In response to resident and faculty interest, UVA began offering a Clinical Educator Track for rising PGY2 residents in May 2016. The track is intended to give up to four residents in the rising PGY2 class additional training and mentored practice during residency to facilitate success early in careers as clinical educators. For other residents interested in education, a clinical education elective month can also be pursued during the PGY-2 or PGY-3 year.
The design of the track provides:
a deeper didactic exposure to medical education than traditional conferences on resident-as-teacher
direct observation and feedback from faculty on teaching skills in a variety of settings
unique exposure to educational opportunities in undergraduate and graduate medical education
opportunity for workshop and curriculum design
mentorship and participation in educational research opportunities
a smaller learning community of residents with shared interest and commitment to a career incorporating clinical education
The structure of this longitudinal track includes monthly didactic seminars over 12 months from the end of the PGY1 year to the end of the PGY2 year. Ongoing mentorship, feedback, and academic development will occur throughout the PGY3 year. Sample topics include adult learning theory, assessment and feedback, teaching skills based on setting, and curriculum development. Each seminar is preceded by assigned reading to prepare residents for that month’s topic. Throughout the year, there are planned sessions and opportunities to actively practice various skills and approaches with mentored feedback in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
The Clinical Educator track has it all, and my love for teaching has never been greater.
I have been passionate about helping others learn ever since I first started coaching Little League baseball. Then medical school sparked a fire, and I realized I wanted to be a teacher. I knew I had to have a residency program that would be committed to helping this new-found love to flourish. Here at UVA, the Clinical Educator track is designed to do just that. Every month I spend protected time with my colleagues and mentors whose enthusiasm for education is contagious. Together, we delve into each aspect of learning, from understanding how we learn and teach clinical reasoning, to providing feedback, presenting polished chalk talks, and teaching physical exam skills at the bedside alongside master clinicians. Most importantly, the direct supervision and feedback I receive continue to help me grow and refine my craft.
From early in my medical career, I knew I wanted to focus on academic medicine.
I decided to apply and rank UVA internal medicine highly in part due to the newly formed clinical educator (CE) track. I love teaching at all levels, whether on the wards in a team environment or directly with patients as part of a therapeutic relationship. The CE track has given me the opportunity to study adult learning theory in a didactic setting and apply what I’ve learned in the clinical setting. The one-on-one direct feedback that I’ve received from seasoned educators has proven invaluable to my development as a resident educator. Through the track, I have participated in monthly sessions with the program director and other faculty members who have a passion for academic medicine. They have not only taught me their unique skill sets and provided mentorship, but have also served as role models for my future as an academic physician.
Participating in the Clinical Educator track through UVA’s Internal Medicine program has been an excellent experience for me.
While I knew I would have many wonderful opportunities for the research-related aspects of academic medicine at UVA, it was incredibly important for me to also have exposure to learning how to educate those who will be medicine’s future. The CE track has allowed me to learn about teaching and adult learning in ways that have not only inspired me to become a better educator, but also a better learner myself. The combination of classroom time, as well as active time practicing teaching, creates something that is truly unique to UVA and gives residents an opportunity to expand their horizons in making a true impact on the future of academic medicine. I truly believe that this track has had a wonderful impact on the education of students and my co-residents, my own education, and even the education of my patients.