Thank you to the class of 2010 who allowed me to attend the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Learn, Lead, and Serve national conference in Austin Texas in November 2018. I have a strong interest in undergraduate medical education (UME), particularly performing research in curriculum development in undergraduate medical education. The AAMC conference was an an amazing opportunity to develop specific tools for performing UME curriculum design research and tools for becoming a leader in UME in the future.
Informally, I am what some would describe as a Med Ed Nerd, and I was so incredibly excited about this conference. The conference gave me practical experiences in 3 areas: Research, Curriculum Innovation, and Expertise in Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) and Workplace Based Assessments (WBAs).
There were several lectures on how to find funding for medical education research and writing effective manuscripts. These lectures gave me the tools to perform appropriate literature searches, write effective titles and abstracts, and how to search for funding.
There were several lectures on curriculum innovation that described what is happening in medical student education currently. My favorite lecture was entitled: The Next Generation of Medical School Curriculum: Exploring Curricular Innovation and Change.
EPAs and WBAs:
There were also lectures on incorporating workplace based assessments (WBAs) and core entrustable professional activities (EPAs) into medical student curricula, and more particularly, how to evaluate these competencies. This gave me the background on the progress of the EPAS and ultimately inspired my next research project.
Lastly, there were some renowned lecturers presenting at the event, including Angela Duckworth author of Grit and the podcasters of KeyLIME (Key Literature in Medical Education). I have read Duckworth’s book and routinely listen to KeyLIME; thus, attending these lectures was mostly akin to when other people meet the celebrities that they are obsessed with, just the nerdier medical education version of the phenomenon. I also had time to explore Austin, and spontaneously saw the iconic bats of Austin.
Overall this award helped me with my career development, specifically allowing me to acquire specific research tools, understand the current issues that face UME curriculum design, and allowed me to hear from national leaders in UME.