The Office of Medical Education Research and Development is the first continuously operating office of medical education in the country. OMERAD faculty and staff provide professional development for educators based on teaching and learning strategies that match the experiential goals of the Shared Discovery Curriculum, design and analyze data using multiple assessment metrics to provide information about student learning, coach medical students with learning strategies that support diverse student learners, create technology for teaching and learning, and advance scholarship in medical education through multiple methodologies. Evolving with contemporary needs and curriculum reform, the OMERAD faculty represent diverse research and teaching interests.

We utilize various qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to investigate teaching and learning topics in medical education. We disseminate our research scholarship, through publications and presentations, to influence medical education globally.


Recent PublicationsGettyImages 1177967778


  • Stanulis RN & Guenther AR. A Call for Curriculum and Faculty Developers to Attend to Ambitious Teaching in Experiential Curriculum. Medical Science Educator. 2021; 31(1): 223-228. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40670-020-01162-1
  • Voytenko VL, VanOrman BT, Jaarsma RD, Bisho TW, Mavis BE, & Achtyes ED. Getting Involved in Training the Next Generation of Physicians: Examples of Practicing Psychologists in Psychiatry and Family Medicine Residency Programs. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. Advance online publication. 2021 http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pro0000346
  • Zheng B, Chang C, Lin CH. & Zhang Y. Self-efficacy, academic motivation, and self-regulation: How do they predict academic achievement for medical students? Medical Science Educator. 2021; 31: 125–130. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40670-020-01143-4


  • Chang C, Colón-Berlingeri M, Mavis B, Laird-Fick H, Parker C, Solomon D. Medical Student Progress Examination Performance and its Relationship With Metacognition, Critical Thinking, and Self-Regulated Learning Strategies. Academic Medicine: September 29, 2020 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue. https://doi.org/gpzs
  • Chang C, Gardiner J, Houang R, Yu YL. Comparing multiple statistical software for multiple-indicator, multiple-cause modeling: an application of gender disparity in adult cognitive functioning using MIDUS II dataset. BMC Medical Research Methodology. 2020 Dec;20(1):1-4. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12874-020-01150-4
  • Glick D, Cohen A, Chang C. (Eds.) Early Warning Systems and Targeted Interventions for Student Success in Online Courses. IGI Global, Hershey, Pennsylvania. 2020.
  • Guenther AR, Wexler LJ, Brondyk SK, Stanulis RN, Pylman S. Mentor Study Groups as Sites for Mentor Teacher Learning. In: Bernhardt PE, Conway TR, Richardson GM, eds. Engaged Clinical Practice: Preparing Mentor Teachers and University-based Educators to Support Teacher Candidate Learning. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; 2020:65.
  • Laird-Fick HS, Chang C, Wang L, Parker C, Malinowski R, Emery M, Solomon DJ. Assessing the growth in clinical skills using a progress clinical skills examination. PeerJ. 2020 May 1;8:e9091. https://doi.org/gpzt
  • Mavis B, Gabbur N, Nelson E, Schroedl C, Shea J, Varpio L. Learn Serve Lead Medical Education submissions: Demystifying the decision process. Academic Medicine. August 4, 2020; Volume Publish Ahead of Print. https://doi.org/gpzv
  • Pylman S, Ward A. 12 Tips for effective questioning in medical education. Medical Teacher. 2020 Apr 15;1-7. https://doi.org/10.1080/0142159X.2020.1749583
  • Wagner DP, Mavis BE, Sousa AC. Shared Discovery at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. Academic Medicine. 2020; 95(9 Suppl): S240-S244. https://doi.org/gpzw
  • Ward A, Stanulis R. Improving Medical Education Through Targeted Coaching. Medical Science Educator. 2020; 30(3), 1255-1261. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40670-020-01002-2
  • Zheng B, Ward A, Stanulis R. Self-regulated learning in a competency-based and flipped learning environment: learning strategies across achievement levels and years. Medical education online. 2020 Dec;25(1):1686949. https://doi.org/10.1080/10872981.2019.1686949
  • Zheng B, Zhang Y. Self-regulated learning: The effect on medical student learning outcomes in a flipped classroom environment. BMC Medical Education. 2020 Dec;20(1):1-7. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-020-02023-6
  • Zheng B, Lin CH, Kwon JB. (2020). The impact of learner-, instructor-, and course-level factors on online learning. Computers & Education. 2020 Jun 1;150:103851. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2020.103851


