Research to Actions Interview With Dr. Jared Austin, MD

In this interview we sit down with Dr. Jared Austin, MD Associate Professor, Pediatrics; Director, Pediatric Chair’s Friday Forum; Course Director, Transition to Clinical Experiences and Transition to Residency- OHSU School of Medicine.

And we’ll discuss his recent publication, “Use of Active Learning and Sequencing in a Weekly Continuing Medical Education/Graduate Medical Education Conference.”

Here’s a quick summary of what we discussed:

What was the problem or question you set out to answer?

There exists considerable overlap between education intended for faculty, residents and medical students. However, few conferences, apart from grand rounds, attempts to educate this group together, and grand rounds is typically not interactive, nor a particularly effective model educational conference. We felt that by creating an interactive educational conferences for multi-level learners we could enhance intergenerational learning as well address UME/GME and faculty development curricular needs.

What were the methods you applied to answer the question?

We identified broad subject areas that would be pertinent to learners of all educational levels. These included: clinical reasoning, EBM, M&M, Research in progress, ethics. We organized teams of faculty and residents to implement these conferences on a rotating basis, with a different subject being offered every Friday, and designed the conferences to include principles of active learning. We specifically chose the order, or sequence, of the conferences to correspond with how clinical practice proceeds from case presentation, to critical appraisal of the literature, to addressing morbidity and mortality, to performing scholarly investigations, to answering ethical questions.

What did you learn? What do we know now that we didn't know before?

Participation in Friday Forum increased every year, and has reached levels on par with grand rounds (which is a very popular conference in our department). Residents appreciated Friday Forum for the chance to hear faculty think out loud about cases—allowing them to consider how to synthesize clinical information on their own. Faculty appreciated Friday Forum for the ability to get together as a department in an informal setting, thus developing community and collegiality. Surprisingly, the most popular subject in the series has turned out to be: Ethics!

How do you think this could be applied in practice? Identify 2-3 actionable take-aways

  1. Every academic department should have an interactive conference, apart from grand rounds, to discuss clinical subjects. This could be in the form of a morbidity and mortality conference, but these need to be run without becoming blame/shame conferences. Furthermore, having M&M as the only department wide interactive conference does not realize the potential to learn about other subjects, or utilize faculty with other skillsets, e.g. EBM, ethics.
  2. Conducting department wide interactive conferences may encourage the development of learning communities, and maybe even decrease burnout rates.

If you learned something with this episode please share the lessons and share the link with your colleagues – the Almanac is now fully open access, meaning everyone in your organization or professional social network can benefit!

Please feel free to reach out if you have suggestions on folks you’d like to see us interview. Or Maybe there are published articles you would like to see deconstructed or simplified…just let us know. You can contact me through LinkedIn or Twitter at @briansmcgowan.

Keep in mind that with every educational program we build there are a thousand opportunities to ask a research question, and with every research article that is published there are dozens of lessons to learn. You don’t have to be a research scientist to build great training experiences, but you do need to embrace what the literature says and move past the status quo.

Thanks for joining us and until next time, NEVER STOP LEARNING.

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