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Second Opinion

Learn about policy issues important to medical schools and teaching hospitals, with Executive Vice President Atul Grover, M.D., Ph.D.

PME Updates

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Learn How Medical Education is Adapting as Society Adapts at Project Medical Education

Penn State College of Medicine hosted more than 20 individuals at a Project Medical Education on October 27. Participants included state lawmakers from across Pennsylvania, staff from the office of Governor Tom Wolf, and representatives of U.S. senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey.

The day began with a white coat ceremony where participants read the Hippocratic Oath and received remarks from Craig Hillemeier, MD, dean of the College of Medicine and CEO of Penn State Health. Once they were “admitted” into medical school, participants gained first-hand, hands-on experience with the use of emerging technology in medical education through a session in the Penn State Clinical Simulation Center and Technology Innovation Sandbox.

As they progressed throughout the day, the group was “matched” to residency programs and got time to interact with residents, as well as medical students and faculty.

“I think the fact that I was thinking that physicians were taught more just about the clinical or the technical parts of medicine, versus a holistic teaching –the humanities side of things—I was very encouraged to hear that. And the fact that they are adapting as society adapts to make sure that we are producing physicians that are going to be the best for the next couple centuries,” said Pennsylvania State Representative Kerry Benninghoff.

The day concluded with a graduation ceremony.

View more information, including photos and a video summary of the day.

Local Leaders View Pediatric, Stroke, and Adult Medical Care at Rhode Island Hospital

Rhode Island state representatives, senators and policy staff participated in a one day Project Medical Education event at Lifespan partner Rhode Island Hospital and its pediatric division, Hasbro Children's Hospital, on May 25.

Welcoming remarks and a preview of the day’s themes came from Lifespan President and CEO Timothy J. Babineau, MD, Rhode Island Hospital President Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, and Lifespan Director of Graduate Medical Education James A. Arrighi, MD. Participants then took part in a white coat ceremony and embarked on tours, learning about pediatric and adult patient care. They also learned about graduate medical education and its role in preparing tomorrow's doctors.

Residents, physicians and hospital leaders provided a deep look at the pediatric medical-psychiatric, stroke, and adult care services provided, as small groups of participants rotated throughout various units. Participants were educated about pediatric medical and psychiatric care and learned how the two are interwoven to provide care for the whole child. They also learned about neurovascular and stroke care at Rhode Island Hospital’s Comprehensive Stroke Center, the only one of its kind in the state, from Mahesh V. Jayaraman, MD, director of Interventional Neuroradiology. A third session provided information on the complex care services for adult medical patients.

Legislative Staff Experience Medical Education, Patient Care, and Research over Three Days at Duke University School of Medicine PME

Duke University School of Medicine hosted a Project Medical Education event from April 17-19 where seven congressional staff members from the North Carolina delegation learned about the three missions of medical schools and teaching hospitals.

During the event, participants heard from Duke faculty, residents and students about medical school admissions, curriculum, and financing; patient safety; population health and clinical research; graduate medical education and the patient care team; and the impact Duke has on its community.

The legislative staffers received hands-on experience interviewing standardized patients and working in the simulation lab with Dr. Jeffrey Taekman, assistant dean for educational technology and director of the Human Simulation and Patient Safety Center (HSPSC). Participants were given the chance to work in care teams and intubate a simulation mannequin. During and after the simulation, they learned about some of the ways new technologies, such as video game patient simulation, are used in medical education.

After a night of being on call and answering their beepers, thanks to Dr. David Turner, Associate Director of Graduate Medical Education, the “residents” arrived at Duke University Hospital for a final day of programming and rounds with physicians, nurses and other health care providers. They shadowed morning rounds in a variety of departments including Pediatric Intensive Care, Neonatal Intensive Care, Surgery and Cardiothoracic Intensive Care. The shadowing experience gave the attendees the full experience of what it is like to become a doctor and work in a team based health care environment.

The attendees graduated from Project Medical Education with certificates and a ceremony with Dr. Edward G. Buckley, vice dean for education at the Duke School of Medicine.

To see the program in action, check out their Twitter feed from the event.

Community Members Interact With Medical Students at Project Medical Education Nevada

The University of Nevada, Reno hosted “Project Medical Education Nevada” on February 3, providing 18 community leaders and those in the broader health care sector with the opportunity to have one-on-one interactions with medical students while learning firsthand about what it takes to become a doctor.

Students, who also assisted with designing the sessions, shared their personal acceptance stories, experience with the curriculum, and anecdotes from their clinical years and the match process. Participants also got hands-on training in heart dissection and suturing—both led by students—and were paired with a student and a physician during a visit to the family medicine clinic.

Thomas R. Kozel, PhD, professor, microbiology and immunology, led a highly-rated discussion of medical research, including his work on cryptococcal meningitis that has resulted in a diagnostic tool that may save as many as 100,000 lives each year in sub-Saharan Africa.

Before a closing reception, participants were presented with candy bars, some containing “golden tickets” in Willy Wonka themed mock Match.

In describing her experience, participant Toni Inserra, CEO of South Lyon Medical Center said, “The (Project Medical Education Nevada) program exceeded anything I could have ever imagined. The program was absolutely life-changing.  I will make every effort in the future to provide support to the school, the staff and the students.”