  • Mavis B & Farnan JM. Curriculum change: Reflections on what and how we teach. The Association of American Medical Colleges Curriculum in Context commentary series, Washington, D.C. (Sept.); 6:3. Posted September 30, 2019.
  • Phillips J, Prunuske J, Fitzpatrick L, Mavis B. The family medicine attitudes questionnaire: A valid instrument to assess student attitudes toward family medicine. Family Medicine. 2019;51(6):493-501. https://doi.org/10.22454/FamMed.2019.957692
  • Pylman S, Ward A. When did "teaching" become a taboo word for clinician educators? Medical Teacher. 2019:1-2. https://doi.org/10.1080/0142159X.2019.1620199


Recent PresentationsConference_Logos.png

*Contact authors for more information



Chang C, Laird-Fick H, Parker C, Solomon DJ. Alternative Reliability Measures for Medical Students’ Skills in Objective Structured Clinical Examinations.

Guenther A, Evert K. Principals’ Roles, Their Influence on Novice Teacher Practice, and Possibilities for Promoting Equity and Justice.



Blalock AE, Ward A. Becoming a woman doctor: Insights from first-year women medical students

Chang C, Laird-Fick H, Parker C, Wexler B, Keyes CW, Solomon DJ. Assessing the impact of clerkships on the growth of clinical knowledge.

Guenther A, Stanulis S. Making Early Clinical Experiences Meaningful for Medical Students.




Pylman S, Guenther A, Riley B, Armstrong K. Clinician-Educators in Learning Communities Develop Through Action Research Projects.



Guenther A, Stanulis S. Teaching with Intent: Making Early Clinical Experiences Meaningful for Medical Students.

Wang L, Laird-Fick H, Parker C, Solomon D. Growth patterns of foundation subject scores in Customized Assessment Services (CAS) exams and their associations with USMLE Step 1 results.

Pylman S, Ward A, Sudhanthar S. The benefit of early clinical experience debriefing sessions for first-year medical student learning.



Colón-Berlingeri M, Wang L, Laird-Fick H, Parker C, Drake E, DeMuth R. Does performance on weekly formative assessments (WFAs) predict performance on progress examinations? [Accepted as a poster]

Parker C, Wagner D, DeMuth R, Colón-Berlingeri M, Chilman-McComb M, Arvidson C, Borgeld M, Emery M, Laird-Fick H, Sousa A. Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Educational Experiences as Foundational Components of a Competency-based Curriculum. [Accepted as an oral presentation]

Parker C, Laird-Fick H, Chang C, Wang L, Malinowski R, Emery M, Solomon DJ. The Generalizability of a Progress Clinical Skills Examination for Assessing the Growth in Clinical Skills. [Accepted as a poster]

Pylman S, Guenther A. Challenges of Ambitious Teaching for Clinician- Educators in Academic Settings. [Accepted as an oral presentation]



Chang C, Laird-Fick H, Parker C, Wang L, Solomon DJ. What do entrustable professional activities (EPAs) measure? Evidence from exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. [Accepted as a roundtable]

Chang C, Laird-Fick H, Parker C, Wang L, Solomon DJ. Assessing medical students’ clinical performance progress and the relationship with USMLE Step 1 scores. [Accepted as a poster]

Wang L, Laird-Fick H, Chang C, Parker C, Malinowski R, Solomon DJ. Evaluating medical students’ trajectory on progress tests using Markov Chain model. [Accepted as an oral presentation]

