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Medical Education

Dr. Greg Fitz gives Dr. Diane Twickler a teaching award
Dr. Greg Fitz gives Dr. Diane Twickler an award for teaching excellence. Teaching is inherent in the physician’s role.

Whether it be teaching a patient or family about preventive health care, providing anticipatory guidance, or educating on a particular disease or treatment plan, teaching is inherent in the physician’s role. Expertise in teaching, curricular development and evaluation, or innovation in teaching strategies and outcomes assessment are central to the role of an academic physician to ensure excellence in the training and development of future physicians.

The Medical Education Track links medical students with faculty mentors who share an interest in medical education. The aims include creating new knowledge and improving the quality of education as well as developing the student’s professional passion and foundation for a future in academic medicine.

Learning Objectives

The program provides infrastructure for medical students to develop their abilities in the following competencies, which are rooted in the Physician Competency Reference Set (PCRS). After completing the scholarly activity, the student will be able to:

  1. PCllS 3.8: Participate in the education of patients, families, students, trainees, peers, and other health professionals. In this track, students will participate in the quality improvement of the medical education of students, peers, and perhaps other trainees.
  2. PCllS 2.6: Contribute to the creation, dissemination, application, and translation of new health care knowledge and practices. In this track, students will participate in the creation of new health care knowledge by teaching and/or creating new medical educational experiences.
  3. PCllS 6.5: Participate in identifying system errors and implementing potential system solutions. In this track, students may be involved in the analysis of existing medical education courses and processes to identify and address systemic errors.
  4. PCRS 2.1: Demonstrate an investigatory and analytic approach to clinical situations. Students may be involved in the analysis of clinical situations in the context of medical education for the purpose of quality improvement. Specifically, by participating in the Medical Education Track, students will have the opportunity to ask innovative questions, deepen their experience of medicine, and contribute to the academic environment. Students with aligned interests will work in groups or teams with each student responsible for a unique aspect of the project.

The program will accommodate a maximum of 20 students per 12-week block.

Methods of Instruction

The track’s curriculum combines knowledge-building activities such as didactic electives and interactive workshops with experiential learning through participation in a project. We provide project facilitation with mentors from Southwestern Academy of Teachers (SWAT), course directors, and other faculty involved in medical education, curriculum development, and program evaluation.

Project Selection

Students can join an existing medical education project or propose new projects. The track director is responsible for approving students’ projects, reviewing their progress on a regular basis, and – with the project mentors – evaluating students’ final product.

There are many types of scholarship in medical education and many types of projects that may be conducted as part of this track:

  • Implementation and/or evaluation of new curricula or new educational technology
  • Evaluation of existing teaching activities toward improving their quality
  • Medical education literature review in an area of interest

Student Responsibilities

The experience should be tailored to enable the student to pursue special interests in medical education. Specific experiences are agreed upon with the track director in advance. The student is accountable to both the on-site mentor and the track director.


We will use a rubric to evaluate the merit for each scholarly activity. At the conclusion of the scholarly activity project, each student is required to prepare and submit a 5- to 10-page summary, excluding references and figures, detailing the outcomes, recommendations, and lessons learned. Submitted work is reviewed by the mentor and track director according to the agreed upon rubric. Students are encouraged to disseminate their findings at local, national, and international conferences.

The grade for the scholarly activity track will be pass/fail based on the student’s final paper. The final paper will be graded according to established guidelines across all the scholarly activity tracks.