August 31, 2007

VUSM program seeks to spur creative teaching ideas

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VUSM program seeks to spur creative teaching ideas

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine has awarded eight educational seed grants in support of innovative ideas in teaching and learning.

In conjunction with the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education and the Office for Teaching and Learning in Medicine, proposals were sought for projects that implement a new curricular idea or research an educational problem in undergraduate, graduate and continuing medical education.

Seventeen grant proposals were submitted and three faculty judges reviewed the ideas on 14 criteria along six dimensions: purpose and rationale, method, analysis/evaluation, project impact and utility, appropriateness of funding request and overall rating.

“These seed grants will serve to promote our educational mission,” said Dean Steven Gabbe, M.D.

“The proposal review committee made wonderful choices and this is a great start to this fledgling program.”

The initial $24,000 funding pool will be divided among the eight proposals. VUSM plans to award educational grants on an annual basis.

“We want to promote scholarship among our teaching faculty,” said John Shatzer, Ph.D., director of the Office of Teaching and Learning in Medicine.

“One of the explicit reasons is we want our clinical educators, as well as the basic scientists, to take educational scholarship as one of their charges and to pursue and excel in it.”

The proposals that were selected span a wide range of curricular innovations that not only examine content, but how to best use that content. VUSM faculty submitted most of the winning proposals, and Internet technology was a recurring theme.

“People are looking at technology as a way to better document what they are doing or to make learning more user-friendly,” said Bonnie Miller, M.D., associate dean for Undergraduate Medical Education. “The Internet allows physicians to learn at a time that is convenient for them.”

Miller said the success of the seed grants will be measured by how many projects are implemented and how they are evaluated by the students and residents they target.

“This is not just a theoretical kind of thing. Implementation is the goal,” she said.

The grant recipients and their proposals are:

• Nick Desai, M.D. — “An Online Curriculum for Adolescent Medicine.”

• Gregory Plemmons, M.D., — “Telling Patient Stories: Narrative Medicine/Medical Writing.”

• Richard Fremont, M.D., and Lorraine Ware, M.D. — “A Case-Based Online Curriculum for More Uniform Education in the Medical Intensive Care Unit.”

• Beth Ann Sastre, M.D., Anderson Spickard III, M.D., and Josh Denny, M.D., — “Teaching Evidence-Based Medicine: Searching Skills.”

• Melinda New, M.D., — “An Online Ob/Gyn Curriculum in Ambulatory Care.”

• Joseph Gigante, M.D., and Rebecca Swan, M.D., — “A Simplified Observation Tool for Pediatric Residents in Continuity Clinic.”

• Sumi Misra, M.D., Mohana Karlekar, M.D., James Bridges, M.D., Ralf Habermann, M.D., Melinda Henderson, Barbara Murphy, M.D., and James Power, M.D., — “An Innovative, Holistic, Interdisciplinary, Multi-Site, Palliative Care-Based Approach to Train Medical Students to Care for Patients Facing Advanced Illness and Death Across the Continuum of Care.”

• Hariette Scarpero, M.D., Derenda Gold, M.D., and Joseph Smith, M.D. — “The Effect of Formal Mentoring Program on Competency Teaching and Assessment in Urology Training.”