Zheng B, Chang C, Lin C-H, Zhang Y. Self-efficacy, academic motivation, and self-regulation: How do they predict academic achievement for medical students? [Accepted as an oral presentation]

Physicians teach every day. But what does it mean to be an effective teacher?  Being an effective physician does not necessarily mean that you are prepared to be an effective teacher who is skilled in questioning, turn-taking, listening, and uncovering what students understand. The Shared Discovery Curriculum provides a unique opportunity to make an impact in a student-centered model of learning. The OMERAD sponsored Medical Education Certificate Program will work with MSU-SDC faculty each year (from Grand Rapids and East Lansing) for an academic year-long inquiry on teaching. At the end of the program, participants will have a strong start on scholarship around their experience as a medical educator and a certificate as a graduate of MEET.

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*This program is open to both Lead Fellows and Team Fellows who teach for the Learning Societies in the CHM Academy.



  • Practice ideas learned in faculty development with observation and feedback
  • Collaborate with other fellows, sharing ideas and strategies
  • Develop more competence and confidence in your teaching skills
  • Grow as a medical education scholar


Certificate Program Unique Features:

  • Participate in eight, 1-1.5-hour online study groups across the year
    • Study groups will be scheduled according to group availability
  • Practice applying ideas discussed in study groups and analyze results of practice
  • Receive three to four 1-hour individual observations of teaching practice by veteran educators utilizing observation tools which will provide data for 30-minute individual debriefing conversations
  • Analyze your own practice with an educator coach as you analyze videos of your small group teaching
  • Learn how to use Action Research to improve your teaching practice and engage in scholarly work on your teaching
  • Present results of your Action Research in a scholarship showcase in May 
  • Earn 13.5 CME credits (if applicable)
  • All materials are included


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Requirements for Certificate:

  • Attendance at all study groups and Showcase
  • Participation in all learning activities


Time Commitment Estimation:

  • In-person study groups and showcase (13.5 hours)
  • Three-four 30 min. Zoom debriefs after observation (2 hours)
  • Scholarly project work (4+ hours)


Total Cost $500:

  • The program fee can be paid by department, personally, or a combination of both
  • If you are retired and not associated with a department, contact Randi Stanulis for payment options


Apply at: https://msu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5cdtTyv4u7NHohM 


Faculty Development Leaders, Planners, & Observers

Stacey Pylman, Ph.D. OMERAD pylmanst@msu.edu 

Amy Guenther, Ph.D. OMERAD guenth8@msu.edu

Randi Stanulis, Ph.D. Director, OMERAD randis@msu.edu 

Jan Prybys, M.A. OMERAD and Teacher Education prybys@msu.edu

The Problem

2.8 million people are treated in emergency departments in one year. That’s equal to the entire population of Nevada or Kansas.

Falls are the most common cause of TBIs. Over 750,000 people are hospitalized because of injuries sustained from a fall with most of those suffering from a head injury or broken hip. At an average cost of $30,000 per admission, it’s an astronomical cost.

The human cost in loss of independence from mobility limitations is tremendous. For those who still work, a fall could mean loss of income. For those on fixed incomes, the deductibles and co-pays could impose real financial burden.

Most Falls Are Preventable Identifying fall risks is such low-hanging fruit as we think about ways to decrease healthcare spending and increase our patients’ quality of life.

As the baby boomers age with 10,000 turning 65 every day, these numbers will only get bigger unless we do something to decrease the incidence of preventable falls.

Learn How to Assess Fall Risk and Help Patients Increase Their Strength and Balance During the presentation, you will learn about the magnitude of the number of falls and their adverse effects. It provides some effective tools you can use to determine whether an older adult is at risk of a fall by conducting a quick but effective fall risk assessment. Finally, it demonstrates some strategies you can use with your older patients to help them reduce their fall risk by improving balance, strength, flexibility, and endurance.

Mobility Concerns and Falls Module

OMERAD was established in 1966 as the first unit created in the newly founded College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. OMERAD was the fifth office of medical education established in the United States and it is the longest continuously operating medical education office in the United States.

