Leadership in Medical Education Pathway Experience

Susan Budnick, MD

How did you originally become interested in the pathway?

Around the time the Leadership in Medical Education Pathway was just starting to coalesce, I was looking for opportunities to be more involved in teaching and contacted a faculty member to look for opportunities. I knew that participating in the program would give me plenty of opportunities to work on my teaching skills and get more experience working with medical students.

Why did you think you would be a good fit for it?

I knew the program would be a good fit because working in academic medicine has always been a career goal of mine. Patient education was one of the reasons I pursued medicine initially, and now medical education has become an interest of mine. I really enjoy being part of the team with learners on all levels from medical students to attendings. Since information is constantly evolving in medicine, there are always opportunities for everyone at all levels to continually learn and grow.

What is the single most gratifying thing about training in the Leadership in Medical Education Pathway?

My most gratifying experience has been my involvement in the curriculum development for a fourth-year medical student elective called "Transitions to Residency." In this course, medical students are given practice developing the tools they need to be successful interns. I was given the task of creating standardized patient/simulation cases structured around particular teaching points. My favorite part was developing a sign-out exercise, including simulated night float paging practice, to illustrate the important elements of a good sign-out. The students seemed to really enjoy that exercise, which made my hard work worth it.

How has your experience been up until now?

My involvement in this pathway has provided a wide range of opportunities to experiences. I've received opportunities to create medical student curriculum for an elective, taught at our annual intern boot camp, developed a research project with the goal of increasing education on the wards, attended an evening course through the medical school focused on creating medical education studies and gotten opportunities to attend national conferences focused on education.

Looking back on the past year, I've received many opportunities that I wouldn't have otherwise been offered outside of the pathway. The pathway faculty are flexible and open to our input, giving us the freedom to focus on whichever part of medical education that interests us - patient education, student education or residency education. As the pathway grows and expands, it continually provides opportunities that only help me further build my skills.

Can you give an example of the most inspiring thing you witnessed while in the pathway?

My most gratifying experience this year was delivering a lecture during intern boot camp. I was given the opportunity to pick the subject matter, create the lecture myself and deliver it at both of our teaching hospitals. Not only was I proud to be allowed to give a lecture, it really made me see how much my skills had developed during my intern year. I am really looking forward to participating next year.

Why would you recommend joining the pathway? What sets it apart?

Most students, residents and physicians chose this career with the understanding that a career in medicine requires us to be

lifelong learners. If you enjoy any aspect of teaching, this track can help you sharpen your teaching skills and give you opportunities to develop this aspect of your career. I would more specifically recommend this track for people interested in a career in academics. By joining the track, you identify yourself as someone 'interested in teaching' which creates many opportunities. Looking back on my intern year, I've been able to participate in the type of curriculum development, resident education and education research that I hope to continue throughout my whole career.

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