Harvard Macy Community Blog

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

A Clinician’s Reflection on Teaching without Training

Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to teach Nurse Practitioner (NP) students in both clinical and classroom settings. Teaching, especially regarding topics about which I am passionate, can be incredibly rewarding. However, I have found that doing so without training as an educator can also be tremendously challenging. 

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Guest — Taouba

Totally agree!

Hi Danielle! I really enjoyed reading your post. I can relate as I have seen a real shift in my students' progress after implement... Read More
Wednesday, 15 September 2021 6:06 PM
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Behind the Mask: Lessons in Professional Identity Formation

Medical students are constantly molding and reshaping their sense of identity in response to multiple internal and external forces coupled with their evolving understanding of what it means to be a physician. It is normal for students to struggle with their professional identity at any given point in time during their educational journey. Much of the identity work that takes place during medical school takes occurs through the informal processes embedded within the hidden curriculum. In this setting, students are told one thing in the formal learning setting while observing something completely different in the clinical environment. This juxtaposition contributes to identity conflict, particularly if a student is trying to be accountable to multiple influences that don’t align. 

With this in mind, helping medical learners explore their professional identity formation (PIF) is a central responsibility in medical education. To facilitate this, we have adapted the use of mask making in the specific context of examining PIF in medical education. Human beings are biologically conditioned to respond to faces. Masks, therefore, evolve from a longstanding and fundamental human need to explore meaning and belonging, navigate transitions and ensure survival. As such, the act of mask making represents both process (constructing the mask) and product (the mask itself). Mask-making, therefore, is a unique modality to foster reflective expression and professional growth.

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Guest — Dan Pratt

Masks or Poems

Mark gave a wonderful workshop in the Spring of 2021. He asked us to reflect on who is behind the professional mask we wear. It wa... Read More
Tuesday, 07 September 2021 9:09 PM
Guest — Mark Stephens

Thank you Dr. Pratt

Dan- Thank you so much for your very kind words. I have long admired your contributions to medical education and am so grateful t... Read More
Wednesday, 08 September 2021 1:01 AM
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October 2020 #HMIChat Recap: The Synergy of Quality Improvement and Education in Healthcare

As health professions educators, we strive to train professionals who deliver high quality care that is timely, effective, efficient, equitable, patient-centered, and safe. Health professions education is necessary but not sufficient for high quality care and requires more than principles of quality improvement - involving all stakeholders to make the changes that will lead to better patient outcomes, better system and better professional development are fundamental to change and are often more readily accessible than it may seem.

The October #HMIChat “The Synergy of Quality Improvement and Education in Healthcare” resulted in robust discussion by the community of practice on the “why” and “how” participants contextualize education in healthcare quality improvement.

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Pandemic Pandemonium – Finding Constancy During the COVID-19 Era

As health professions educators, teachers, family, friends and as humans… we are still reflecting on 2020 and working towards a better 2021 and beyond. Many of us find comfort in academic medicine with a predictability of caring for patients, teaching trainees, and promoting self-learning. But how many of us expected to navigate a full-blown pandemic? Raise your hand if you graduated from your training feeling “if there is a pandemic, I am ready!”

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#MedEdPearls August 2021: Returning to Campus with Intention

As many of us are preparing to return to work, it is important to consider what that return looks like and how we will approach our work differently post pandemic. A recent article in the Harvard Business Publishing Education section prompts higher education institutions to consider a four-step framework for implementing best practices resulting from the COVID era.

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