Teaching the Teachers

A recent faculty development workshop reexamines the standards approach to CME.teaching the teachers

As technology moves forward at breakneck speed, why do teaching styles remain stuck in decades-old paradigms? With so many ways to take in information, many wonder what value is to be gained by scrolling through a stale slide presentation in front of a room of dozing attendees.

To keep the College ahead of the education curve, the ACR organized a faculty development workshop in January with faculty from the Duke School of Medicine Center for Educational Excellence. ACR faculty from across the country gathered to explore new tools to engage today’s learners in improving patient care.

The Bulletin got an inside look from attendees Kitt Shaffer, MD, PhD, editorin-chief of Case in Point and vice chair for education at Boston Medical Center, and Sundeep M. Nayak, MD, faculty for the Education Center ACR-Dartmouth PET-CT course and the ACR Annual PET/CT Symposium and chief of imaging and section head of nuclear medicine at the Permanente Medical Group (GSAA).

Q: Why did you decide to attend the workshop?

Nayak: Because we’re all in continuing medical education together. I think it’s important for us to learn about teaching because it’s not a one-point-in-time thing. It never really ends.

Shaffer: I’m always looking for programs that focus on the scientific data for how we can improve education. It’s pretty clear that teaching needs to be approached in the same scientific and scholarly manner as medical practice. And you can definitely learn to be a better teacher.

Q: What did you get out of the workshop?

Nayak: I left with a more systematic way of approaching education. It’s more problem-based learning rather than teaching. You come at it from the angle of, “I’m not here to tell you everything you need to know about lung cancer. I’m here to address the specific gaps in our collective knowledge.” Comprehensive content dissemination is not the important thing. It is the gaps in our knowledge that we need to identify and address.

Shaffer: We also discussed a method of flipping the traditional classroom model, where people learn the didactic material ahead of time and then in the face-to-face time you work through cases. It’s a very three-dimensional, creative approach.

What was your favorite part of the workshop?

Nayak: It was connecting with other faculty who face the same problems I do in teaching. It was reassuring to know I’m not alone in my challenges.

Shaffer: The faculty really practice what they preach. They didn’t just show us a bunch of slide presentations and make us sit passively and listen. They gave us creative projects that stimulated us to think outside the box. It was a concrete example of how an education program should be designed. Everyone came away fired up to try and change things for the better.

Why is it important to educate faculty about learning?

Nayak: Success is not measured in units of CME or work RVUs. Success is after an educational activity, when you go back to your patients and providers able to be more efficient, provide more answers, and interact with both groups in a compassionate manner because of your learning experience.

Shaffer: The whole point of CME is to make sure that people are learning what they need and changing the way they practice as a result. The ACR is a leader in innovative CME approaches.

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