The Group for Research in Pathology Education (GRIPE) would like to congratulate Jane Nguyen, winner of the 2017 John H. Holliman Resident Scholarship.
Instilling A Culture of Teaching Within Your Residency Program
My passion for teaching began with a simple mathematical question: Factor the following quadratic equation 2×2 – x – 15. A reasonable question for a sixth grader, I suppose, but for the life of me, I didn’t understand how to tackle the problem. The text book didn’t make any sense to me. (Mind you, this is pre-internet days.) In walks my dad, watching me struggle to finish my homework assignment. He sat with me patiently and explained to me a different way to solve the problem and it worked! This was one of many “ah-hah” moments to come in my life.
I have had a passion for teaching and education throughout my life. I believe that much of education stems from connecting with your audience and being an effective communicator. Whether it be one-on-one tutorials or podium presentations in front of an audience, I believe that the most effective presentations are those that engage your audience and can provide an “ah-hah” moment for those involved. From teaching algebra to high school students to podocyte biology to nephrologists, much of education is communication of your knowledge-base to those around you in an effective and digestible manner.
There is no doubt that Pathology as a field is dynamic and ever-changing. With the recent surge of informatics and technology incorporation within the field, the scope of Pathology is broader than ever. These are exciting times for a field that is relatively considered by other clinicians “behind the scenes” within the hospital. However, for a smaller county run hospital such as ours, our resources are limited. How does a smaller residency program compete with a larger program in terms of their educational resources?
One my interests in pathology education is bridging the gap between smaller county/community-based training programs and larger academic based training programs. Cleveland, as a city, is unique in that we have an abundance of health care providers within the greater Cleveland area. As a resident, this presents for a unique challenge as we experience first-hand the disparities within pathology education provided within the various programs. In order to overcome these barriers, our program focuses on instilling a culture of teaching by our fellow residents which is a vital component to the overall success of our curriculum. As chief resident, I have organized a chief resident lecture series for the residents. In addition, I lead a daily performance improvement program (PIP) for surgical pathology of unknown slides. All residents are active lecturers in the continuing medical education (CME) series of various multidisciplinary conferences. We actively work with rotating medical students to provide them with as much hands-experience in pathology, as well as teaching lung pathology at the local medical school in gross anatomy laboratory. But at the end of the day, the success of transforming pathology education within a residency program is to be an effective leader, which requires you have to have the trust and support of your fellow colleagues. As best said by John F. Kennedy, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”
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