Harvard Macy Community Blog

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

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The Harvard Macy Institute was established in 1994 with a grant from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation. The Institute is a collaborative effort of Harvard Medical School, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Harvard Business School. 

The Harvard Macy Institute brings together health care professionals, educators, and leaders to discuss the critical challenges of the day and design innovative solutions that have a lasting impact on the way medicine is practiced and students are educated. Our goal is to foster transformative learning experiences that prepare the Harvard Macy scholars to lead institutional change as well as discover and harness new perspectives which may contribute to their professional growth. 

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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Students as Partners: Working with students to co-create medical school curricula

As they listen to lectures, work through group learning activities, and study, students may recognize discrepancies in content, flow of material, repetitions, and more. Obtaining student feedback can be very helpful in guiding curriculum design. Students can provide formative feedback to faculty – for example, if a student did not feel that they learned from a particular lecture, they can offers suggestions for how to improve. In turn, faculty can acknowledge student feedback and respond to it, thus closing the feedback loop (as we see in Kern’s 6 Steps to Curriculum Development). If changes were suggested, the faculty member can respond to the class to explain why they could or could not make that change – which students will appreciate!

Recent Comments
Natasha Louise Yates

Students are just the start...

Well done on a great blog and conversation starter. I agree that it is helpful for students to be engaged with their curriculum d... Read More
Monday, 18 May 2020 6:06 AM
Senthil Kumar Rajasekaran, MD


Hi Natasha, Thank you for your comments and it was a delight to work with Sarina. Below are my thoughts: 1. It is a great idea to ... Read More
Tuesday, 19 May 2020 4:04 PM
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Building New #MedEd Communities with Old Friends

It started with a Twitter post. To celebrate #HMICommunity Day, Holly Gooding (Educators ’10) shared a photo from the rooftop of the Grady Hospital parking deck in downtown Atlanta, the gold dome of the State Capitol building gleaming in the background on a sweltering summer day. Lynda Goodfellow (Educators ’16) recognized that backdrop as the same one from her own office and reached out to Holly. Over coffee in the Georgia State University (GSU) Student Center, where she serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Lynda updated her former project group facilitator on the success of her HMI project. Lynda had just welcomed her inaugural class of interprofessional faculty into the Lewis College Teacher Scholar Academy at GSU. Wait a minute, thought Holly. That sounds similar to Linda Lewin’s (Educators ’97) Woodruff Health Educators Academy at Emory University, Holly’s new academic home. Could it be that both Linda and Lynda were transforming interprofessional education in Atlanta using Harvard Macy Institute principles?

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Education as a Catalyst for Health Care Transformation

Improving community and population health is in the core mission statement of many medical schools. However, physician training happens within the same system that has led the United States to disproportionately spend on its healthcare system. While wealthy countries like the U.S., tend to spend more per person on health care and related expenses than lower income countries. However, the U.S. spends more per person on health than comparable countries. Health spending per person in the U.S. was $10,224 in 2017, which was 28% higher than Switzerland, the next highest per capita spender.  The all-encompassing social determinants of health, politics, and vested financial interests heavily influence policies affecting population health. It would be useful for us to take a moment reflect upon the problem.

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The Art of Education: The Harvard Macy Institute’s Art Museum-based Health Professions Education Fellowship

A foundational principle of the Harvard Macy Institute (HMI) is to build and nurture collaborations to foster cross disciplinary learning and problem solving. Early collaborations begun with the plans described in the 1994 successful grant submission to the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, which laid the foundation for our 26 year collaborations with faculty at the Harvard Medical School, the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Harvard Business School. The Macy Foundation’s assumption was that neither institution would be as successful working in isolation as they would be in partnership. This blog post tells the story of another fruitful collaboration - one in which health professions educators and museum educators collaborated to design a new fellowship, sponsored jointly with the Cambridge Health Alliance and now part of the HMI course portfolio.

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4 steps to revitalize a tired post-graduate curriculum

Since as early as the 1880s, psychologists studying human memory generated “forgetting curves” which attempt to illustrate memory retention over time. It is thought that adults retain less than 30% of lecture-based content which diminishes over time, and yet this is still a commonly used platform for teaching in medical education. At my institution, our radiology residents receive nearly two hours of dedicated teaching each day, at least half of which is lecture-based didactics. I vividly remember sitting through those 45-minute lectures as a resident, often after lunch, struggling to pry my eyes open. 

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HMI Community Day 2019

The Harvard Macy Institute is a dedicated community of practice with more than 5600 alumni from 81 countries worldwide. We work hard to keep our community connected online, and one of our special initiatives is our annual #HMICommunity Day. This year, we celebrate 25 years of the Harvard Macy Institute with deepest gratitude to our worldwide community of healthcare professionals transforming education and healthcare delivery.

Please join us TODAY, August 13th 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!


