In this edition:
- Message from the Chair
- Know Before You Go: Learn Serve Lead 2022: The AAMC Annual Meeting
- Call for CFAS Spring Meeting Sessions
- AAMC Leader Profile: Lisa Howley, PhD, Senior Director for Transforming Medical Education
- CFAS Connects: Keeping Women in Medicine: A Conversation about Retaining Talented Women Physicians
- CFAS Society Profile: Association of Anatomy, Cell Biology, and Neurobiology Chairs (AACBNC)
Message from the Chair
Dear CFAS Colleagues and Friends,
Like many of you, I have attended many meetings, conferences, and scientific/education workshops over the years. But the one I have been truly anticipating is the upcoming Learn Serve Lead 2022: The AAMC Annual Meeting. My sense is that this November’s event promises to be something special. Not only will it be the first meeting of this scale that the AAMC has held in three years, but it will also mark the first time the CFAS community has convened in one place, in person, since we met in Phoenix in 2019. My understanding is that registration has surpassed 4,000 – so there will be a crowd! Even better.
On a personal level, the November LSL meeting will be the first opportunity I will have had to address our community in person as CFAS Chair, and I am excited to do so. But more than thinking of myself in this circumstance, I’m thinking of my CFAS leadership colleagues who did not get the full opportunity and privilege to finish their terms in the chair cycle (including as immediate past chair) with all of you there. I want to acknowledge my two predecessors who most recently served in this role, Gabriela Popescu, PhD, the current CFAS Immediate Past Chair, and Scott Gitlin, MD, who was Immediate Past Chair when COVID-19 hit. They are leaders of tremendous skill, creativity, and grace who devoted countless hours to CFAS and the greater AAMC as members of the Board of Directors. They will be recognized formally at our Business Meeting, but if you see them in the halls or receptions, please extend yourself to thank them. They deserve our gratitude.
I also want to address our newest reps, first-time attendees, and others of you who haven’t been as involved in CFAS in the past. As you finalize your plans to attend our meeting, please take every opportunity to join the CFAS-specific programming on the agenda. Those sessions begin in earnest on Friday morning, beginning with two cohorts of CFAS Committee Meetings. All committees – with the exception of the Program Committee and the Nominating Committee – are open to any rep who wishes to attend. That means, simply, if you’re a new rep who has never been to one of these meetings before, all you need to do is find those committee topics that strike your interest and show up. That’s it. When you’re there, you’re not an observer, but a full-fledged participant. Feel free to speak up, be part of the conversation, offer your perspectives, and share your solutions. CFAS is successful because we have an array of diverse views from a broad range of our faculty colleagues in the community. And we want to hear your views, as well.
In addition to a CFAS Business Meeting later that day, there is also a leadership session where CFAS meets jointly with representatives from the other two councils, the Council of Deans (COD) and the Council of Teaching Hospitals (COTH), to hear presentations from AAMC leaders on the priorities and challenges faced by academic medicine on a national level. It’s always an illuminating session, and it’s one of the great perks for CFAS reps to be able to attend these high-level meetings.
And don’t forget to take full advantage of the networking opportunities. On Saturday morning, there’s a CFAS networking breakfast – no agenda, no topics to cover, no limits on discussion. The idea is simply to enjoy conversation and meet new colleagues. Another networking event that evening is the CFAS Welcome Reception, co-sponsored by COD, the Group on Women in Medicine and Science (GWIMS), and the Group on Faculty Affairs (GFA), where you can meet reps from other AAMC groups as well. And on Sunday morning, there’s a CFAS New Rep Orientation that is open to any reps who wish to attend.
Thanks to the hard work of the Program Committee, led so skillfully by our Chair-elect, Nita Ahuja, MD, there is plenty of CFAS-specific programming, including our open-forum CFAS Knowledge Sharing Session. All of it is noted in the main program and in the shorter program link I already shared above. There’s more to cover in this short message, but I would be remiss if I didn’t direct you to the dozen substantive, main-program concurrent breakout sessions scattered throughout LSL. These are sessions featuring CFAS rep speakers or moderators, or topics that were advanced through previous CFAS work. I am so proud that CFAS has such a tremendous representation at the AAMC Annual Meeting. It is a testament to the extraordinary work all of you do and the value you bring as faculty to the greater academic medicine community.
I can’t wait to see you there and to meet many of you for the first time in person!
Yours in good health and wellness,
Aviad “Adi” Haramati, PhD
Representing the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health
Know Before You Go: Learn Serve Lead 2022: The AAMC Annual Meeting
In addition to the online program for LSL and a mobile app for the meeting, the CFAS website contains a list of recommended sessions for CFAS reps to attend. Please use this reference as a guide in conjunction with the main LSL program.
