Past Education Pilot Grants and Projects

2013 – 2014

Josh Safer

  • Transgender patients suffer multiple barriers to medical care with lack of physicians who have the necessary medical knowledge of transgender medicine representing the largest single barrier to that care. Incrased knowledge of and experience with treatment of transgender medicine by physicians would be predicted to increase access to safe care for transgender patients. The proposed education pilot would serve to determine the feasibility of incoporating transgender medicine teaching in the standard medical school curriculum. In addition to the appeal to physicians to provide care to those who might be different, this curriculum adovcates program content based on the current biological understanding of the patient group and evidence-based treatment paradigms derived from that biology.

Suzanne Saferty

  • Visual thinking strategies (VTS) is an emerging technique in medical education. Prior research shows VTS enhances learners’ observational skills. It is also speculated that VTS may help learners address ambiguity and foster teamwork skills but these areas are not as well studied. This project seeks to add a VTS educational module to the Advanced Internal Medicine clerkship in the fourth year with the explicit objectives to address ambiguity and enhance teamwork skills. An evaluation completed post intervention will assess the degree to which students felt they learned these skills as a result of the VTS curriculum. This project will be applied to all students on a required clerkship and thus will be more broadly applicable to future curricula development for medical education.


2014 – 2015

Gouri Gupte and Craig Noronha

  • Primary goals of the curriculum are to stimulate trainee interest in playing a larger role in improving the healthcare system as a whole and to equip them with skills necessary to actively participate in quality and patient safety endeavors throughout their career. First year residents were introduced to concepts of quality and high value healthcare; second year learned basic QI framework and participated in hands-on, group QI projects with MPH students; third year learned about malpractice and further on high value care. All residents were required to improve their own patient panel outcomes through a practice improvement module. The curriculum builds skills needed in the 21st century practitioner who has to be able to work with interprofessional, multidisciplinary teams to provide safe, high quality, and value care for their patients.

Robert Lowe

  • Gastrointestinal endoscopy is an integral part of clinical gastroenterology with a large amount of time devoted to learning endoscopy throughout gastroenterology fellowship training.  In the current system, gastroenterology fellows must reach certain thresholds (e.g., 130 esophagogastroduodenoscopies and 140 colonoscopies) before assessing competence, but these thresholds fail to take into account the rate at which different trainees learn endoscopy and the actual education of endoscopy itself. The actual process of teaching endoscopy, however, is not well defined. This study examined how fellows are taught endoscopy throughout fellowship and the degree of variability in endoscopy teaching methods that exists within and between different training programs. We attempted to identify endoscopy teaching methods considered to be effective by both fellows and attending gastroenterologists, with hopes of providing this data to endoscopy instructors and students. Furthermore, we hope to inform further investigation in this area, as well as potential interventions such as a “teach the teacher” curriculum to improve endoscopy teaching.

Azadeh Nasseh

  • The importance of assessing a woman’s breast cancer risk has become more and more evident in clinical practice in recent years as more in depth understating has been gained in regards to factors affecting one’s risk of developing such cancer. Most recently, breast density has been recognized as one of the factors that can also influence a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer over her life time. Little has been known about how primary care providers, including those in training, assess the breast cancer risk in office-based settings. Breast cancer risk assessment is not formally taught during residency training. This proposed education pilot will develop a curriculum for breast cancer risk assessment for medicine residents.To date, there has been no such curriculum published in Med-Ed portal or other searchable engines such as pub-med.


2015 – 2016

Ryan Chippendale

  • According to the Surgenon General’s Report on Oral Health in America, the burden of oral disease in older adults is substantial and Healthy People 2020 states that oral health is one of the top nine health areas in need of improvement for older adults. Poor oral health is associated with diabetes, atherosclerotic vascular disease, aspiration pneumonia, and decreased quality of life. This project aims to determine if an interprofessional educational experience and dental knowledge, skills in oral and geriatric health assessment, and improved attitudes towards treating older adults. The project proposes building an Interprofessional Education (IPE) module in oral systemic health for older adults for medical and dental students that will impact their patients’ overall healthcare. This will be the first IPE project between Geriatric Medicine and Geriatric Dental Medicine involving medical and dental students at BUSM and BUGSDM. The proposed IPE model will help prepare medical and dental students to communicate with each other and work together in the future to provide more comprehensive and coordinated care.

