From virtual microscopy to virtual lectures, the
science and dynamics of teaching medicine have made
significant leaps in recent years. This week, a
School of Medicine event will seek to take stock of
this changing classroom landscape.
On Friday, Sept. 15, the offices of Continuing Medical
Education, Undergraduate Medical Education and Graduate
Medical Education will co-host the inaugural Research in
Medical Education Symposium, an all-day event to be held at
the Mt. Washington Conference Center.
Todd Dorman, associate dean and director of the
Office of Continuing
Medical Education, said that the aim of the symposium,
hoped to become an annual event, is to encourage and
support those doing research in medical education. Dorman
said the event will also seek to generate a "taxonomy" of
the types of ongoing projects that Johns Hopkins faculty
are involved in and to promote further grant-aided
"No one has ever assessed what folks are doing in this
area," said Dorman, an associate professor of
anesthesiology and critical care medicine. "We also are
hoping to build tighter relationships between the offices
of Undergraduate Medical Education, Graduate Medical
Education and Continuing Medical Education. Ultimately, we
hope that an event like this will help Hopkins become a
leader in research in [medical] education and help
individual faculty be more promotable."
Maurice Hitchcock, director of the Division of Medical
Education at the University of Southern California's School
of Medicine, will give the symposium's keynote address and
run one of the afternoon workshops. Dorman said that
Hitchcock, in addition to being a well-known and respected
leader in medical education, is a dynamic speaker.
The symposium will also feature a series of workshops
and breakout sessions to foster collegiality and
collaborative relationships. The topics of the workshops
are "Giving Feedback," presented by Randol Barker,
professor of internal medicine, and David Kern, associate
professor of internal medicine; "Lessons from Quick-Starter
Junior Faculty," presented by Hitchcock; "Redefining
Classroom Instruction," presented by Harry Goldberg,
assistant dean and director of the School of Medicine's
Office of Academic Computing; and "Five of the Most Widely
Accepted Methods of Qualitative Research in Education,"
presented by Eunmi Park, an assistant professor of
Goldberg said that advances in technology — such
as virtual microscopy and archived lectures available as
MP3 downloads — are significantly altering the way
medical students learn.
Virtual microscopy, he said, is having a "sea change"
on the way histology is taught. "We instituted this last
year in the first-year program and are rolling it out this
year in the second. The use of traditional microscopes has
been significantly reduced," Goldberg said.
Virtual lectures, he said, have "become a staple
resource for students as a method of review and
occasionally for first exposure to the content." The
lectures are available via a hybrid CD-ROM/Internet system
that students can access during a class or remotely. A
split screen allows students to view animations of complex
processes being discussed by the lecturer, type notes and
add bookmarks to an electronic notebook. They also can slow
down, speed up or replay portions of the lecture as
Goldberg said that in the future the further use of
virtual lectures will permit faculty to spend more time in
To register for the symposium or for more information,