Committee meetings on Friday are open to any reps who wish to participate, and even if you’ve never been to a committee before, you are free to part of any of the meetings based on your own interests – with the exception of the Program Committee and the Nominating Committee, which are closed. The recommended sessions page on the CFAS website as well as the main program lists all the committee meetings and their times. Refreshments will be available.
The Saturday networking breakfast session allows CFAS reps to enjoy breakfast together with no agenda to get to know one another in open networking. Some informal groups have historically met in these breakfasts and gathered at one table to share information about their specialty – for instance, there’s always a Family Medicine table. You should feel free to make connections individually or set up a specific networking conversation of your own. The important thing: It’s your choice.
Additionally, a few weeks after the meeting concludes, the CFAS staff team will pull together a comprehensive summary in the form of a PowerPoint slide show that will be available to all CFAS reps as a tool to help you share details of meeting with your school or society. That resource will be available for download from the resource page of the CFAS website and will be widely announced when released.
If you have any additional questions about the program or how to use the recommended session guide to get the most out of your LSL experience, please contact Eric at email@example.com.
Call for CFAS Spring Meeting Sessions
The CFAS Program Committee is taking a novel approach to planning our 2023 CFAS Spring Meeting (March 26-29, Salt Lake City). To ensure we address issues you wish to engage upon, and to bring new voices to the table, we are opening a call for proposals of sessions for both 30- and 60-minute duration.
We encourage all CFAS reps to submit proposals on topics you think are critical to faculty in academic medicine today, but we especially would like to hear from newer reps and junior reps – though ALL reps are welcome. We plan on pairing each accepted proposal with a member of the CFAS Administrative Board or the Program Committee to assist with session development.
To propose a session, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Stephen Barry (email@example.com) the following by Nov. 1, 2022:
- Proposed session title
- Brief (3- to 4-sentence) session description
- Three learning objectives
Please note whether you envision this being a session that can presented in 30 minutes or 60 minutes. We are experimenting with different session formats and lengths, and would like to present a range of session types.
AAMC Leader Profile: Lisa Howley, PhD, Senior Director for Transforming Medical Education
CFAS: Could you please describe your role at the AAMC for CFAS reps?
Dr. Howley: I serve as the AAMC’s Senior Director for Transforming Medical Education. My team focuses on the evolving needs of our health systems and the communities they serve and how those needs are translated into the educational programs. We assist medical educators with their ability to design, deliver and evaluate curricula, transition to competency-based education and improve interprofessional education across the continuum, educational research and solutions for the transition to residency.
We have about a dozen strategic medical education initiatives currently underway in our diverse portfolio, including educational advances to address the opioid and addiction epidemic; telehealth and virtual care; patient safety and the avoidance of preventable medical errors; diversity, equity, and inclusion and anti-racism; transition to residency solutions. I work closely with my government relations colleagues at the AAMC on issues where federal policymaking may impact health care in areas such as opioid education, nutrition, maternal medical care, implicit bias.
We also support faculty development courses in quality and patient safety and in the evaluation of arts and humanities curricula in medical education and we do needs assessments to understand the current state of curriculum and assessment practices. Since the pandemic started, we have offered virtual learning sessions to adapt to the needs of constituents who are unable to travel as often as they once could.
My team includes three constituents we refer to as “cross-continuum consultants.” We contract with these individuals for 1-2 years, before selecting new consultants, and they help us stay connected to the issues and needs within our member schools and teaching hospitals. Each has a different area of focus such as undergraduate medical education (UME), graduate medical education (GME), and continuing professional development (CPD).
CFAS: Please tell us about your background.
Dr. Howley: I have a masters and PhD in educational psychology from the University of Virginia (UVA). When I graduated in the 1990s, there were no formal degrees in medical education, but I was able to craft a unique program in educational psychology that applied to medical education. Since I was young, I have been interested in the emotional and cognitive aspects of learning and my first research study as an undergraduate student was on the study habits of college students (mostly premed). I was fascinated by learning, about why some students excelled relatively easily, and others did not. I found that the students who excelled at a slower pace usually struggled not because of a lack of interest, motivation, or hard work, but because of a lack of access to resources, tools and teaching that was suited to their own needs and pace. So, I became fascinated with the psycho-social and developmental aspects of learning.
For my PhD, I trained at the University of Virginia and at the time was able to design a program consisting of courses in education, nursing, psychology, history, and medical ethics. During that time, I worked with Dr. Jerry Short, Associate Dean of Medical Education and Chair of Educational Psychology, and in the mid-1990s became a junior faculty member at the UVA School of Medicine and became active in the national effort to advance standardized patients and performance assessment in UME. I also became an active constituent of the AAMC, and the Group on Educational Affairs (GEA) was my professional home. In the early 2000s, I was assistant professor of educational research at UNC Charlotte and later joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine, where I continue to hold an appointment in medical education. Before taking my current role at the AAMC, I spent eight years as associate DIO for graduate medical education at Carolinas Health Care System in North Carolina where I worked across the continuum (UME to faculty development).
