Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Today was a very good day for education at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics.  Our institution hosts an annual Pediatric Chief Resident Conference.  I was privileged to be a part of this, giving a discussion on quality improvement.  The chief residents were engaging, had fascinating ideas, and demonstrated wonderful participation, in addition to harboring motivation to make change.  

We were proud to host Dr. Nancy Spector, known in the education world for her impressive work on mentoring within medical education.  She gave a phenomenal Grand Rounds presentation on the topic of “Mentee-Centered Mentoring”, and provided some wonderful pearls on the topic that participants could immediately take back to their home institutions.  She discussed different models for mentoring, including a riveting discussion of “Speed Mentoring” (akin to “speed dating”).  She provided us with 5 steps to successful facilitated mentoring, which I will summarize here:

Step 1: Determine an important project.
Step 2: Find the right leader to facilitate.
Step 3: Communicate effectively (planning regular communication), which may include getting work done during meetings.
Step 4: Manage projects skillfully.
Step 5: Assure benefits to participants.

Some of her final pearls for successful mentoring programs included the importance of cultivating mentoring relationships, consider having a portfolio of mentors, and also that mentees should drive the process.  Her talk provided the audience with a framework for how to create a successful mentoring program.  It provided us with outstanding reflection on how we can improve ourselves and each other!  I highly encourage you to follow our tweets from the Grand Rounds presentation, which can be found at #IUPedsGrRounds.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Advocacy and Education in Social Media for Medical Students

I had a great discussion today as part of a social media faculty learning community (FLC) at my institution and thought it should be shared.  

As a group, we decided that what we would create is an elective for 4th year medical students on using social media in medicine and medical education.  We are still finalizing the learning objectives, content and other components of what we want the students to learn.  We are aware that students are very savvy when it comes to social media, but know that there is more for them (and others, including us) to learn.  Including a section on professionalism is an obvious must.  In addition, we plan to have a reflection component where students must contribute their reflections in writing.

We had a phenomenal discussion today about including a section on advocacy.  We came to the conclusion that medical students should learn advocacy within the realm of social media.  An absolutely phenomenal example is what Dr.Bryan Vartabadian has accomplished with his blog and Twitter feed, which ultimately made its way to a post on the Forbes websiteThis clearly demonstrates the impact that implementing one’s voice through social media channels can have.

What are your thoughts on medical education focusing on advocacy within social media?  In addition, we would love your opinions on what else we should include in this elective for students.  I look forward to any ideas.  Crowdsourcing at its best!