Eva’s Excerpt October 2023

“Success is Leased and the Rent is Due Every Day” ~ JJ Watt and Buddy Morris

Many of you will have read the wonderful article about our LCME outcomes in The Record last month. I hope every one of you is proud of what we have accomplished because it is all of our collective work in clinical care, research, community outreach, innovation, and, of course, EDUCATION, that allows that outcome. Celebration of these milestones and accomplishments is critical. Recovery from the work that we do and have done is equally important. Without recovery, we cannot perform at our best and those outcomes we care so deeply about, suffer. After recovery, it is time to dig in again. Football season is here, and a friend of mine quoted JJ Watt (or maybe Buddy Morris, training coach) on our way home from recovery recently, Success is leased and the rent is due every day.” It is a valuable reminder that we can always improve, we can always find new challenges to take on, and we should never rest on our laurels. So, what is in store for education in the coming years?

In Undergraduate Medical Education (UME), we have a retreat planned in November. We will be returning to Busch Stadium (home of our largest curriculum build retreat) to look deeply at Phase 1 and Phase 2 integration, content, pedagogy and timing. Goals are to learn from each other, ensure best practices, and continually improve the curriculum. We will also launch a comprehensive, proactive, and systematic medical student wellness program built around the eight dimensions of wellness described by SAMSHA. We will evaluate the effectiveness of this program (thank you to Dr. Quinn Tyminski for developing the program evaluation plan), and use the knowledge gained to develop best practices across our educational programs.

In Graduate Medical Education (GME), we have recently moved to a new, shared office space in MCC with our BJC partners – a single front door for our program directors, coordinators, residents and fellows. Together with BJH and SLCH, and led by Dr. Dominique Cosco, Associate Dean GME and DIO, we are working closely with our program directors and departments to improve multiple aspects of resident/ fellow onboarding, our programs and the benefits and working lives of our residents and fellows. Similar to UME, Dr. Jenny Duncan, Director of Wellness for GME, is developing and implementing a systematic plan for wellness for our residents/ fellows including additional support for mental health services and peer support for adverse events, as well as central and program-specific programming to support other dimensions of wellness. Last year, Dr. Abby Spencer and Dr. Dominique Cosco launched the Program Director Boot Camp with great success, and it will continue, with iterative improvements, to help better prepare our program directors for their critical work in GME.

Our other professional programs have at least as much going on. OT is preparing for its accreditation and is launching curriculum renewal. They also recently launched an innovative largely online post-professional doctoral degree. PT, like MD, is in the final year of its curriculum transformation, and is the first competency-based PT program nationally! They have also recently launched a new clinical residency program in Orthopedics. Our new and highly successful Genetics Counseling program is already expanding in size. Our Medical Physics program has added a PhD and is developing a part-time PhD for those currently in practice in medical physics who want to expand their work to research and other scholarly pursuits. Audiology and Communication Sciences continues to shine as one of the best programs in the country.

Within research training, our PhD programs launched their first shared orientation this year and have plans for expansion and community building. DBBS has already launched groups looking at curriculum transformation and is leading local efforts to ensure the recruitment and retention of a diverse and inclusive scientific workforce.

Finally, the Academy of Educators continues to expand, improve, and iterate. In addition to FITS, Teaching Scholars, Assessment and other courses, the Academy is launching new workshops on career development and other critical topics for educators. It recently finished the first iteration of a program led by Dr. Steve Taff on Building Inclusive Learning Environments for Learners with Disabilities (BUILD), and in collaboration with the Medical Education Research Unit and Dr. Jan Hanson is running a series of courses on health professions education scholarship. Finally, the Academy hosts our interprofessional Med Ed Day coming up on October 10, 2023. If you have not visited the website and perused their programs lately, I STRONGLY encourage you to do so.

This is just a smattering of the amazing things we are working on here in education. Each and every person is role modelling that “success is leased and rent is due every day.” No resting on our laurels here! I am proud and impressed with all of your successes, but more importantly, I am awe struck by your commitment to continually improving on what we do to ensure we are achieving our mission of inspiring learners to create the future in medicine, science and society.

With Gratitude,