Cheryl Bodamer and Norma Maxvold participate in the TiME program.
Medical educators often face a grueling daily schedule. Classes to teach, rounds to make, research to conduct. With such a tightly packed agenda, it can be hard to make time to pursue opportunities outside of day-to-day responsibilities. Many find that they would like to improve their abilities as educators by learning more about pedagogical theory and techniques, but don’t have time to commit to earning a master’s degree.
Because teaching is a key part of the School of Medicine’s educational mission, Terry Carter, Ph.D. has created a 12 credit-hour graduate certificate program designed specifically for medical educators and their overloaded schedules. The Teaching in Medical Education (TiME) Faculty Fellows program celebrated its first graduating class of faculty members, basic scientists and clinician educators this spring.
“Medical educators are really busy people,” says Carter, who previously worked as the director of VCU’s Adult Learning Program. “So I carved out the most essential elements for teaching and learning – instructional strategies, curriculum design, group facilitation and basic adult learning principles – to give more people the opportunity to improve their teaching skills through the program.” To date, more than 70 medical educators from across the MCV Campus have participated in the program.
Teresa J. Carter (far right) stands with the latest cohort of TiME graduates: (standing, left to right) Melissa J. McGinn Greer, Roy T. Sabo, Susan R. DiGiovanni, Bennett B. Lee, Kellie E. Carlyle, Emily K. Marko and (pictured, left to right) Frank Fulco, Stephanie A. Call and Ema A. Dragoescu.
The benefits of TiME go well beyond a convenient schedule and helpful instructional techniques. “The most beneficial part of program is getting the chance to work with educators across disciplines,” says Carter, “and the richest learning comes from the cross-fertilization of ideas between specialties. The majority of TiME participants are clinician-educators who teach residents as well as medical students. They tell me that the relationships they develop, and what they learn from their peers in the program are among its most valuable aspects.”
For her part, Carter, who has a long history in adult education, is constantly amazed by how quickly her students can absorb and apply the information they learn in her classes. She hopes that as more educators come through the program, graduates will push innovation and new techniques in classrooms across campus, especially within the re-designed undergraduate medical curriculum and its focus on collaborative, team-based learning.
By Jack Carmichael