Directors of OMERAD (Founding to Current):

Dr. Hillard Jason, Founding Director (1966-1972)

Dr. Ronald Richards (1972-1975)

Dr. Arthur Elstein (1976-1979)

Dr. Jack Maatsch (1980-1989)

Dr. Robert Bridgham (1989-1994)

Dr. William A. Anderson (1994-2002)

Dr. Marsha Rappley—Acting Director (2002-2004)

Dr. Brian Mavis (2004-2017)

Dr. Randi Stanulis (2017-present)

OMERAD: Significant Milestones

Focal Problems Development

Beginning with the earliest curriculum planning for CHM, OMERAD faculty were heavily involved in the development and evaluation of CHM’s pioneer work in focal problems. Focal Problems, CHM’s approach to problem-based learning was introduced in the curriculum in 1968. The college was a three year program at the time, with students required to transfer to another school to complete their clinical training. Focal problems started as an unstructured experience for third year students, after they had completed their basic science courses. Over the years OMERAD contributed significantly to the modification of the Focal Problem sequence. Clinical cases, lectures, instructional objectives and reference lists were added to provide more structure to the learning environment, and Focal Problems was moved into the first terms of the curriculum. In 1973 a dual track curriculum was introduced. Students were given the option of selecting either Track I or Track II. Track was a traditional lecture-based curriculum. Track II allowed students to integrate almost all of the basic science and social science content in the first two years through the focal problem experience.

Community Based/Community Oriented Medical Education

OMERAD faculty were involved in the development of CHM’s Upper Peninsula Medical Education Program. This program represented a categorically different approach to the matter of meeting health care needs in a rural area. The goal of the program was to establish a four-year decentralized modular primary care education track 400 miles from the main campus in the most rural part of Michigan. OMERAD faculty assisted in developing the general curriculum design and evaluation plan for one of the first community based/community oriented medical education programs in the United States.

Medical Inquiry/Clinical Reasoning Research

A complex, in-depth observation study of clinical problem solving was conducted by OMERAD faculty between 1969-1973. This pioneering research contributed greatly to our understanding of the medical problem-solving process. The book Medical Problem Solving: An Analysis of Clinical Reasoning by Arthur A. Elstein (a former Director of OMERAD), Lee S. Shulman and Sara A. Sprafka is considered a benchmark publication in helping medical educators to understand the cognitive processes physicians use in making clinical decisions.

Medical Simulation/Patient Games

Former OMERAD Director Jack Maatsch contributed substantially to our current understanding of how methods of simulation used by NASA, the military and industry to teach very complex cognitive and psychomotor skills could be applied to the field of medical education. In 1971 Dr. Maatsch developed the concept of patient games as a means to exploring simulation techniques and basic learning principles. His goal was to produce a more cost-effective method for teaching the fundamentals of diagnosis and patient management in the classroom. Simulation techniques continue to be used in CHM’s curriculum today in assisting students in data gathering, interviewing, diagnosis and developing psychomotor skills.

Criterion-Referenced Testing for Clinical Competency

Dr. Jack Maatsch was honored by the American College of Emergency Physicians for his “exemplary contributions to the development of the certification examination in emergency medicine”. The two-part criterion-referenced examination developed under his direction was designed to predict clinical competence in real medical practice.

Interpersonal Recall Process/Doctor-Patient Encounter

Dr. Norman Kagan, a former OMERAD faculty member with a background in counseling psychology achieved international recognition for his pioneer work in interpersonal recall process. He developed methods for teaching students interviewing and interpersonal skills using videotaped encounters between student physicians and paid subjects with medical problems that could be replayed frame by frame so that the interviewer could recall what he was thinking and feeling at various stages of the doctor-patient encounter.

