Colloquium Fosters ‘Cross-Pollination’ in Health Professions Education

Posted in GUMC Stories

JUNE 6, 2014—It was a day to think outside the educational box.

Dozens of faculty from Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) presented short talks or posters on education research projects, descriptions of curricular, teaching or assessment examples, or ideas on innovations at a June 2 Colloquium for GUMC Educators in the Health Professions.

The daylong event, which drew nearly 120 people throughout the course of the day, was the first of its kind at GUMC sponsored by CENTILE, the Center for Innovation and Leadership in Education. The goal was to spark conversations and discussions that might foster new educational innovations and collaborations, according to Aviad Haramati, PhD , CENTILE’s director.

“I have learned how much we have in common and how much we can learn from each other. There is so much richness here, so we can inform ourselves and span the gulf [between disciplines],” Haramati told attendees. “We talk about silos, but you are all here because we are going to break those down and find new ways to crosslink our activities and enrich our students’ education and training.”


The day showcased a rich tapestry of educational topics, ranging from using new technologies such as Google Glass in the classroom, to engaging students in testing their own blood glucose for a metabolism classroom exercise, to honing future health care practitioners through the fine arts.

Faculty described experiences incorporating narrative and reflection, interprofessional education exercises, and an array of other tools and tactics designed to yield the most productive and challenging learning environment possible.

Pamela Saunders, PhD , who chaired the program committee, said the committee received over 50 abstracts, from which the final 19 were selected as oral presentations, 10 short ideas and 20 posters.

“This really shows that Georgetown values education, and that various entities including the School of Nursing & Health Studies , the School of Medicine , Biomedical Graduate Education and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital value educators, which is what we are,” Saunders said.

Elliott Crooke, PhD , GUMC’s senior associate dean of faculty and academic affairs, said in his closing remarks: “This is the pinnacle of faculty affairs and faculty development. We really saw today the cross-pollination of faculty from across our different missions.”

Ranit Mishori, MD, MHS , a member of the program committee who also presented a session on health disparities and a poster on case competitions, said she found great value in determining areas where others’ work might overlap with hers to forge new partnerships. This type of event is particularly important in the current “landscape of health professions education,” she said, which is trending towards interprofessional and interdisciplinary.

“Setting up an event that is decidedly multidisciplinary in scope is a must if we, as an institution, want to pursue some opportunities and funding and advance the pedagogy,” Mishori said.  

By Lauren Wolkoff
GUMC Communications