Last weekend, the UC College of Medicine welcomed over 200 medical educators to downtown Cincinnati as it hosted the spring meeting of the Central Group on Educational Affairs (CGEA). The CGEA is one of four regions that make up the national GEA, a branch of the Association of American Medical Colleges. It was the first time Cincinnati has ever hosted a regional meeting of the AAMC.
The association’s purpose is to encourage communication among members and to provide a forum for discussion of medical education matters, specifically the process of medical education.
As current CGEA chair, Anne Gunderson, EdD, associate dean of medical education, thought Cincinnati would be a natural fit for the spring meeting.
"Improving the quality of medical education is a continuous process,” says Gunderson. "Our new medical student curriculum provided a scholarly environment for the sharing of emerging tools and techniques, best practices,and innovations. Conference participants, including a record number of first-time attendees, described the meeting as a resounding success.”
The theme of this year’s conference was "Professionalism and Professional Identity.” Maxine Papadakis, MD, associate dean for student affairs at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, served as the conference’s keynote speaker.
UC staff, students and faculty presented at the conference through panel discussions, workshops, poster and abstract research presentations.
Faculty members from the department of medical education presented multiple research projects driven by the new medical student curriculum. Gunderson served on panels covering curricular reforms and longitudinal clinical experiences, as well as current issues in medical education. Assistant dean of admissions Stephen Manuel, PhD, and director of student affairs and recruitment Nikki Bibler, MEd, hosted a workshop on creating and scoring the multiple mini interview.
Several medical students presented posters, two of whom received awards. Rebecca Currier and Marguerite Reid Schneider, MD-PHD students, received the CGEA Student Scholarship for their poster titled, "Preclinical Students Develop Clinical and Translational Research Interpretation Skills Through Small Group Literature Review.”
Currier, a PhD candidate in the division of epidemiology & biostatistics, says she thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to attend the meeting.
"I feel so fortunate that the College of Medicine hosted the conference, which gave our teachers and students unprecedented access to medical educators around the country," she says. "I particularly enjoyed discussing our poster on our research in teaching clinical and translational research skills to medical students."
Currier says that new standards from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) make these research skills a "hot topic" in medical education.
"My poster therefore attracted a lot of attention," she says, "and it was fantastic to trade ideas with educators at other medical schools on how to teach these skills. It was encouraging to see that a lot of the obstacles we encountered during this curriculum reform were shared by so many other schools, and it was particularly fun to see others excited about the work we did here at UC COM. I traded contact info with several educators who are hoping to try some of the innovations we've done at the college in their own medical schools."