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GEA Member Spotlight

Karen "Sam" Miller

In 1-2 sentences tell us about yourself.
I have an undergraduate degree in journalism (with minors in commercial art and psychology), and I use that background every day!  I also have ½ of an MBA, a Master’s in Instructional Design and Technology, and a PhD in Adult Education. Also useful stuff.

How did you get involved in the GEA?
When I moved from the University of Louisville College of Education to the School of Medicine in 2005, I was invited to help a colleague develop an SGEA presentation. It was accepted- we went to the conference - I had a ball, and the rest is history.  

How has the GEA benefited you in your professional role?
Like many state schools, Louisville does not have a large medical education research group, so connecting with others in this field has been extraordinarily valuable. 

What excites you most in medical education right now?
The Research in Medical Education (RIME) focus on equity in medical education.  If we can apply our research skills to provide data to help administrators, admissions committees, and search committees correct inadvertent systemic problems and make more open decisions, we can help produce a physician workforce that aligns more reasonably with the patient population.         

Where did you grow up?
All over! My Dad was in the Air Force so I spent time in New York, Germany, Northern Virginia, and Alabama.  

What was the most interesting job or project you have worked on?
I was on the team that videotaped the first heart transplant in Louisville 33 years ago. (The equipment was huge and unwieldy … we used 3/4” tape, and mounted the camera on extended, counterbalanced IV poles.) And, perhaps a current project on developing training materials for non-physicians to perform laparoscopic surgery in zero-G during space flight. Really an interdisciplinary effort!

What do you do for fun outside of work/school?
Travel, reading, and I love horses- especially thoroughbreds. We have a share in a 2-year-old filly who has not yet raced.  

If you could invite any three people to a dinner party (real or fictional), whom would you invite and what would you talk about?
I’d invite Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and Mary Roberts Reinhart and talk about how they developed their murder mystery plots. (I’m working on a mystery novel of my own right now and could use the help.)