Friday, October 28, 2016

A Georgetown Medical Student’s Experience at MedStar Franklin Square: Connecting with a Patient and Delivering His First Child

A few weeks ago I shared about an exciting partnership between Georgetown University School of Medicine and MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center to facilitate a new, Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC) curriculum that partners third-year medical students with patients from across the care continuum. This experience immerses the students in a care provider role and also allows them to get to know patients quite well in the process; additionally students are experiencing the workings of the health care system first-hand. I had the privilege of meeting with the students last week to check-in on how the experience was to date, and I was so pleased to hear experiences like the one described below that really underscore the value in this approach to the medical education clerkship. Please read more from Daniel Gawron.

As a part of the Longitudinal Integrated Curriculum at Franklin Square, we are provided the unique opportunity to assemble our own patient cohort, whom we follow throughout our clerkship. We see these patients during our own weekly clinic hours, as well as accompany them to various specialty appointments when needed. There’s no better example of this process working to perfection than my experience with one of my longitudinal patients.

I first met this patient in clinic when she was 36 weeks pregnant. She generously accepted me to be part of her care team and we developed a relationship over the course of her next 4 prenatal visits. I learned from her in many ways during those visits, not only furthering my medical knowledge, but also gaining a deeper appreciation for the process of pregnancy.

The ability to see her on a regular basis allowed me to gain her trust; so much that she was happy for me to deliver her baby. She came to the hospital early on a Sunday morning after her water broke; I arrived shortly thereafter and together with the help of a resident and attending physician, I delivered my very first baby.

Now, the story would be great if it ended there. But because of the design of this program, I have now seen the baby for his first 3 well-child checks, and will continue to see both baby and mom until my clerkship ends.

I truly feel like a part of the family!

I find it hard to believe that I could achieve this type of continuity in any other clerkship.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Unsung Heroes in Medical Education: Clerkship Program Administrators & Residency Coordinators

Today I’d like to focus my message on a group of unsung heroes in medical education – our clerkship program administrators and residency coordinators. Although these associates don’t serve a clinical role, they play a huge part in the training of our physicians, ensuring a smooth educational experience, with all the “i’s” dotted and “t’s” crossed and they assist our attending physicians with important work, such as updating the program website, preparing recruitment materials, and handling all the logistics of day-to-day life in our busy program offices. 

Honored with the prestigious String of Pearls award, named after the late Dr. Michael Adams (service award) this year, I asked Meskerem “Mesky” G. Lloyd, Clerkship Program Administrator at the Georgetown Department of Medicine to share a little about her job, and what it means to her. For those unfamiliar, the String of Pearls award honors residents, interns and clerkship administrators who have made an outstanding contribution to the education of the third and fourth year students who nominated them.  Mesky has also emerged as a national leader, serving as the Chair of the Clerkship Administrators in Internal Medicine.  We are proud of your accomplishments!

I grew up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and graduated from the Commercial University of Addis Ababa before coming to the United States. I worked in the Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center before joining the Georgetown Department of Pediatrics.  In 2008, I moved over to Internal Medicine where I now serve as the Clerkship Administrator for medical student programs.  My role is focused on mostly undergraduate medical education but often involves graduate medical education. I work closely with medical students, house staff and faculty. I am also serving as the Chair of the Clerkship Administrator organization in the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine.

I love my job very much! It is mostly due to the team I work with and our learners – the medical students, residents and fellows. As the Department of Medicine Clerkship Program Administrator, I have the privilege of playing a small part in training excellent physicians. At Georgetown, I have the opportunity to see our School of Medicine students transition to becoming our medical residents (then fellows) and in some cases our faculty. 

Getting to play a part in the professional and personal growth of these physicians is a great privilege!

In addition, my clerkship administration position has offered me multiple opportunities to grow and learn in my profession. For example, with the support of Department of Medicine chairman Dr. Bruce Luxon, Dr. Sean Whelton, Dr. Michael Adams, Gordon Simonett and Erin Petersen, I was able to join national organization, Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine (CDIM), which is under the umbrella of the Alliance for Academic internal Medicine(AAIM). I learned a lot the first year I attended the national conference and decided I wanted to be more involved, so I started by presenting at national meeting pre-courses, workshops and research poster sessions – and eventually I was elected chair. Through that role, I have the opportunity to serve, coach, mentor and lead clerkship administrators nationwide.

Thank you for taking a few minutes to learn more about my role at MedStar Health. I believe this work is important to the MedStar mission to advance health through learning.       

Monday, October 10, 2016

Educational Travel Grant Award Applications Now Available for Faculty Development Conferences

Are you looking for support to develop your clinical teaching skills or broadening your knowledge base in the delivery of medical education?

Supporting faculty development and continuing education of our teaching faculty is an area that we are committed to growing and expanding.  While we are working internally to develop more locally-delivered faculty development programs, we are pleased to be able to support travel grants to assist our clinical educators in attending national and international medical education programs and conferences.  MedStar Health Academic Affairs is proud to partner with GUMC’s Center for Innovation and Leadership in Education (CENTILE) to sponsor travel and attendance to a variety of medical education conferences taking place in 2017.

