What I learned from all those pediatric medical student education leaders
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Not too many things are more inspiring than participating in a conference among people who are there solely "to promote exemplary teaching practices, advance innovation and scholarship in medical student education, and foster personal growth, professional success, and collaboration," like they do at COMSEP, the Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics. Upon returning home from this annual meeting in Indianapolis, I reflect on some key points gleaned from great colleagues around this country (and Canada!):
- Many medical educators are studying and making innovative use of team-based learning, medical student peer assessment, forward feeding, interactive teaching, CLIPP cases, simulation, and reflective writing (among other things).
- "Mindfulness is medicine" is... hard to define, but includes an awareness of the present moment, and reflection, clear thinking, and open-heartedness.
- It is possible to plan a successful workshop with your collaborators solely by phone, email, and dropbox files.
- You can meet real live scholarly, interesting, clever people (in real life) who you otherwise only knew from a #meded chat.
- Writing a grant is like writing a recipe. But no worries, here it is probably a good thing to have lots of cooks (and tasters, like feedback).
- Planning a budget for your medical education grant is like "planing what goes into a diaper bag." Has to be comprehensive, must include everything that you will need.
- You can enjoy and tweet (parts of) an academic meeting even if you don't (yet) have an iPad.
- It's important to understand what statistics to choose for your medical education research, and then know what questions to ask in consulting a statistician. Do consult statisticians, but don't necessarily make it a STAT consult! That is, prepare first, refine your research question and think about your study design. In addition, I am reminded and rejuvenated about qualitative inquiry that is exploratory and richly descriptive.
- Indianapolis isn't just for Super Bowls and race cars. Going to academic conferences will bring you to experience new places. Next year (COMSEP/APPD) in Nashville! Oh, and speaking of geography, (some) Canadians like to spell pediatrics as paediatrics.
- Scholarship in medical education means taking what you do every day and doing more with it. Innovate, collaborate, evaluate, apply, integrate, disseminate... and think about next steps even while your on first steps.
Already planning another workshop for next time, on mentoring trainees
And, before you go to your next conference do check out this post
About the Expert
Terry Kind, MD, MPH, is Director of Pediatric Medical Student Education at Children's National Health System. For the last decade she has also served as a primary care pediatrician at the Children's National Health Center at Martin Luther King, Jr., Avenue, in Washington, DC.