Teacher and students interacting A simultaneously patient-centered and student-centered approach to medical education may sound impossible but it is exactly what Professor and Director of the Shared Discovery Curriculum (SDC) Academy in the College of Human Medicine, Dr. Brian Mavis, is working toward to achieve with members of the SDC Academy. “In the SDC Academy, we work to help educators develop better teaching and coaching skills to make better teachers, better students, and therefore, better doctors,” says Mavis. Dr. Mavis works with faculty in the College of Human Medicine to implement a new curriculum that exposes medical students to clinical settings early and trains them for action early on. “The [SDC] Academy represents a commitment by the College to teaching and [the new curriculum] makes educator development a formal expectation.”

Mavis is also collaborating with Spectrum Health to develop teaching skills for the physicians in hospitals and clinics. Spectrum Health recently conducted a pilot program involving skills training and guided practices as well as assessment of teaching skills. Dr. Mavis has been on the planning committee and OMERAD’s Dr. Monica van de Ridder led two of the Spectrum Health pilot sessions. “We [at OMERAD] are not just a classroom-based resource, we are also working in the healthcare delivery setting.”

As a faculty member at the Office of Medical Education Research and Development (OMERAD), Mavis bridges OMERAD and the College of Human Medicine-SDC faculty by providing information, resources, services, and networking opportunities. Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Human Development Dr. Zakia Alavi affirms, “As an educator for OMERAD and the Learning Society for SDC at the College of Human Medicine, I’ve seen Dr. Mavis take physicians of all different specialties and bring them together as educators for the SDC curriculum.”

Not only does OMERAD work to create these resources for faculty development and student learning, but OMERAD can also serve as a professional social network for those with common research interests. For faculty looking to connect with colleagues who have similar research questions or goals, or for faculty seeking those with similar goals to develop as educators, look no further than Dr. Brian Mavis. Says Mavis, “[In OMERAD, I see myself as] a broker or matchmaker for resources and faculty with similar research or development goals who want to collaborate.”

Faculty discussing paper OMERAD faculty and staff also create resources and provide a hotline for questions related to teaching, scholarship and evaluation. Whether faculty have a question about instrument design, have an idea for preparing scholarship about the SDC, want to integrate technology into their teaching, or have an idea for a particular workshop, OMERAD is here to help. Says Mavis: “We find the best in both worlds of service and research to support the College of Human Medicine.”