Faculty Development

From its beginnings, OMERAD faculty have been very heavily involved in various faculty development efforts. These efforts took several forms including individual consultation, an ongoing workshop/seminar series in medical education, and two rather extensive faculty development efforts: the OMERAD Fellows/Masters Degree Program in Medical Education and the OMERAD Primary Care Faculty Development Program.

OMERAD Fellows Program

The OMERAD Fellows Program was an educational experience of one or more years duration, intended for health professionals. The program was designed to be a cooperative venture between faculty and fellows who worked as colleagues in dealing with a variety of issues, problems, and research project in medical education.

Primary Care Faculty Development Fellowship Program

In July, 1978 OMERAD was awarded a three-year contract from the Bureau of Health Manpower, Public Health Service to develop and implement a training program for new faculty in family medicine. In September, 1986, the faculty development program was expanded to a Primary Care Faculty Development Fellowship Program, supported by grants from the Division of Medicine, Public Health Service. This program has trained 18-25 primary care physicians annually using a combined at-home/on-site model.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Partnerships for Health Profession Education Evaluation

Beginning in 1990 through 1999, the Kellogg Foundation funded two national programs in health professions education (HPE) designed to shift the center of HPE from academic health centers to community venues. The first program focused on undergraduate education including students in medicine, nursing, dentistry and pharmacy. The second program highlighted graduate nursing and graduate medical education. Under the direction of Rebecca Henry, OMERAD conducted the national evaluations of each of these large scale programs.

Gateway Development

CHM began a system of new performance examinations in 2002. Initially part of a commitment to a competency-based approach to the clinical skills curriculum, OMERAD faculty have had leadership roles in a comprehensive approach to assessing core clinical skills. Using the new Learning and Assessment Center as the site, CHM faculty designed and pilot-tested a comprehensive OSCE-type gateway exam to be used as a new graduation requirement. Also in 2002, OMERAD and the Department of Family Medicine received an award from HRSA to support the Gateway development. CHM now has a separate unit and an Associate Dean for College-wide Assessment that oversees implementation of all performance assessments across the college.

Workshop Packages

In keeping with the faculty development theme, as a spin off from the Primary Care Faculty Development Fellowship program some freestanding workshop packages were sold. These packages were designed for easy presentation by administrators, residency directors or others responsible for faculty development. In addition to hand-outs and visuals each workshop package included a detailed Administrator’s Manual, with instructions necessary to plan, conduct and evaluate the workshop. The workshop packages could be easily modified to match specific audience needs. Workshop packages available were:

Power-Reading: Critical Appraisal of the Medical Literature, by Patrick Alguire, MD, FACP, David McKellin, PhD, Rebecca Henry, PhD and Karen Lienhart, MA

Presenting a Scientific Paper, by William Anderson, PhD, James Warner, PhD and Karen Lienhart, MA

Giving Constructive Feedback, by William Anderson, PhD and Richard Malacrea, MD

Evaluating Residents and Medical Students by Christopher Reznich, PhD and Deborah Meyer, RN, MA, and

Teaching in the Ambulatory Setting by Gary Ferenchick, MD and Tatum Langford, MA

OMERAD Resources


DR-ED was created 1996 as a virtual medical education community for discussion and information sharing for those interested in teaching, research and faculty development in medical education. Specifically, DR-ED was developed to: --promote discussion and development related to medical education; --facilitate networking among colleagues who share common interests or expertise; --provide an electronic forum for disseminating information about funding and other resources related to medical education development and research interests.

Medical Education Online (MEO)

MEO is an open-access electronic journal for disseminating information on education physicians and other health professions. Manuscripts on any aspect of the process of training health professionals will be considered for peer-reviewed publication in an electronic journal format. In addition to manuscripts, MEO provides a repository for resources such as curricula, data sets, syllabi software, and instructional material developers wish to make available to the health education community.

Blended Curricular Learning Resources (B-CLR)

The B-CLR group, housed in OMERAD since 2007, represents a CHM initiative at providing a central location for CHM faculty to obtain free information and consultation on designing, developing and implementing instructional course materials that combine both face-to-face and online teaching and learning.