CFAS: Please tell us about your work on Action Plan 1 of the AAMC’s strategic plan.
Dr. Howley: I work closely with Dr. Dorothy Andriole, who is the senior director of medical education research at the AAMC. She is the overall lead for Action Plan 1 (AP1), which is “Strengthen the Medical Education Continuum.”
The 5-year goals of AP1 are as follows:
- Learners are educated in a more inclusive environment that equitably supports the progress of all learners.
- Feasible CBME implementation approaches for new and emerging areas are demonstrated in diverse settings.
- U.S. medical schools move toward increased adoption of common foundational competencies for UME programs that align across the education continuum.
- The AAMC is the medical education home for the community, offering curricular resources, professional development and collaborative partnerships in advancing competency-based medical education across the continuum.
Although I have the great opportunity to support the work across these goals, I lead the work to achieve our third goal which will be accomplished through an inclusive and iterative process. Specifically, we are collaborating closely with the AACOM and ACGME to create a common set of national foundational competencies for use in undergraduate medical education programs in the U.S. CFAS is represented on our advisory committee along with about 20 other national organizations and groups. These new competencies will align horizontally among UME programs and vertically across the continuum of medical education.
We will be issuing a call for a working group of 12-15 members to be formed in a few weeks to draft the new foundational competencies for undergraduate medical education throughout 2023.
CFAS: In the past, we’ve spoken with you about the AAMC’s FRAHME initiative. Could you give us an update on that?
Dr. Howley: Shortly after arriving at the AAMC in 2016, I launched the Foundational Role of Arts and Humanities in Medical Education (FRAHME) Initiative and we published a report from that effort in 2019. There are 7 recommendations in that report for how to advance the role of arts and humanities in medical education and over the past couple years we’ve been working with AAMC member institutions to achieve some of the recommendations. The recommendations are,
- Assert that the practice of medicine is an art and a science, requiring a grounding in humanistic values, principles, and skills, including a deep understanding of the human condition.
- Create more effective arts and humanities integrative models for competency-based teaching and learning in medicine.
- Enhance the research and evaluation of courses and programs that integrate the arts and humanities into medical education and continuing professional development. These research and evaluation efforts should include measuring learner outcomes beyond satisfaction with the course or program and should follow sound scholarly practices.
- Design approaches to enhancing trainee and physician well-being that integrate the arts and humanities into medicine.
- Increase collaboration among scholars of higher education, medical professionals, arts organizations, creative arts therapists, artists, humanities scholars, learners, and patients.
- Provide professional development offerings that enhance faculties’ capacity to design curricula and facilitate the use of models that integrate the arts, humanities, and medicine in training.
- Investigate effective integrative pedagogical practices and recognize an expansive view of scholarship in academic promotion and tenure processes.
As part of the FRAHME Initiative, and supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, we collected and shared stories, poems, and experiences that people wrote during the height of the pandemic and we’re turning that collection into a publication. FRAHME also has a newsletter, and we would love for CFAS reps to sign up! FRAHME still receives funding from the National Endowment of Humanities. At Learn Serve Lead 2022: The AAMC Annual Meeting, we have a knowledge sharing sessions called “Friends of FRAHME” on Monday, Nov. 14, from 4:30 PM – 5:45 PM CST and would love to see any CFAS reps there!
CFAS Connects: Keeping Women in Medicine: A Conversation about Retaining Talented Women Physicians
CFAS Connects returned on Oct. 20, with presentations from CFAS reps Megan Furnari, MD, Kim Templeton, MD, and Leah Reznick, MD, with input from CFAS-member society the American Medical Woman’s Association. The presentations explored the reality facing women faculty and possible solutions to retain what could be the most valuable members of your work force. There was also a vibrant discussion segment after the presentations. Notes and a link to the recording of the session are available on the CFAS Resources webpage.
CFAS Connects will take a break in November for the LSL meeting, but will return on Dec. 21 with a session, “Challenging Conversations in the DEI Space.” You already should have an appointment for that event on your calendar. More information will follow.
CFAS Society Profile: Association of Anatomy, Cell Biology, and Neurobiology Chairs (AACBNC)
The Association of Anatomy, Cell Biology, and Neurobiology Chairs (AACBNC) represents approximately 120 chairs and former chairs of anatomy, cell biology, and neurobiology in North American medical schools accredited by the LCME. A few dental schools have also become members recently. AACBNC was formerly the Association of Anatomy Chairs, but the name changed to reflect the shifting functions and roles of basic science departments.
