“To hold my teacher in this art equal to my own parents; to make him partner in my livelihood…and to teach them this art,”

Teaching is an essential part of our profession and a fundamental aspect of the Hippocratic Oath, borrowing from the Latin meaning of the word “doctor.” Despite this ideal expectation, few physicians have any formal training in education or teaching skills. Beginning during the 2016-2017 academic year, fifteen residents will be participating in the newly developed UAB Clinician Educator Track. Designed for residents interested in a career in academic medicine, the track encourages exploration of medical education and mentorship for future clinician educators over a two-year curriculum.

ClinicianEducatorThe Clinician Educator Track integrates three previously established facets of the Internal Medicine Residency Program: Creating Efficient Residents as Teachers (CERT), Pathways in Academic Medicine, and the Medical Education Elective. Established in 2007, CERT consists of monthly seminars focused on practical teaching skills. Topics include giving feedback, teaching clinical reasoning, and how to be an effective team leader, to name a few. The Medical Education Elective began in 2014 as a one-month rotation for second and third-year residents during which trainees study the components of effective teaching and principles of cognitive science learning. By the end of the elective, residents apply these skills practically by teaching exercises observed by faculty, who then provide feedback. The Pathways in Academic Medicine is a seminar series started last year and comprised of an annual retreat and monthly lectures that present residents with an opportunity to learn about the diverse options for a career in academic medicine.

Under the leadership of Assistant Program Director Dr. Ryan Kraemer, the Clinician Educator Track is open to all residents interested in academic medicine, regardless of their future career path. Citing his upbringing in a family of educators, Dr. Kraemer recalls a time during his third year of medical school when he realized you could simultaneously be a physician and a teacher. Additionally, members of the Clinician Educator Track will teach and mentor students during their third year clerkships and acting intern rotations, laying an early foundation for future clinician educators. Upcoming additions to the track include a journal club focused on medical education. Despite being in its early stages of development, the Clinician Educator Track seeks to expand the continuum of academic medicine across generations to come.