to the upcoming virtual program in October.

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The Harvard Macy Institute Podcast: Learning Strategies for Health Professions – Is There a Gap from Evidence to Practice?

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 #6 explores evidenced based learning strategies – and whether learners and teachers practice them. Felipe Piza is first author of an article in Medical Teacher looking at this issue. He joins host Victoria Brazil and his research mentor and Harvard Macy Institute Program for Educators in Health Professions co-director Holly Gooding to discuss. 

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Designing Programmatic Assessment Structures to Support Learning

Among the myriad disruptions the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, medical educators are thinking about how they can ensure students moving through adapted curricula are progressing appropriately, and are motivated as they learn in this new environment. We recently published a 12-tips article: Twelve tips for embedding assessment for and as learning practices in a programmatic assessment system. This paper provides practical advice for schools to consider to help students learn from assessments and to learn with the goal of becoming excellent physicians. We encourage educational leaders and students to utilize evidence-based assessment practices to support these learning goals.

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Hematology Oncology Collaborative Videoconferencing (Heme/Onc COVID) Learning Initiative: Unleashing the Potential of Trainees as Leaders in Medical Education

Arriving on the US west coast in January of 2020, the SARS-CoV2 pandemic impacted all aspects of life, including medical practice and education. Medical trainees were among the first to assume roles of direct and consultative care providers for patients suffering from SARS-CoV2. At the same time, structured in-person didactics - a cornerstone of medical education and trainee development - were placed on hold. Standard educational models struggled to overcome the challenges imposed by Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations on social distancing. This was compounded by frequently changing provider schedules due to continually evolving patient, hospital, and community needs. This new environment fostered feelings of isolation and fear of the unknown among trainees who were on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19. In this setting, a clear need arose for a novel shared medical education platform capable of rapidly disseminating SARS-CoV2 content rooted in cross-disciplinary medical expertise.

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September 2020 MedEdPearls: 10 Habits for Career Success in Health Professions Education

The start of the academic year is the perfect time to re-evaluate and re-scope our career goals. Work on one of the following tasks every month throughout the school year, or use them as a guide to engage with a peer mentoring group to push everyone further, faster.

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Using online learning to prepare medical students for USMLE and beyond

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, fourth year medical students were in the process of preparing for their USMLE step 2CK exam. At this stage, usually they would also be in a clinical rotation with required patient experiences, and beginning applications for their residencies. Instead, they were all at home self-isolating while studying and dealing with much uncertainty.

At the University of Central Florida, College of Medicine (UCF COM), we offered an elective for three blocks over the Summer to assist them in prepping them for their exam. This served as an opportunity to encourage self-regulated learning and foster an online environment which nurtures dual communication, support, and encouragement. Below are some techniques which we found to be successful in navigating an online learning environment.

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Defining a Framework for Health Science Education Innovation

Over the past several months, we have seen how innovation in health science education (HSE) plays a critical role in health and science discovery as our community continues to address challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, many of our colleagues have demonstrated the courage to take risks, experiment, fail, and try again—often resulting in an improvement on their original ideas. HSE innovation moves us beyond the common, incremental changes and quality improvement initiatives commonly seen within our organizations. To continue advancing health and science through education innovation, it is important to define a framework that helps us better understand what HSE innovation means. 

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The Harvard Macy Institute Podcast: Social Learning Theory and Continuing Professional Development in Health Professions Education

In this episode Victoria Brazil speaks with Louise Allen about her recent Medical Teacher publication on Applying Social Learning Theory to explain the impacts of Continuing Professional Development. Her paper, with co-authors Marg Hay, Elizabeth Armstrong and Claire Palermo is an exemplar of qualitative research, and involved semi-structured interviews with previous Harvard Macy and Monash Institute for Health and Clinical Education program participants. The team found that scholars broadened their networks, affirmed themselves, applied learning in practice and enjoyed career progression. The impacts of these courses reached beyond themselves to both the people and organizations with which  they are involved.

