Medical Education Day

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Medical Education Day 2015



Taking the New Curriculum to the Clinical Realm


Tuesday, October 27, 2015  ~ 11:00-5:30pm


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Harvard Medical School  -  Tosteson Medical Education Center (TMEC) Amphitheater and Atrium  -  260 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA


On August 3, 2015 the Pathways curriculum was unveiled for our new first year class at Harvard Medical School. Courses have been redesigned and faculty have been busy learning and practicing new interactive teaching formats, developing exciting visual resource materials, and pushing the boundaries of their skills as educators. But there is much to be done as students embark on early clinical experiences and we work to ensure that the new emphasis on clinical reasoning/critical thinking and problem solving, along with seamless integration of empathy, science, and clinical medicine are successful and continue on to our GME programs. In the end, any curriculum is only as good as the faculty who teach it.

Come join us for Medical Education Day 2015 on Tuesday, October 27 as we work together to take the educational philosophy embedded in Pathways to the clinical realm and consider its implications for residency and fellowship training. In addition to a keynote address by Dr. Thomas Viggiano, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at Mayo Medical School, there will be two sets of concurrent workshops, which have been designed to provide you with key skills to enhance your work as a teacher in this changing education environment.





Schedule of Events

11:30 to 11:40 am 

Introductory Remarks 
Richard M. Schwartzstein, MD

11:40 to 12:45 pm

Keynote Address: Optimizing Clinical Education: Forming Critical Thinkers in a Culture of Caring
Thomas R. Viggiano, MD- Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs- Mayo Medical School 

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1:00 to 3:40 pm

Workshop Sessions 1 & 2 (options will repeat)


1. Professionalism: It is not just about you
Hope Ricciotti MD, Jo Shapiro, MD

There is a growing understanding of the relationship between professionalism, our institutional culture - how we interact with each other every day - and the quality of patient care. Culture is built in small acts, both positive and negative. Culture isboth hugely impactful and not explicit; that is, there are no cultural policies or handbooks. If we are to enhance the culture of respect and professionalism, we must do so by first examining both what facilitates as well as what undermines highly professional behavior, and be intentional in our efforts to change culture. In this session, using role play, didactics and facilitated group discussion, we will examine the factors contributing to improved culture and professionalism, and discuss how to build an institutional program to support professional interactions throughout the institution, holding both the individual as well as the institution accountable for the culture we create. 

By the end of this session, attendees will be able to:

  • Describe the role of institutional culture, its importance and how it affects attitudes, behaviors, processes and outcomes of care 
  • Recognize the connection between institutional culture and professionalism
  • Identify the enhancers and barriers to resolving conflict among health care team members
  • Apply the skill of using frame-based feedback to relationship building on all levels


2. Integrating Basic Science at the Bedside
Bernard Chang, MD, MMSc  and Robert Stanton, MD

The importance of basic science integration at the bedside in the ongoing education of medical students and housestaff is likely not in dispute among HMS faculty members, but there are a number of challenges in achieving this integration, including the availability of qualified teachers and the hospital-based pressures surrounding clinical efficiency and teaching resources.  In addition, the term "basic science" encompasses a large range of disciplines, some of which integrate with clinical medicine more naturally than others. In this workshop, participants will participate initially in a brainstorming session, led by the workshop leaders, focusing on the aspects of basic science that are most appropriate to integrate in the clinical realm, and the faculty members who are best positioned to achieve this integration.  Participants will then divide into small groups  to design specific types of teaching sessions (e.g., didactic conferences, basic science walk rounds, student- or resident-led peer teaching, outpatient clinic lunch sessions, etc.) that would be most appropriate for basic science integration at the bedside.  Groups will report back to the entire workshop on their specific suggestions, and the session will conclude with a summary by the workshop leaders, who will develop an itemized list of concrete recommendations.

By the end of the session, attendees will be able to:

  • Analyze the value of integrating basic science education into the clinical realm but also the limitations and obstacles in being able to do this successfully
  • Define what is meant by "basic science" when it comes to bedside integration and which faculty members are best able to participate in this integration
  • Develop three concrete suggestions for specific types of teaching sessions that would be most appropriate for the integration of basic science at the bedside.


3. The Art of Asking Questions: This is not your average quiz show
Richard Schwartzstein, MD and Jonathan Hausmann, MD

The proper use of questions, whether in the classroom or at the bedside, can open a window to the learner's thinking and can promote new insights into the way to approach a problem. In addition, by stimulating the student or resident to provide her own answer, the resulting learning is deeper and more enduring. On the other hand, inappropriate use of questions may stifle curiosity and inhibit interactive learning opportunities. In this workshop, we will explore the uses (and abuses) of questions as tool to foster integration of knowledge, higher order thinking, and self-directed learning.