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Implementing Collaborative Learning Methods

After reflecting on the two years we spent at the Harvard Macy Institute Program for Educators in the Health Professions course as learners and teachers, it became more apparent that health professions educators cannot just talk about collaborative learning methods. Instead, we must figure out a way to incorporate these pearls into our everyday practice to promote effective teaching and learning throughout the medical education continuum. During our time at the course, we have seen that by weaving collaborative learning methods into the delivery of education, knowledge is fostered, teamwork is promoted, and a true excitement for learning new concepts occurs. One challenge that may impede us from implementing collaborative learning methods into our own teaching strategies is lack of time; however, to be the change agents that healthcare needs, we have a duty to better prepare our learners for their future role as healthcare providers. How do we do this? The answer may not be that difficult. In fact, by using collaborative learning methods, you may find that students develop a deeper understanding as they practice synthesizing and applying healthcare concepts.

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Collaboration at its Best: Psychiatry Trainees Reflect on their Experience in the Harvard Macy Program for Post-Graduate Trainees

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.

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Developing Leaders Through an International Collaboration: Introducing sanokondu

Many health care systems are faced with increased demands for safe and effective health care delivery as well as easier access to affordable health care services. These developments have resulted in the need for reform to the socioeconomic, political and medical educational agendas of several countries around the world. Central to these agendas is the need for leader and leadership development in medical training programs and integrating leadership education into the curricula of these diverse programs. Over time, educational frameworks have emerged in different countries to address this need for physician leadership education and many of them describe leadership using concepts like professionalism, communication, collaboration, advocacy and scholarship. Still, the process of reform and the implementation of leadership education proves to be difficult to achieve in the formal training programs of physicians. In this blog post, we introduce readers to sanokondu which is an international collaboration aimed at developing leaders within medicine globally.

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Reflections Across the Career Continuum, One Year Post-Harvard Macy

In 2018, Cathy Grossman and Lekshmi Santhosh completed the Harvard Macy Program for Educators in the Health Professions. They were frequent seat mates in the back row. While there, they discovered they were both Pulmonary and Critical Care trained – but at different places temporally in their careers. They were also both clinician educators, however Lekshmi was in her fellowship while Cathy was a decade out of fellowship. We thought it would be interesting to ask them some questions about their experience and how they were both able to apply their new knowledge at their home institutions, at two distinctly different points in their careers.

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Behind the Curtain with Vinny Arora & Nirvani Goolsarran: Bridging Leaders

Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation Faculty Scholar and 2018 Scholar Vineet Arora, M.D., recently accepted the new Associate Chief Medical Officer-Clinical Learning Environment role at the University of Chicago Medicine. Vineet previously worked in graduate medical education to improve the clinical learning environment for residents and fellows by aligning institutional priorities with the work that trainees do on a daily basis. She is expanding this work to the whole health system, in her role as a “bridging leader.” She recently completed the Program in Health Professions Educators with Nirvani Goolsarran, an Associate Internal Medicine Program Director at Stony Brook University Hospital who is also a bridging leader in quality and education and active in the growing bridging leader community. We thought it would be interesting to ask them some questions about bridging leaders and how they were able to apply their knowledge gained at the course to these new roles.

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Scholar Testimonials of the Leadership and Innovation in Health Professions Course, Melbourne, Australia 2019

Our fourth iteration of the Leadership and Innovation in Health course was successfully held in February 2019 at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

The Harvard Macy Institute, in collaboration with the Monash Institute for Health and Clinical Education brought together faculty and scholars from across Australia and internationally to share their expertise and innovative responses to global health care and education challenges.

The response from our scholars was overwhelmingly positive with many enthusiastically providing testimonials to celebrate their successful learnings from the course, and their anticipated changes to their practice from these learnings.

We are proud to welcome another group of motivated health care professionals to the Harvard Macy Institute global community of practice.

Click here to learn more about our course and register your interest for Leadership and Innovation in Health, Melbourne, Australia, February 10-14, 2020. 

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Technology in education: Transforming how we connect and build our learning communities

Working through the online pre-course materials for the Harvard Macy course “Health Care Education 2.0 – Transforming your Teaching for the Digital Age” we could not help but wonder if technology has evolved to the point that courses such as this might soon be delivered in an entirely online format. As a busy health professions educator, perhaps this thought has occurred to you as well, as you pack your suitcase for yet another flight, set your away message again, and put your projects, clinics, patients or meetings on a temporary hold to attend professional conferences or courses. If you teach in the classroom, then you may have received similar feedback from your own students such as our favorite, “Next time, can this session just be available online? I prefer to watch lectures at night on 2x speed.”

Recent Comments
Julie A. Bridges

Thank You!

The Healthcare Education 2.0 course was rocket fuel motivation for us at Eastern Virginia Medical School because Dr. Hooper came b... Read More
Thursday, 28 March 2019 2:02 PM
Bobbie Ann A White

Thank you for the comment Juli...

Brooke is on fire with ideas! I went back to TAMU COM feeling like a sales person for the course. It was a truly transformational ... Read More
Wednesday, 03 April 2019 3:03 PM
Amanda Brooke Hooper MD, FACP

Thank YOU!

Thank you for encouraging me to attend this Harvard Macy course. It is a privilege and a joy to work with you Dr. Bridges!
Wednesday, 03 April 2019 4:04 PM
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