Interpersonal Communication

Competency: Effectively prepare and deliver educational materials to individuals and groups

Before I stepped into Meiling Hall as a medical student, I had the chance to take a faculty position teaching anatomy at Columbus State Community College during my gap year. This wasn’t a position that I was looking for in December of 2016, but a friend of mine from graduate school texted myself and one of our other classmates and said that Columbus State was looking for adjunct faculty for the upcoming semester. I had never really thought of myself as an effective instructor. I got some formal instruction in education as a graduate student, but it certainly wasn’t a focus of the program unless you wanted it to be. At the time of this text, I was working two jobs that paid the bills, but neither one really allowed me to grow professionally. So, I took a stab in the dark, applied for the faculty position and ended up getting offered one of the positions for their spring of 2017 semester.  It only took a few weeks into teaching my first course that I fell in love with being an educator and wanted to weave that into my professional pursuits. Fortunately, medicine is certainly not lacking in teaching opportunities and will make it easy to have teaching as part of my practice.

I kept that position at Columbus State during the first two and a half years of medical school, finding times in the week when I could teach and not have any interference with med school responsibilities. The one downside to this position was that I didn’t really get to create my own educational materials. Powerpoints were made for us beforehand and encouraged to be used as they lined up with the examinations at the end of each block. I got to do the lesson planning, but it would’ve been nice to have the chance to make some of their online materials and see if I could deliver it in a way that jived with the students. During the summer in between M1 and M2 year, I got the chance to volunteer with MD camp and give a lecture to the students on GI and renal anatomy. I got to create the powerpoint myself, deliver the lecture and then assist them in the cadaver lab to identify the anatomy practically. To say that this powerpoint wasn’t very good would be an understatement, but it was a great learning opportunity for me. Like I said, I didn’t have much formal teaching education as a graduate student, so creating educational materials and my ability as a lecturer still needs a lot of work. I really appreciated having the chance to teach these students and to look back on the powerpoint I made and the way I delivered it. I want the chance to teach medical students and residents in the future, on the wards and in the lecture hall, so every chance I have to get up in front of people and teach will help me on the way to being a successful educator.

Another way that I want to use education and educational materials in the future is with the patients I will eventually treat. Especially in the hospital, I believe there is a lot of opportunities for patient education on their pathologies and the procedures they undergo. I want to be able to create a series of whiteboard talks that I can deliver in patient’s rooms on different topics that are at a level that is easy to understand. I saw the benefits of something like this firsthand when I was on my mini-I rotation in transplant nephrology. There was a patient that was having a bedside paracentesis done one day and I was assisting the senior resident with it. The patient had a lot of questions about why there was fluid in her belly, how it got there and what will be done with it once the fluid is taken out. My senior gave me the chance to sit done with the patient and talk about all of her questions with her. She was greatly appreciative of the information and I believe I delivered it in a fashion that didn’t go over her head. I am a big believer in patient’s taking ownership of their care and transparency of what is happening to them in the hospital. Becoming better as a teacher and creating educational materials will give me the opportunity to make things clearer for patients that I see in the hospital.

As a resident, I am hoping to take advantage of as many teaching opportunities as I can. I am hoping for placement at an academic medical center so that I have the chance to work with medical students during my time as a resident. There are also a good number of programs that I applied to that have some sort of clinical educator track/curriculum that I am also hoping to get involved in. Residency will be most important for me to become a successful healthcare provider, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be an opportunity to improve upon my other professional pursuits.

Artifact 1: (GI Presentation)

Artifact 2: (Renal Presentation)

I have the links to my GI and Renal Anatomy presentations that I gave for MD camp in between my M1 and M2 years.

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