Julian Dedier

  • The overall goal of this study is to promote the effective translation and integration of the M1 clerkship’s educational goals for students into the inpatient team setting where they can provide a foundation for quality medical student teaching, feedback and involvement in patient care. The critical stakeholders in this process are (i) M1 clerkship directors and administrators, (ii) M3 students, (iii) ward residents and (iv) ward attendings. We will assess each group’s ability to articulate the clerkship’s educational team orientation as a key venue for stakeholders to negotiate an agenda for the ward rotation that supports the clerkship’s educational goals and objectives for M3 students.

2016 – Present

Daniel Chen

  • This proposal would help support an interdisciplinary collaboration between the fields of medical and physician assistant education, instructional design and educational technology. Educational researchers have known for decades of the power of reciprocal, or peer-to-peer, instruction as a means of active learning. we aim to answer the question of whether an educationally novel approach to teaching bedside cardiac assessment skills will result in improved knowledge and skill acquisition; confidence in skills; and perception of entrustability amongst junior clinical learners. It is important because without an educational approach that successes addresses overdependence on technology and reverses the current cycle of clinical skill deterioration, both patients and clinical learners may be harmed.

Isabel Dominguez

  • Theoretically, basic science topics are reinforced during clinical training, yet this is rarely done at the point of care or in a clinical educational setting. This results in Foundational Sciences (FS) and their relevance often being poorly understood by graduating physicians. This project aims to address this ongoing challenge in the MD curriculum. Our goal is to prepare a cohort of educators (interns) who will reinforce the application of basic science concepts to important clinical scenarios. The cohort of educators will be selected among the Ph.D. trainees at BU who are actively interested in pursuing teaching as a future career. This will be a new implementation of an existing internship model administered by BU’s BEST program. Interns will receive training in educational theory and in best practices in STEM teaching. These interns will work with interested clinical mentors to develop appropriate curricular material for their clinical audience (medical students and residents). These interns will benefit our clinical community by aiding in the desired development of relevant curricular content in their scientific area of expertise. In addition, the interns will be provided the opportunity to enhance their understanding of the clinical application and relevance of their topics

Priya Joshi

  • While internal medicine residents are required to complete a Physician Education and Assessment Center (PEAC) module (formerly known as Johns Hopkins modules) on the topic of obesity management, there is no formal assessment of knowledge, confidence, or skills in counseling following the module’s completion. An intervention geared at teaching residents how to effectively address obesity via nutrition and exercise counseling in dedicated office visits can lead to substantial improvements in current post-graduate training. Improving residents’ knowledge and confidence in managing obesity in primary care can lead to more effective physicians and improved patient outcomes and satisfaction. My proposed project will augment the current curriculum trainees’ receive on obesity management and will also uniquely include teaching on environmental and social influences on eating habits and physical activity, which is a major public health dilemma Boston Medical Center’s patient population faces. Furthermore, the study will specifically evaluate residents’ application of obesity management and their confidence levels longitudinally over 3 months.

Ambili Ramachandran

  • Breast density refers to the amount of radio-opaque (fibroglandular) relative to radio-lucent (fatty) tissue on mammography. The topic of breast density is receiving increased attention as more states across the country pass legislation requiring that patients be notified of their mammographic breast density. Massachusetts enacted legislation mandating patient notification in January 2015. The intent of such legislation is to raise awareness among women about the implications of breast density so that they may make informed breast health decisions. This proposal for an interactive curriculum is based on an online platform that allows learners to engage with the content, immediately apply knowledge, and receive real-time feedback. The curriculum will implement concepts of adult learning theory by making the content relevant, practical, and goal-oriented. We will tailor this initial curriculum to the state of Massachusetts, including issues related to versions of notification letters commonly used in this state and to insurance coverage. There is currently clear interest in education in this subject area, and completion of this project would meet a key need for primary care providers in practice and in training.

Asher Tulsky

  • My proposal will look at the impact of professional development coaching on the challenges of the internship expereince, the quality of the communication between coach and resident, and measures of burnout including professional accomplishment and emotional exhaustion. Further, I wish to look at how coaching effects the professional identity formation of resident physicians. As individuals go through professional training, they acquire a professional identity where “personal and professional values are fully integrated and pplied” and is a consequence of both choices made and their experiences. My question is whether a coaching program can have a positive impact on these values? While professional development coaching is considered a standard in business organizations, only recently has coaching been introduced into residency training. The hope is that a coaching program will show decreased stress and burnout and increased well-being among the resident participants, a priority in medical education given recent publicity of the worsening of these parameters.

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