The Medical Educator Tips & Tricks Blog

Where Learning to Teach Happens on Your Schedule

The Stories We Tell...And Those We Don't

I have a friend who works in the emergency department and he swears he doesn't have any stories to tell. The thing is, I don't believe him. I don't know how he couldn't have a thousand stories at his fingertips to use as powerful teaching tools if he wanted. But after reflecting on it a bit, I...

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iPhone as Ice Breaker: Using Hand-Held Technology as a Get-To-Know-You Tool

If you’re anything like me, the days and weeks on service seem to fly by. What with seeing all the patients, touching base with consultants, family meetings and the all-important teaching moment squeezed in, there are times when I find it hard to recollect a recent student’s name or any...

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Crystal Clear: Making Your Teaching Transparent

This morning we were in more of a rush than usual getting the kids off to pre-school and I asked my two-year old if he wanted to eat his breakfast in the car. The conversation went something like this: Me: Should we eat on-the-go? Two: On the goat? Me: Yeah, in the car, on the go. Two: I eat...

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Ping-Ponging: A Cooperative Approach to Teaching Different Levels of Learners

The thought of teaching a new topic every single day for every single learner can feel overwhelming. You may think, “How am I going to fit this in every day?” or “I’m not sure I know enough,” or “How can I master that many topics in a way all these learners will grasp?” Indeed, teaching to many...

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10 Strategies for the Struggling Teacher

A week ago, one of you reached out to me, struggling. You bravely and candidly shared your frustrations with the long hours that medicine demands, the desire to teach without any time, the nearly constant pull between more patient care and teaching the learners you are training to provide...

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The Bumblebee Effect

Over the weekend, I stumbled across a wonderful blog post (thank you Rob Rogers!) written by Jennifer Gonzalez called The Marigold Effect. Long story short, it’s about those first years of teaching, how brutal they can be, how much they can make you question what you thought you knew, make you...

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How It All Started

It was 2003. I was a third-year medical student on Internal Medicine and I was on the hunt for a new career. I had originally thought I wanted to do OB/GYN but after six weeks of doing my best not to pass out with nearly every delivery I saw, I decided I needed a new calling and I was pretty...

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The Crush

Don’t’ play coy here. We’ve all had them. The learner that makes your heart go pitter-patter when you see them first thing in the morning knowing that YES! They will have followed up on all the labs and YES! They really did pre-round and YES! They will suggest management that moves the plan...

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Rec Letter Writing 101

With the looming September deadline for ERAS letters of recommendation, I’ve been buckling down recently and trying to wade through the sea of recommendation letters for all those anxious fourth-year medical students getting ready to apply for residency. After signing that last letter, I...

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The Annoying Learner

A dear friend and colleague approached me the other day with a quandary: she had an annoying learner she didn’t know what to do with. This learner didn’t have an issue with unprofessional behavior, drug use, or difficulty managing patients. He was just--well—irritating. Let’s be honest here,...

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