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So you think you can lead? Leadership in health care is everybody’s business

Over the past three years, I have immersed myself in leadership development literature related to health systems and health professions education. In my pursuit of a comprehensive leadership framework that encompassed leadership demonstrated at several levels and applied to health care, I came across Dickson & Tholl’s  (2014) “LEADS in a Caring Environment” framework. The recently released second edition Bringing Leadership to Life in Health: LEADS in a Caring Environment expands on the original leadership framework and represents the key skills, behaviors, abilities, and knowledge required to lead in all sectors and all levels of the health system. It provides an in-depth perspective on how LEADS is used in different contexts, including how LEADS relates to diversity and Indigenous cultures. This post highlights the five domains of the LEADS Framework. 

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Orienting New Faculty During the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

Fall semester is a time for new starts, new students, and new faculty. As we continue to navigate what we do to help our students learn in a virtual environment, how might you apply some of the same approaches to orient new faculty? Consider incorporating some of these ideas:

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HMI Community Day 2020

We work hard to keep our community connected online, and one of our special initiatives is our annual #HMICommunity Day. This year, we celebrate with sincere gratitude to our worldwide community of healthcare professionals transforming education and healthcare delivery during extremely uncertain times.  

Please join us TODAY, August 11th for #HMICommunity Day - a virtual celebration of our worldwide community of practice! As alumni and friends, join us in showing support for our organization by tagging us in a photo and/or message on one of our three social media platforms – Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn – and letting us know what the Harvard Macy Institute means to you. Please tag all messages with our hashtag #HMICommunity, and the hashtag of courses you have attended - #HMIEducators, #HMIAssessment, #HMILeaders, or #HMIHCE.

Thank you for helping us celebrate our worldwide community!

Did you know that the Harvard Macy Institute has a podcast? Episodes hosted by Victoria Brazil have discussed leadership during COVID-19, systems of assessment, and virtual communities of practice.

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Training with Mental Practice in the COVID-19 Era

How does 23-time gold medalist Michael Phelps prepare for an Olympic race, an event so rare it happens only once every 4 years? According to his long-time coach, “He mentally rehearses for two hours a day... He smells the air, tastes the water, hears the sounds, sees the clock.” Can medical trainees do the same? 

With the overall drop in patients, procedures, and hands-on experience in the COVID-19 era, the foundational experiences that comprise the bulk of medical training are becoming rarer. To help remedy this, we need a simple, effective, high-fidelity training tool that can be accessed from the comfort of one’s own socially-isolated home. I suggest we use the highest-fidelity trainer available - the human brain - to train our learners using structured mental practice.

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Applying the 6 C’s of Motivation to Online Learning for Health Professionals

 With significant advancements in asynchronous and synchronous distance education technologies, such as videoconferencing, online discussion forums, and digital whiteboards, there is an opportunity to facilitate and enhance collaborative learning among interdisciplinary health professionals. If utilized appropriately, these technologies can provide a platform for open, equitable and accessible knowledge-sharing among health professionals. Learner motivation to participate in, and continue with, online learning programs is strongly affected by instructional design, and there are several instructional design strategies related to the 6 C’s of Motivation learning theory which should be considered when developing online education for interdisciplinary health professionals: 

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Mentors without Borders: A Global Community of Mentors, Scholars and Leaders in Health Professions Education

 Fifteen ‘mentors’ participated in this world café workshop: Nearly 35 participants attended and rated the format highly. During the process of debriefing and reflecting on what worked well and how the workshop could be improved, the group members decided to continue the working relationship and transform into a community of mentors and collaborators. We have worked together since September 2019, publishing papers on speed mentoring and career development for educational leaders and scholars and working on 2 more. We learn from each other and mentor each other.

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The “Heron 8” – 3 Things and 5 Communities – Even More Relevant During COVID-19

 One may ask what the “Heron 8” is and why the relevance especially in this time. In simple mathematic terms, the “Heron 8” encompasses what we all need in our life’s journey – 3 things and 5 communities to thrive. The summation of these constructs is 8. The suffering is acutely seen in the patients I care for  in my professional life as an Emergency Physician in a busy inner-city Emergency Department. An Emergency Department that cares for patient’s primarily of lower socioeconomic status who are predominantly people of color. People who look like me.

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