Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My Quest for a Masters in Medical Education

By: Jean Miner, MD, FACS; Co-Chair of the AWS Clinical Practice Committee

“See one, do one, teach one.” Most, if not all surgical trainees heard this throughout their residency years.  Was this the best way back in the day? Probably not.  Is it the best way now? Certainly not. 

The dynamics of surgical education have changed drastically over the past decade.  A combination of duty hour restrictions, new learning initiatives, technological advancements and stringent requirements have necessitated that educators adapt new methodologies of teaching.  When we all think back to our favorite professors and instructors, it seems as if teaching came naturally to them, but as we now know, teaching is hard.  And it is even more difficult to do it well.

Over the past few years, I realized that my formalized knowledge of curriculum development, assessment methods and teaching practice was inadequate to teach the next generation of surgeons.  Coming to this awareness, I determined my own need for training to become a better educator.  At that point, I started to search for formal opportunities and found a multitude of options for pursuing further education. 

I wanted to share some me of my findings in the hope that it may make it easier for colleagues interested in a structured curriculum to find their perfect match.  Below, is a summary of the options that interested me most.

After careful deliberation and a year of procrastination, I chose to pursue a Master’s in Medical Education at the University of New England’s program for several reasons.  The completely online aspect was essential as I didn’t want to worry about travelling for any portion and I can complete assignments at whatever time works for me.  Secondly, the format is such that assignments are always due on Wednesdays and Saturdays for each course.  This has allowed me to develop a routine to meet the deadlines.  The cost is reasonable for advanced education.  Finally, the most important feature is the flexibility.  After four credits in one of the two disciplines, a student is awarded certification.  I particularly liked this option because I was uncertain whether I would be able to keep up the pace for the traditional two year structure.  The program allows for a student who has gained certification to complete the full Master’s program within 5 years.

I have now completed my first course, “Improving Instructional Effectiveness” and have thoroughly enjoyed every aspect.  Already, the knowledge gained from the course has allowed me to implement effective changes within my daily teachings.

Master’s Programs

University of New England
The master's degree in Medical Education Leadership is a two-year web-based program designed especially for working professionals that utilizes asynchronous, distance learning within a professional community. The 33-credit hour MEL curriculum is designed to enhance your skills in a variety of professional areas of academic medicine—curriculum, instruction, assessment, personnel development, organizational development, leadership skills, business and finance, and research and evaluation—through professional application and scholarship. The master’s degree also allows for two electives (three credits each) and culminates in an applied project. The final requirement of the program is a professional portfolio that is a longitudinal integration and application of learning.


Online Graduate Certificates

Program Development in Academic Medicine 

This twelve-credit hour program provides you with the core program development concepts in curriculum, instruction, learner assessment, program evaluation and research methods in academic medicine. This set of courses is one of the foundations for the UNE Master of Science in Medical Education Leadership.


Leadership Development in Academic Medicine

This twelve-credit hour program provides you with the core leadership development concepts in personnel development, organizational development, leadership skill training, and business/finance in academic medicine. This set of courses is one of the foundations for the Master of Science in Medical Education Leadership.

Approximately $23,000 for full Master’s degree

The Master of Academic Medicine is offered through the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California in collaboration with the Schools of Dentistry and Pharmacy. Our program employs a blended model, combining on-line coursework with on-campus face-to-face sessions, one week each March.

A Master’s Program for Today's Challenges
Our goal is to cultivate leaders who will develop and advance educational programs for healthcare professions globally. Health professions education is continuously evolving, which requires leaders that are process experts with a broad repertoire of approaches that can be applied to varied content arenas and situations. The program addresses a challenge in health professions' education - the need for qualified educators who can model and lead change in their respective schools and programs. Graduates will be positioned to guide future generations of health professionals toward better meeting the health needs of our global society.

Approximately $50,000 (not including travel for one week in CA)

The Johns Hopkins University, through an innovative collaboration of its Schools of Business, Education, Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health, is offering a world class degree - the Master of Education in the Health Professions (MEHP) - that prepares a new generation of health professionals to teach effectively for schools and training programs related to medicine, public health, nursing, and other health professions.

The MEHP program consists of an 18-credit core in Evidence Based Teaching--which can also be taken as a stand-alone post-master's certificate--and a 15-credit option to focus on educational research or educational leadership. The program format is entirely online.

Approximately $40,000

Additional Master’s Programs

Courses/ Fellowship

The six-day intensive course is designed to provide surgeons with the knowledge and skills to enhance their abilities as teachers and administrators of surgical education programs.
The course emphasizes the needs of adult learners and the techniques necessary to develop an effective learning environment for medical students, surgical residents, colleagues, and others in the health profession. The maximum class size of 32 allows highly interactive sessions

$3,950 for American College of Surgeons members
$4,450 for nonmembers

A one year, home-site fellowship designed to equip investigators with the skills and knowledge needed to plan, implement and report research studies in the field of surgical education. Following acceptance into the SERF program, each fellow is carefully matched by the program's faculty with a SERF Adviser, a respected and knowledgeable researcher who will serve as the fellow's mentor and consultant on their particular project. ($1700)

Jean Miner, MD, FACS is the Program Director for General Surgery Residency at Florida Hospital, Associate Professor, UCFCOM & FSUSOM and serves as the Co-Chair of the AWS Clinical Practice Committee. 

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