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Celebration of Medical Education Expands to Two Days

June 15, 2023
by Abigail Roth

On May 31 and June 1, 2023, the Yale health profession schools community gathered for the 11th annual Medical Education Day at Yale (Med Ed Day)—and the inaugural Med Ed Day Pre-Conference sessions. In welcoming the audience, which included faculty, residents, fellows, students, staff, and alumni from the Yale Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health, Deputy Dean for Education Jessica Illuzzi, MD, MS, said, “It’s wonderful to be in person for part of Med Ed Day for the first time since spring 2019. There is so much happening in medical education at Yale, so it is fitting that this tradition has expanded beyond a day.” Yale School of Medicine’s (YSM) Teaching and Learning Center (TLC), led by Executive Director John Encandela, PhD, coordinated the annual event.

Med Ed Day showcases the Yale health profession community’s outstanding work, focused on innovations in medical education curriculum and educator development, as well as important breakthroughs in medical education. Illuzzi noted that while the medical education community’s work is presented locally at Med Ed Day, the community has a much broader impact. “By presenting at regional and national conferences, you have disseminated our important advances in medical education, which strengthens medical education—and brings recognition to Yale as a leader in this field.”

Center for Medical Education provides important support

Both Illuzzi and Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning Janet Hafler, EdD, discussed the important support that YSM’s new Center for Medical Education already is providing to the medical education community, which will increase over time. The roles and accessibility of the TLC and Yale Continuing Medical Education (CME) are being synergistically expanded under the center, to meet the increasing needs of Yale medical educators.

The in-person pre-conference events were held in the Cushing Whitney Medical Library (CWML), which Illuzzi noted was an apt location, “since the library is an amazing resource for the health profession schools and programs, playing a critical role in research and training.” The assessment discussion session provided an outstanding forum for three brief presentations on different assessment challenges—simulated participant encounters, how to improve written evaluations, and assessment of teams—each followed by an interactive discussion, which TLC Faculty Associate Dana Dunne, MD, MHS, moderated. Afterwards, attendees gathered in the CWML Historical Library, where the MHS-Medical Education Pathway Degree Program’s 2023 graduates received their diplomas and presented posters of their medical education research thesis work. Department leaders, MHS-Med Ed alumni, family, and friends mingled for this event which included a wine and cheese reception.

Design to accommodate limitations

The following day, June 1, was held via Zoom. Kevin W. Eva, PhD, professor and director of education research and scholarship, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, delivered the keynote: In Defense of Subjectivity: Optimizing the Value of Judgement in Performance Assessment. Acknowledging “human judgement is flawed,” pointing to factors such as limitations of attentional capacity, working memory, and “the idiosyncratic influence of prior experience,” he proposed that rather than blaming those who rate our performance, “we create supportive systems,” and rather than fighting against rater cognition, “we design to accommodate its limitations.”

Referring to the Japanese concept of Aiki, “using your enemy’s strength/momentum to your advantage,” he continued, “What I find myself advocating for nowadays is a movement away from efforts to change natural cognitive tendencies towards efforts to better understand those tendencies so we can use them to our advantage.”

Eva stated that while “subjectivity is at play everywhere, that’s not inherently good or bad.” What matters, he continued, “is how it’s used,” for example, aggregating multiple sources of data, referencing James Surowieki’s The Wisdom of Crowds. “Overcoming variability of opinion should not always be considered the goal,” Eva emphasized, pointing to the value of diversity.

Many afternoon options

Following the keynote, participants could choose among several interactive online offerings:


Learn Well: Creating Psychological Safety in the Clinical Learning Environment

An Interdisciplinary Team Approach to Developing Entrustable Professional Activities (EPA) for Assessing Common Tasks: A Case Study

Metacognition and Critical Reflection in Supervision: A Workshop for Educators

Oral Presentations (Session included all five topics)

The Hospital Medicine Firm: A Novel Approach to Inpatient Education

Pediatric Critical Care Nursing Education and Distance Simulation in Accra, Ghana

One Size Doesn't Fit All: Student Demographic Considerations for Wellness Curricula

Improving Transparency & Identifying Obstacles in the Residency Application Process

Exploring ChatGPT’s Ability to Augment Medical Education

The day closed on a celebratory note, the graduation of the 13 participants in the 2022-23 Medical Education Fellowship, a program which develops clinician educators who will provide educational leadership in YSM departments and at the school more broadly.

Med Ed Day continued with 65 poster submissions from across the health profession schools available for viewing and engagement online for eight days.

Submitted by Abigail Roth on June 14, 2023