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


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#MedEdPearls Team:

  • Jean Bailey – Central Michigan University College of Medicine

  • Carrie Bowler – Mayo Clinic

  • Diane Brown –  Medical College of Wisconsin

  • Megan Haak – Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hosptitals

  • Larry Hurtubise (HCE2.0 '16) – Nationwide Children's Hospital The Ohio State University

  • Machelle Linsenmeyer  – West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Linda Love – University of Nebraska Medical Center

  • Leah Sheridan – The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Mark Terrell – Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

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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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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July 2020 #MedEdPearls:The HyFlex Option - Designing Course Delivery in a Time of Known Unknowns

In HyFlex courses, students can decide for each and every class meeting, group activity, assignment and assessment whether to sit in the classroom, join via videoconference in real-time, or complete online activities later. The HyFlex model offers institutions and programs the flexibility to deliver educational experiences as safely as possible and enhances their ability to pivot to remote teaching and learning quickly, if needed.  

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June 2020 #MedEdPearls: Out of Our Comfort Zone and Into the Fire: Ideas for Engaging Students Virtually

Martin & Bolliger describe Moore’s three types of interaction in effective online courses: (1) learner-to-learner interaction, (2) learner-to-instructor interaction, and (3) learner-to-content interaction and provide strategies to increase engagement.

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May 2020 #MedEdPearls: Back to Basics with the Plus/Delta During COVID-19

As educators, we must remember to go “back to basics,” in times of uncertainty or when we experience new teaching and learning challenges. Adult learners desire to give and receive feedback about their learning experiences. Educators navigating the transition to online teaching and learning can utilize this in their favor. Although varied methods can be utilized, one simple, efficient, translatable, and free way to do so is to implement the “Plus/Delta Debriefing Model” (Plus/Delta) as part of routine educational quality improvement.

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April 2020 #MedEdPearls: Mastering Adaptive Teaching in the Midst of COVID-19

The current coronavirus outbreak is forcing all educators to rapidly adapt to a new method of teaching - online. While many educators may have mastered their teaching domains in the classroom, virtual teaching will certainly challenge their mastery of adapting to this new learning environment. With the help of faculty development colleagues, we can remain nimble during times of rapid transition. How do we as medical educators stay resilient and step courageously into this unfamiliar territory?

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#MedEdPearl March 2020: Learning style preferences across a spectrum of learners

Have you ever encountered a cohort of learners who are all exactly the same? Likely not.Diversity in learning style preferences is increasing! A learning style preference is a desired or default set of cognitive, psychological, and social characteristics that learners exhibit in educational environments. In education, it is sometimes important to introduce desirable difficulty so learners are challenged to make concepts stick.

However, preceptors must be mindful of the myriad interactions with learners and modify their teaching styles accordingly to the learning style preference encountered (2). To illustrate, try this simple activity: Using a pencil, print your first and last name. Now repeat this same task but switch hands. What did you experience? While using your non-dominant hand, you probably experienced increased anxiety and decreased confidence and automaticity, and the task required increased time, concentration, effort, and attention while the quality of your handwriting decreased. By not attending to learning style preferences, it is akin to forcing learners to write with their non-dominant, non-preferred hand (3).

This pearl is a first of three devoted to the application of learning styles research in medical education.

How do you recognize learning style preference in your learners? Share your thoughts on Twitter at #MedEdPearls!

  1. Grasha A. 1994. A Matter of Style: The Teacher as Expert, Formal Authority, Personal Model, Facilitator, and Delegator. College Teaching, 42(4), 142-149.
  1. Vaughn L., Baker R. 2001. Teaching in the medical setting: balancing teaching styles, learning styles and teaching methods. Medical Teacher, 23(6), 610-612.
  1. Grasha I. 2010. The dynamics of one-on-one teaching. College Teaching, 50(4) 139-146.


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Alice Fornari

In support of learnign prefere...

thank you for the BLOG post i am a firm believer in learning styles as a framework to better understand who your learners are in ... Read More
Tuesday, 24 March 2020 12:12 PM
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#MedEdPearls February 2020: Psychological Safety and Accountability - The Secret Sauce of Health Professions Education

Think of a time when you were a member of an effective team (that was diverse or geographically dispersed. Why was it effective? How did this make you feel as a team member?

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Guest — Arhaan

Medical Education

"Thank you for sharing such great information. It has help me in finding out more detail about medical education"
Monday, 24 February 2020 7:07 AM
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#MedEdPearl January 2020: About Learner Feedback: The Gift No One Likes to Give but Really Should

Let’s be honest about one thing: No one likes giving constructive feedback to learners. Even with the brightest learners, the process can be quite daunting and, at times, repetitive. Yet, we find ourselves seeking support from colleagues and other experts in the field to find fresh ways to deliver effective feedback. This #MedEdPearls highlights the SPIKES protocol as a tool for learner feedback. In 2011, the tool was adapted by Thomas and Arnold to identify parallels between giving feedback and delivering bad news to patients. Additionally, they found the structure of the SPIKES protocol served as a buttress of support for medical professionals newer to the role of instructor. Consider the use of SPIKES the next time you deliver feedback:

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#MedEdPearls December 2019: Is There A Transformational Book for Educators?