AACBNC offers its members a community of people who understand similar issues and responsibilities and can help them address common challenges. AACBNC has an annual winter meeting that features a policy session, where someone from a national organization such as the AAMC, LCME, NIH, or AMA comes and presents on the policy issues relevant to department chairs in medical and dental colleges. The annual meeting also features sessions on teaching innovations, techniques, and methods that are useful for teaching the wide variety of scientific fields represented in AACBNC membership.
As a smaller society, AACBNC is an all-volunteer organization and relies on larger allied organizations and societies, such as the American Association for Anatomy (another CFAS member society), to advocate at the federal level on issues of common concern, such as funding for the National Institutes of Health.
One important issue unique to anatomy in general is the issue of body donation. “There’s no single, overarching federal law on the issue and state laws are really just a patchwork. As professionals who utilize body donation programs, anatomy department chairs want to make sure that the highest ethical standards are maintained and there are some concerns about certain commercial body donation companies,” said AACBNC President Rick Sumner, PhD, the Mary Lou Bell McGrew Presidential Professor for Medical Research and chair of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Rush Medical College.
Dr. Sumner also noted that chairs of anatomy, cell biology, and neurobiology are always advocating for their faculty and trying to raise awareness of the pressure their faculty members are under because of the ever-present challenges of securing research funding. “Faculty effort and salary are very often tied directly to activities. In some ways it's good because it keeps people accountable, but it also presents challenges for faculty members because they’re often asked to do scholarly or service activities for which there may not be direct compensation. But they still need to do it for their promotion and career progression,” said Dr. Sumner.
CFAS and AABCNC have many things in common, including the goal of maintaining and advancing basic science and basic science educators.
“This is not an easy time for scientists: Funding is very difficult and so is maintenance and advancement of the faculty. This is putting enormous stress on our population. There’s also a growing mistrust of science. Sometimes it seems like half of the country doesn’t want to listen to science anymore, so it’s a difficult time for those of us who are trying to keep the flame burning,” said Jeffrey Laitman, PhD, the CFAS rep for AACBNC and Distinguished Professor of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Professor and Director of Anatomy and Functional Morphology, Professor of Medical Education, and Professor of Otolaryngology.
Dr. Laitman also emphasized that AACBNC has seen direct benefits of membership in CFAS. Eric Weissman, the Senior Director of Faculty and Academic Society Engagement at the AAMC, and CFAS Chair Adi Haramati, PhD, gave presentations for AACBNC explaining the value of membership and it meant a lot to members of AACBNC to hear that there was an organization like CFAS that was advocating on their behalf.
“In CFAS meetings, I’ve had many of my questions answered and found a very valuable and heterogenous mix of clinicians and basic scientists, including groups I normally wouldn’t encounter in my own specialty. I found that there are similar concerns in disparate fields, and I was able to learn a lot from that, and the information I brought back to AACBNC was considered very valuable,” said Dr. Laitman.
Dr. Laitman also spoke about the unique challenges facing so many basic science departments across the country, noting that while institutional roles and responsibilities have shifted, they haven’t lessened, but have only grown. Departments of anatomy, cell biology, and neurobiology must balance teaching requirements, research requirements, and service requirements. Those departments have found themselves doing less on the undergraduate side over the years, but the graduate medical experience has blossomed into 20 courses that go throughout the year in some cases. The departments are also responsible for body donation programs and must maintain state licenses. They must provide material for the courses at their institutions and implement new programs for surgeons on top of their responsibilities to teaching undergraduate and graduate students.
“We have enormous service responsibilities, but at the same time, budgets are restricted,” said Dr. Laitman. “We basic scientists often feel under siege. There’s a lot being said and done about wellness, but if I can’t get people to teach anatomical sciences, nothing is going to improve in my department. It’s great to talk about wellness, but are we making sure our departments are staffed and can actually function? For me, advancing, retaining, staffing, and recruiting faculty is becoming harder. This is why we appreciate CFAS telling institutional leaders about the unique issues we deal with. Often leaders don’t want to talk about things like anatomical gift programs, but these things are pillars of our medical centers and we’re expected to maintain them.”
Tell Us How You’re Doing
Please keep the lines of communication open so we can provide you with the resources and information that would be most useful. It is helpful for the AAMC to understand in detail what is happening on the ground at the medical schools, teaching hospitals, and academic societies we serve. Please email Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call directly at 301-437-2572 with updates or feedback from your perspective. You can also reach out with questions or comments to CFAS Communications Specialist Alex Bolt.
If you are looking for information about CFAS, find what you need on our website, from the names of CFAS leaders, to updates on committee and working group initiatives, to upcoming offerings and meetings, and finally, current and previous editions of CFAS News.
Do you have an article or study coming out? A new promotion or professional accomplishment? Let us know and we'll feature it in an upcoming edition of the CFAS Rep Bulletin.
Previous Editions: September 2022 | August 2022 | June 2022