By the end of the session, attendees will be able to:

  • Describe the use of questions to enhance critical thinking
  • Employ questions to assist students in understanding their knowledge gaps and their thinking processes
  • Create a safe learning environment to foster the use of questions
  • Assist students in creating their own questions to reinforce learning


Article 1 
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4. Self-Directed Learning: Moving Beyond Directed Self Learning
Andrew Lichtman, MD, PhD  and Eli Miloslavsky, MD 

It is clearly necessary for physicians to continuously engage in learning activities in order to keep pace with advances in medical science and practice and therefore to maintain their expertise and competence. In order to engage in effective career-long learning, a variety of behaviors are required, described as self-directed (or self-regulated) learning.  However, studies suggest that physicians are poorly prepared to engage in self-directed learning after medical school.  In year 1 of the Pathways curriculum, we are emphasizing active learning and critical thinking pedagogies, which we predict will help in development of self-directed learning. What more do we need to do to ensure that our students will become effective self-directed learners beyond the school environment?

In this workshop, participants will first formulate a self-directed learning behavior "competency" list. Then, using specific examples, we will develop a framework for thinking about how the learning environment, educational activities, learning supports and assessment strategies can promote those behaviors through medical school and residency training. Finally, we will apply our ideas to the Pathways curriculum and consider implications for GME training, asking how and when we incorporate activities that promote self-directed learning skills, and assessment of those skills. Embedded in our discussion, we may address some of the following questions: How do activities such as directed self-learning, question framing, informed self-assessment, and guided self-audit feedback /assessment promote self-directed learning behaviors? Can self-directed learning skills be taught? How do current assessment approaches influence the development of self-directed learning skills? 

By the end of the session, attendees will be able to:

  • Recognize the fundamental skills and behaviors required to engage in career-long self-directed learning. 
  • Identify aspects of learning activities and the educational environment that can influence the development of self-directed learning skills and behaviors.
  • Propose specific ways to promote self-directed learning skills and behaviors at different stages of the Pathways curriculum.


5. Giving voice to The "Silent" Curriculum: Race & Ethnic Relations, Cultural Sensitivity, and Explicit Reflection in Medical Education
Faculty Planning Committee: Hidden Curriculum Interest Group

The healthcare community is working to promote a more multiculturally aware and tolerant system for patients and their families, as well as for our staff, faculty and students. But in our era of patient-centered care, what do you do when a clinic patient asks to see a 'white' doctor? Are you aware when the 'silent curriculum' shows up in your teaching? Under the stress and pressure of patient care, have we ever made insensitive jokes to blow off steam -- or laughed at an attending's insensitive joke? Prejudice and racial discrimination are still critical issues for all Americans, as has been painfully apparent in recent events taking place in Ferguson Missouri, New York City, Baltimore Maryland, and elsewhere. As educators we must confront how we will address in everyday experiences those attitudes and behaviors displaying evidence of underlying racial biases. The hard work of transforming unconscious biases is possible by increasing awareness of and examining our own attitudes about race and ethnicity.

In this case-based workshop, participants will examine the challenges posed by implicit biases, through interactive exercises. We will explore narratives from own own experiences. In exploring implicit biases in medical education through role modeling and dialogue, we want to set the tone for a model community, one which makes such challenges explicit, with a commitment to shared reflection and mindful choices within our community of learners and educators.

By the end of the session, attendees will be able to:

  • Explore through case discussion and experiential exercise how racial biases may manifest in the Silent Curriculum and how implicit but unintended messages may be internalized by learners
  • Describe strategies to make such issues explicit and a focus for shared reflection with learners
  • Link issues of hidden bias to healthcare disparities


6. Building Resilience in Our Learners: Learning how to get back in the saddle 
Eileen Reynolds, MD  and Fidencio Saldaña, MD, MPH

Burnout levels are high in students, residents, and faculty.  Contributing factors include intensive workload, lack of control over schedule, perceived unfairness, and potential for value conflicts with work. The new curriculum hopes to increase student preparation, class participation and individualized feedback, which may increase stress and may make students reluctant to stretch intellectually into unknown territory.  In this workshop we will review what (little) is known about resilience and combating burnout in medical students and residents. We will think together about potential pitfalls in our environments and interventions at the structural and individual levels that can help learners with resilience. 

By the end of this session, attendees will be able to:

  • Describe the literature on burnout and resilience in medicine with attention to students and residents
  • Identify ways in which the new curriculum might add to stress and burnout
  • Outline structural and individual interventions that HMS, the hospitals, and course directors might implement to foster resilience in learners 
3:50-4:20 pm

Medical Education Day Abstract Award Ceremony

Click here to view Abstract Award Recipients 

4:30-5:30 pm Poster Session & Reception



Course Director:
Richard M. Schwartzstein, MD, Director of the Academy at Harvard Medical School

Course Planners:
Katharyn Meredith Atkins, MD 
Andrew H. Lichtman, MD 
Barbara Cockrill, MD 

The Harvard Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The Harvard Medical School designates this live activity for a maximum of  3.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity

Past Medical Education Day Pages:

Medical Education Day 2014
Medical Education Day 2013
Medical Education Day 2012
Medical Education Day 2011
Medical Education Day 2010



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To create and nurture a diverse community of the best people committed to leadership in alleviating human suffering caused by disease