While we are supporting the cost of meeting registration, travel, and accommodations for a variety of meetings, the Travel Grants program also allows you to apply for any professional meeting of your choice that is focused on clinical education - - for example, through your specialty society.  For more information about the Travel Grants, visit either the MedStar website or the CENTILE web site.

Who qualifies to apply? All clinical educators from either MedStar Health or GUMC may apply! However, priority will be given to those educators who are members of the GUMC Teaching Academy for the Health Sciences.  Not currently a member of the Teaching Academy?  You can apply at any time!  Contact CENTILE for more information.

Monday, October 3, 2016

MedStar Health Teaching & Research Scholar Applications Open

I spend a lot of time sharing with you the great lengths we go in our GME programs to prepare and sustain a productive learning environment for our residents and fellows. But, we also aim to provide meaningful faculty development and opportunities for learning to our attending faculty physicians, residency program directors, and other clinician educators.  These programs include the MedStar Health Teaching and Research Scholars programs. These programs and two structured tracks provide our faculty with the tools and time needed to develop and hone research that advances health. However, rather than me tell you why the programs are a great investment of your time, I asked alumna Dr. Jennifer Verbesey to share her personal experience. Links to our online applications are below.  

The MedStar Health Teaching Scholars program is open to all clinical educators, and we benefit from inter-professional enrollment.  In addition to physicians, we’ve had clinical pharmacists, social workers, nurses, physical therapists, and other administrative leaders in education participate in the program.  Please pass this message along to all in your department!

MedStar Health Teaching Scholars was an intellectually stimulating experience.  It enabled me to meet other physicians within the MedStar system, at other hospitals, that I might have not otherwise worked with.  The program provided us with educational lectures, thoughtful discussions, interesting debates, step-by-step assistance with the IRB, dedicated statistical support, journal clubs, and editing of our written manuscripts.  I highly recommend it to any interested MedStar physician!

My goal through this program was to improve the resident learning experience on transplant and spark interest in residents choosing transplant as a future profession.

For my research, I started with this thought: the 80-hour workweek regulation has decreased the number of hours surgical residents get hands-on training.  From there, I learned that many hospitals have cut the transplant rotation for residents since it is not a requirement.  Thus, with my goal in mind, I choose to do a multi-center, prospective, randomized study to investigate whether residents who completed a 4-week structured kidney transplant curriculum, including a transplant simulation exercise, have better knowledge of core transplant topics and higher satisfaction levels at the conclusion of their transplant surgery rotation. 

Ultimately, I wanted to have a statistical backing that proves that a transplant surgery rotation is a desired and necessary part of the general surgery residency.

The MedStar Teaching Scholar program provided all the tools and the proper environment I needed to work on this project.  I was very happy that I chose to participate.

Apply for the Teaching Scholars Program through this link.

Apply for the Research Scholars Program through this link

Monday, September 19, 2016

Recruitment Materials for the Start of Interview Season

Every September our academic programs gear up for a long season of interviews with fourth-year medical students exploring various training sites for residency. As we meet with prospective residents, it’s obviously important we make a great impression and convey the value of matching with a unique place like MedStar Health; however, it’s always been a challenge to effectively streamline our marketing materials across the system – for more than 60 programs! – and deliver a consistent message about who we are. This year, that changes! 

I am excited to finally offer tangible recruitment materials specifically designed for our academic programs to paint a picture of the greater Graduate Medical Education (GME) community at MedStar and our shared commitment to advancing health through education. (See the attached PDF.) Though to many of you this is just a brochure, to me, it underscores our strength as a system and is truly just the beginning of our power as a whole.

In addition to this digital brochure, we’ve had several thousand glossy versions printed and delivered to the local GME offices for pickup. I also invite you to view and share the highlight video below of our first-ever system orientation called “Welcome Week,” which brought together 300 of our newest resident physicians from across the system for a fun and informative welcome to MedStar Health. Get a glimpse of “Welcome Week” through this highlight video, now available on YouTube.


Welcome Week covered a lot of vital information for new residents, including universal precautions to avoid error, managing fatigue, human factors in healthcare and more, but we also aimed to make the interns feel welcomed with t-shirts, tote bags and some fun social elements that gave them an opportunity to meet, network and make friends.

One important aspect of welcome week is our focus on Quality, Patient Safety, and High Reliability.  Another resource for you to use for recruitment is this more extended video that highlights the quality and safety curriculum delivered as part of our welcome to MedStar Health!
Interested in seeing more from MedStar GME?  Visit our website  

Thursday, September 8, 2016

New Academic Year Resolutions

I've often heard people say September is the “new January” as kids go back to school and everyone attempts to reset after summer. Although the GME academic year started in June, I wonder if any of you are feeling a need to reset and perhaps set goals for a strong finish to the academic year? 
Whether it's to take on a new academic role, broaden your research portfolio, spend more one-on-one time with residents, or do better with work-life balance, I think we can all stand to set a few end-of-year academic goals. Thus, I've compiled a short list of opportunities for physicians offered through MedStar Health entities that you may want to consider. There's opportunities for travel, research, and honing your teaching skills. I hope you'll earmark this email and follow-up on these as they rollout.  We will remind you of application deadlines in our Events Calendar in this weekly message. 

