Medical Alumni Association

Med Ed Day 2017


The UPSOM Academy of Master Educators Second Annual Med Ed Day: Education, Innovation, and Scholarship took place in the Starzl Biomedical Science Tower on Friday, September 8, 2017.

Drawing a crowd of alumni, faculty, and students alike, keynote speaker, Dr. Quin Capers IV, started the event with his lecture on Mitigating the Unconscious Bias in Medicine: at the Bedside, in the Lecture Hall, and During the Medical School Interview. Dr. Capers is a recognized leader in medical school admissions and trains admissions committees in the holistic review of applicants. To start his lecture, Dr. Capers stated, “if there’s any group that has to have their unconscious bias in check, it’s the admissions,” Elaborating on how biases manifest in medical school and fellowship interviews, Capers explained that bias manifest as less positive interactions, allowing less speaking time, less smiling, and fewer impromptu social comments. Dr. Capers left the attendees with some strategies to reduce or neutralize implicit bias in admissions settings by finding commonalities, taking the perspective of others, and considering the opposite. In a quote, “empathy actively opposes unconscious bias.” For more information on Dr. Capers and his model be sure to check out Harvard University’s “Project Implicit,” which hosts the Implicit Association Test.



Along with the keynote, two sessions of poster presentations focused on improving medical education, including a poster presented by MAA Executive Board Member, Ankur Doshi, MED’00. Dr. Doshi’s presentation revolved around academic acute care medicine. The University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Emergency Medicine developed the Summer Research Immersion program (SRI) in 2014 to accommodate all students engaged in summer research. This program adds three components to a traditional short-term student research program. First, participating students complete weekly journal clubs to review medical papers with the objective of analyzing primary research and developing skills in research promulgation. Second, students complete six core Emergency Medicine skill workshops to improve clinical abilities and the pathophysiologic mechanisms involved. Lastly, student participants observe clinical care with Emergency Medicine faculty biweekly with the objective of experiencing the nature of emergency medical care. The SRI program has been successful with introducing participants to the profession of Academic Acute Care Medicine and hopes to expand the group of student and faculty participants.



Along with Dr. Doshi, the MAA spoke with two current Pitt Med students presenting posters. Second-year Aric Berning, described how he is relatively new in the field of medical education and that he came to the event with an open mind. “I’m really excited to see all of the different types of projects that are going on around the whole school,” Berning explained. Networking events such as these are important to find likeminded colleagues supporting medical education. Berning’s poster focused on his work with the Family Medicine Clerkship, involving simulated patient in-home exercises where the students take the role of a primary care physician. In these exercises, students create care plans for the simulated patients, which are then coded through the programming language, Python, in order to assess changes in student behavior. Berning explained how participating in this study allowed him to learn Python and apply it to his educational goals, which he had no prior experience in. Participating in this research opened a new window into bioinformatics that may be applicable to the field of radiology.

Fellow second year, Steve Bayer said, “this is my first foray into medical education…I was excited to see what other people have been working on.” Bayer further emphasized the collaborative nature of Med Ed Day in that students from all of the health science schools are exposed to a variety of ideas about medical education that can then be integrated into curricula or even an individual student’s study strategy. Bayer left with an enhanced view of his own education as well as some interesting ideas for the future.

Closing with a networking event, the Med Ed Day also featured six “MED Talks” focused around the improvement of medical education through sharing decision making responsibilities, the utilization of video review in teacher education, and improving learning outcomes through personal genomic testing.