WWAMI Program Features in “Project Medical School” at University of Washington

On April 26, the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM) hosted “Project Medical School,” inviting federal and state policymakers and members of their staff to learn about medical education in Washington, including the WWAMI Regional Medical Education Program External Link.

Forty participants took on the roles of medical students as they learned about the admissions process, the pre-clinical and clinical curriculum, diversity, financial aid, and more. Members of the UWSOM faculty, including Suzanne Allen, MD, MPH, vice dean for academic, rural and regional affairs, and Paul Ramsey, MD, CEO of UW Medicine and dean of the UW School of Medicine, led the discussions.

Policymakers learned about regional medical education and training in the Pacific Northwest, and the benefits thereof, through an introduction to the WWAMI Program, now in its 45th year. The program, named for the states it serves (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho), uses partnerships with a state university in each of the five states to educate medical students across the area. For their first year, students study at their home state university, then move to UWSOM in Seattle or Spokane to complete their second year. Third- and fourth-year clinical rotations occur across the region in a variety of settings, including rural and remote areas. Students also receive mentorship from community-based faculty. With students being more likely to practice where they learn and train, many WWAMI students end up practicing within the five states, helping to provide care for a region where rural areas range from 10 percent (Washington) to 70 percent (Wyoming).

Participants gained hands-on experience of being a medical student through simulation exercises at the WWAMI Institute for Simulation in Health Care (WISH) Center External Link, including in battlefield and military trauma treatment. They also participated in classroom exercises in clinical skills and anatomy.

At the end of the day, participants were "matched" with a residency program and engaged in a discussion of the financial aspects of residency and medical school debt.

“It was a fantastic chance to see what it’s like to be a medical student, exactly what is involved, the classes, the courses, and the time,” said one participant.  

Michigan Leaders Experience Education and Training for Practice in Rural Communities

Federal, state and local leaders from Northern Michigan got a first-hand look at the unique aspects of learning and teaching, training, and practicing in rural settings at a Project Medical Education event hosted by the Michigan State University (MSU) College of Human Medicine and Munson Healthcare in Traverse City, Mich. on April 14 and 15.

An evening reception with Aron Sousa, MD, interim dean, MSU College of Human Medicine; Ed Ness, president & CEO, of Munson Healthcare; and Dan Webster, MD, community assistant dean, MSU College of Human Medicine, Traverse City Campus, set the tone for the event, introducing participants to the site and to what they would experience the next day.

Participants started the day in a white coat ceremony, marking the beginning of their medical “careers.” Throughout the program, they engaged in simulation activities and rounds with medical students and residents, and a graduation ceremony in which they were matched with residencies and provided with information on the debt they had incurred as “students.” Through these interactive sessions, participants got to experience what it’s like to be a medical student and resident in a rural setting.

The unique aspects of educating and training future physicians in rural settings was also the focus of a lunch seminar during which Webster; Jean Kerver, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, MSU College of Human Medicine; and Andrea Wendling, MD, director, Rural Community Health Program External Link, MSU College of Human Medicine discussed the way in which such settings makes physicians more likely to practice in rural areas and provides value to the area through patient care and medical research.

The program concluded with a roundtable discussion with College of Human Medicine faculty and staff allowing participants to review what they had learned and ask questions about the medical education process, how it intersects with patient care and medical research, and the opportunities and challenges presented by teaching, learning and training in small and rural communities.

Northern Nevada Community Leaders Get Glimpse Into Medical Students' Experiences at Project Medical Education Nevada Event

On February 16, community leaders from Northern Nevada, including representatives from hospital management, non-profits, and the private sector, stepped into the life of a medical student for a day External Link through a Project Medical Education (PME) Nevada event at the University of Nevada, Reno. 

Beginning with the medical school admissions process, the participants experienced the career of a future physician. Many steps along the way involved hands-on, interactive session such as shadowing professors during simulated patient exercises, practicing sutures on human skin, and a dissection lesson in the anatomy lab. Participants also received classroom lectures that are part of the medical school curriculum.

To explain the process of specialty selection and graduate medical education, participants were “matched” with a residency program. Rather than the traditional envelopes that actual medical students receive on Match Day, participants received Wonka Bars with those who matched having a golden ticket inside.

The day ended with a “graduation ceremony” where participants received PME diplomas from School of Medicine Dean Thomas L. Schwenk and a festive reception.

Students stated that their experiences gave them insight into a future doctor’s education and training and the impact of medical schools and teaching hospitals on their communities and beyond.

“It really gives me a new appreciation for what our doctors have to go through every day,” said Bethany Sexton, vice president of strategic initiatives at Renown Health.

“Not only did I have a lot of fun with the staff, guests, and all the exciting activities, I also learned a lot about the School of Medicine and the amazing work [they] are doing throughout Nevada and even across borders,” said participant Sara Dinga, director of programs and projects at the Washoe County, Nev. Health District.  “Talking with the students at lunch, learning about the heart, and learning to suture were some of the highlights of the day!” she added.

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Contact Project Medical Education

Jared Dashoff
Public Affairs Specialist
Telephone: 202-828-0441
Email: jdashoff@aamc.org