UVA began offering a Clinical Educator Track for rising PGY2 residents in May 2016. The track is intended to give interested 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 for opportunities to grow as a teacher with feedback from faculty and chief residents.
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
As of 2020, the structure of this longitudinal track involves a weeklong medical education “boot camp” early in the PGY2 year. This is composed of seminars on topics such as adult learning theory and curriculum development, assessment and feedback, teaching skills across a host of different settings, mentorship of struggling learners, and technology in education. Sessions are preceded by assigned readings to prepare for the seminar and are led by faculty experts in each topic. This boot camp encourages track participants to identify an area of interest within medical education early in their training, allowing time during the remainder of PGY2 and PGY3 years to design and implement a scholarly project under faculty mentorship, which can lead to submission to an academic conference or journal. Track participants also participate in unique opportunities to practice teaching skills in different settings throughout the remainder of their residency, with faculty supervision and feedback.
This project could not have been done without the experience I gained in the CE track, and the ongoing guidance has been fantastic.
When I started residency at UVA, I honestly did not expect to become involved with clinical education, largely due to the fact that I did not have much prior exposure to teaching. What I learned is that UVA is already very committed to and does an outstanding job in providing the interns and residents with ample teaching opportunities. Within the first few months of my intern year, teaching became a new passion of mine, and I wanted to hone these skills further. Since joining the CE track, I have truly appreciated all that it has been able to offer. This is a two-year mentorship with the PD and the associate program directors that has provided me with active workshops and didactics to improve on skills involved in curriculum development, bedside teaching with medical students, and morning report presentations with residents. It has also given me the opportunity to develop an EKG curriculum for our residency program. When I noticed that improvements could be made with our residency’s current EKG learning, my goal was to develop a longitudinal EKG lecture series and implement it into our morning report schedule. With the support of the CE track and its mentors, I have been able to create and teach my own lectures to the residents.
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.