MedStar Health Physician Leader of the Future (nominations open in October) This program is a stellar opportunity for nominated MedStar Physicians to excel to leadership roles and strategically advance MedStar 2020 forward. This is a nomination-only program. Stay tuned for details to come in October.  For more information, contact Nancy Williams.

MedStar HealthTeaching Scholars (apply in September) -  Teaching Scholars is a two-year longitudinal program leading to certifications in MERC and LEAD, meant to shape clinical educators into clinician scholars, providing step-by-step guidance in researching medical education.  Click here for more information.

MedStar Health Research Scholars (apply in September) - MHRI will begin accepting applications for our Research Scholars program sometime late September. This program is designed to support the development of clinicians who seek careers with an important focus on clinical and translational research, in large part addressing critical needs for research mentorship and critical feedback in project design, analysis and presentation.  Click here for more information.  Click here for more information. 

IPPCR (registration opened August 26th) - IPPCR is an online course that runs September 12 - April 14; all lectures are recorded and can be viewed at your convenience. MedStar has signed up as an institution to provide this course free of charge to all MedStar Health residents, fellows, faculty and associates, in addition to Georgetown University Medical Center faculty and students. Learn more by visiting the NIH website through this link and contact Megan Shaver for instructions to sign-up.

Georgetown-MedStar Travel Awards (apply anytime)- In partnership with the Center for Innovation and Leadership in Education (CENTILE), MedStar Health is offering travel awards for faculty to attend major medical education conferences this academic year, to include the AAMC Group on Resident Affairs (GRA), ACGME Annual Conference, International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE), and the Association of Medical Educators in Europe (AMEE). Application announcements will be made soon. In the mean time, contact me directly with questions.

New Investigator Orientation (scheduled for October 20) - This one-day orientation is held quarterly and helps both experienced and early-career investigators learn to successfully conduct research within the MedStar system and access the research support services available from MHRI. Email for more information.

For a full listing of educational programs offered through the MedStar Health Research Institute, click here

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Recruitment Tool – Utilize the Medical Education Website!

Last year marked a pivotal point for Academic Affairs at MedStar when we were able to launch our very own medical education website: This multi-purpose website serves to provide those of us in the education community a place to call our own – to highlight what’s happening across the system, showcase our many GME programs, and more. But there’s a catch – a website is only as effective as we make it!

Over the last year, hours have been poured into sprucing up the top layer our of website – from photographing residents and faculty, to researching and compiling useful information for system pages (such as this page about UpToDate or the ERAS Application Process).  Along the way we’ve tried to engage program directors in the development of an important layer– your program pages! – but now, as we approach interview season – this is more important than ever.   

Did you know each and every residency and fellowship program has its own web page?

Residency programs and other educational groups are offered a piece of real estate on the medical education website with a vanity URL to make sharing your website easy, and the opportunity to customize content, photos and more. I’ve asked Colin Stewart, MD, the training director for child and adolescent psychology at Georgetown to talk to you about how he was able to quickly customize his web page – please read his comments below.

My hope that this inspires you to update yours as well!

Program Directors – also lookout for a memo from me August 1st outlining exactly how to go about making changes.

Testimonial from Colin Stewart, CAP Fellowship Training Director

Why was the website important to you? I came into this academic year feeling that upgrading and updating our website was one of our top priorities as a program. We want to stay competitive with other area child and adolescent psychiatry training programs, and we needed to provide applicants with an easier way to get to know all our program has to offer in order to do so. I also wanted to have a site that would be visually appealing, organized, and able to tell the story of our program and what it’s like to be a fellow with us.

What information do you compile for your website? Like most programs, we already had a program handbook in PDF and Word format that we used to print out and give to applicants each year. I just went through the Word version and made all of the necessary updates to clinical site info, faculty info, rotation schedules, etc and then submitted the edited document to Sara Ellis and her team.

How did you submit changes? It was really easy working with Sara Ellis and Brenda Tsai to rapidly change our site from literally a welcome letter page with a link to the PDF of our program handbook at the bottom to a functional website with all of the sections in our handbook in easily navigable tabs. Submission of information was very simple: I just emailed the edited version of our handbook to Sara and Brenda, they put the information up on the site, and we then exchanged a few emails to work out the kinks.

How long did it take? What are your favorite aspects? All in all, it only took about a week to get the site its first major overhaul and then another week to work out the finer details. My favorite feature on the new website is the navigation bar on the left-hand side of each page that allows users to easily move from one section to the next.

Future plans for this website? We already have some photos up of faculty and fellows, but I’d also like to have a section for “day in the life” video descriptions from fellows and faculty as well as a “FAQs” tab.

Colin Stewart, MD is the Training Director for the Child and Adolescent Residency Training Program at MedStar Georgetown University Medical Center as well as the Psychiatry Clerkship director and an assistant professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Learn more about his program at