This #MedEdPearls highlights the Ignite session that focused on the book “Make It Stick” and was facilitated by Deb Hagen Moe and Carrie Bowler at The Generalists in Medical Education - #TGME19. The session highlighted how the principles in the book have both empowered learners and faculty and led to curricular innovations within Pathology programs at the Mayo Clinic. 

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November #MedEdPearls: Trust Me – I’m a Doctor

Competency based medical education (CBME) is an outcomes-based time-independent concept that is informing curricular innovation across the country and beyond. The roll out of Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) has incited discussion about workplace-based assessment in the context of entrustment.

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October #MedEdPearls: Resources to ease MCQ test writing anxiety

School is back in full swing, and it is a good time for refreshing multiple-choice question (MCQ) exams. Download the following one-page guide for 5 basic steps of item writing.

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September #MedEdPearl – Small Group Instructional Diagnosis

Even though it seems classes just started, it is time to prepare for mid-semester evaluations. Unlike evaluations at the end of the semester, mid-semester evaluations are great tools to provide feedback to the instructor in time for adjustments to be made. This semester, consider a SGID—Small Group Instructional Diagnosis. A SGID is a short, 20-minute formative assessment activity that involves having a trained facilitator meet with student focus groups to discuss what’s working, what needs improvement, possible changes to the course, and how students see they are meeting course learning objectives. 

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ACGME 2019 Faculty Development Requirements

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) updated Common Program Requirements (CPRs) for faculty development in July 2019. Moving forward, all core faculty who educate, supervise, and evaluate trainees will be required to participate in at least four (4) faculty development areas annually: as educators; in quality improvement and patient safety; in fostering their own and their trainees’ well-being; and, in patient care based on their practice-based learning and improvement efforts.

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Peer Observation #MedEdPearls from #IAMSE19

At the 2019 IAMSE conference in Roanoke, Virginia a collaborative group of Central Group on Educational Affairs and Southern Group on Educational Affairs members facilitated an interactive workshop on implementing a Peer Observation of Instruction program. The process proposed is similar to the findings reported by Adriane Bell, Holly Meyer and Lauren Maggio this month in Teaching and Learning in Medicine. They found that most peer observation programs are voluntary and provide formative feedback with the sole purpose of teaching improvement. They also found that most programs use a three-phase process with a pre-observation meeting for goal setting, direct observation of teaching, and a post-observation meeting with feedback. The IAMSE workshop leveraged the Peer Observation of Teaching Handbook by Lori Newman, David Roberts, and Richard Schwartzstein.

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Appreciative Advising: Advising with the Student in Mind

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine annual conference was packed full of thought-provoking sessions, including an interesting discussion on appreciative inquiry (specifically appreciative advising).

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Guest — Subha Ramani

Very illuminating

Thanks for sharing this. I plan to adapt these principles to my feedback work. Subha
Tuesday, 18 June 2019 12:12 PM
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You have heard of microaggressions—“everyday subtle put downs directed towards a marginalized group which may be verbal or non-verbal and are typically automatic.” When these actions happen, whether in or out of the classroom, we’re often at a loss for how to address them.

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Peer Instruction-A Med Ed Pearl from the 2019 Annual CGEA Conference

At the 2019 Central Group on Educational Affairs Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Irina Overman and Brenda Roman from the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine shared their experiences with Peer Instruction (PI). PI is a learner‐centered instructional approach developed at Harvard University by Eric Mazur and a straight forward method for encouraging active learning.

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The Role of Emotionality in Teaching and Learning

Emotion and learning have been viewed largely as separate entities, often with the role of emotions in learning (e.g. anxiety) as hindering. However, recent research has pointed to the interdependence between emotions and learning, suggesting that emotions are important, and perhaps even central to the cognitive learning process. Biologically, emotions are powerful motivators of learning because they activate brain mechanisms (e.g amygdala) that originally evolved to manage our basic survival. When reflecting on past educational experiences, the best teacher most quickly recalled is usually one with whom an emotional bond existed. To maximize student understanding and transfer of educational experiences into real-world skills and careers, medical educators must find ways to leverage the emotional aspects of learning by:

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The Role of "Instructor Talk" in the Classroom

You can impact student success simply by the way you speak in the classroom! Instructor Talk is a term coined by researchers who looked at the impact non-content related language had on student success. Non-content language is the little things we say to students during a class session that foster a positive learning environment. Just by switching up how we talk to students can impact their perceptions. For example, switching from, “I have extended the deadline for the project” to “I have extended the deadline for the project to give you additional timeor from “We will begin today discussing . . .” to “To get you prepared, we will begin today discussing . . .” can help.

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Admin User

Great Advice

I really liked the idea of how adding a few additional words like “To get you prepared, we will begin today discussing . . .” to t... Read More
Wednesday, 20 February 2019 12:12 PM
Melissa Alexander

Important Tips for Directing A...

Thanks for some really useful phrases for directing learners’ attention!
Sunday, 24 February 2019 5:05 PM
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