Harvard Macy Community Blog

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

#MedEdPearls June 2021: Dare to Fail!

Have you ever asked yourself what you would attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? Failure is scary. It is typically not celebrated or advertised. However, in this #MedEdPearls, we look at ways to acknowledge and embrace our vulnerabilities and find the childlike wonder that comes from failure and leads to innovation. If we are not attempting great things, amazing things stop happening. By embracing failure, amazing things become possible. 

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The Harvard Macy Institute Podcast Season 2 Episode 4: Developing Leaders for Healthcare and Education

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. 

Season 2, Episode 4 features Harvard Macy Institute Leading Innovations in Health Care and Education course directors Liz Armstrong, Derek van Bever and Josh Nagler, together with 2020 scholars Tanya Holt and Tanya Horsley, reflection on the why, what and how of developing leaders for 21st century education and healthcare.           

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Lessons from a Mobile Classroom Pilot: Rebuilding Trust with Underserved Populations During the Pandemic

That this past summer the Baystate Health WOW (Wellness on Wheels) bus, our mobile healthcare effort, rolled out into the community during the national crisis seems antithetic to our current context of virtual learning and social distance. As the pandemic hit underserved communities of black and Latinx residents in Western Massachusetts, the privilege of a planning period for the mobile classroom was replaced with an urgency to intervene.

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Making Lemonade: Reimagining the Visiting Professorship during a Pandemic

Shrouded in tradition and long held symbol of prestige in academia, the Visiting Professorship has arguably lost its original purpose of furthering education, and rather has remained a vestige of academic notoriety and fodder for promotion. As such, and in particular in the setting of economic hardships, the Visiting Professorship has been diminishing in popularity, with the few major academic radiology programs who host Visiting Professors reporting hosting just a handful per year. However, the educational advantages of a lecture or a didactic case conference by physician subject experts from different institutions have been long documented and are in particular advantageous in a rapidly evolving field such as radiology. Thus, as the pandemic upended medical education everywhere and radiology case volumes have drastically dropped which significantly decreased radiology residents’ educational opportunities we sought to leverage the increasing widespread utilization of videoconferencing and reinvented Visiting Professorship in a virtual format. 

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Thinking Outside the Box: Rethinking Medical Education of the Younger Generation During a Pandemic

The beginning of the COVID-19 surge indicated that we could not safely see our pediatric patients in the office. But patients still needed us either for sick visits, issues related to population health, or reassurance. We could not abandon them. Within the scope of 24-48 hours, we as clinicians were training ourselves on how to teach patients how to connect to MyChart, and use Zoom for telemedicine. At the same time, we were learning how to conduct histories and physicals using telemedicine. Our neuronal connections likely grew exponentially! Soon, we found ways to educate the younger generation, to bring them along this adventure into uncharted territories full of seemingly unsurmountable difficulties which we soon learned to overcome.

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