The Academy Scholars Program (formerly known as META Scholars program) is a two year program intended for faculty who wish to enhance their teaching, education research and administrative skills.

The elements of the Academy Scholars program are:

  • Seminars and workshops covering aspects of education research, clinical and didactic teaching and education program administration and leadership.
  • Participation in other Academy and MITE seminars and workshops.
  • Education Journal club
  • Observed teaching session and coaching
  • Teaching opportunities for TUSM-Maine track medical students
  • Completion and publication of an education scholarly project

Scholars agree to attend the two seminars a month (Sept – May) and their clinical and/or administrative supervisor (e.g., medical director, Department Chief) must agree to provide this release time (approximately 5% FTE). There is financial support available for salary and/or research project expenses.

Four Academy Scholars are admitted yearly (eight scholars in the program) through a competitive application process. Eligibility requirements:

  • Clinical appointment at Maine Medical Center, Maine Health member organizations or a Maine Track Teaching site
  • Medical Education teaching role for medical students and/or residents. There is no minimum amount of teaching commitment required but the teaching roles need to be substantial and regular.
  • Motivation to make medical education an important part of your career.

The Academy members, past Scholars and Scholar faculty are available and pleased to discuss your ideas. Projects are expected to be their early planning stage and the program will assist you in developing and implementing the project. Identifying a mentor for your project is important for its success. Academy members and Scholar faculty can also assist you in identifying a project mentor. Do not hesitate to contact the program directors to discuss your application: Dward2@mmc.org and bingyb@mmc.org.

“The META program opened doors to exciting opportunities that have changed the course of my professional career. As a META Scholar, I not only honed my teaching skills, but also experienced many facets of medical education that I had never explored before, such as leadership, career-planning and research. I especially enjoyed the camaraderie–the relationships I established through the META Scholars program will be lasting ones.”

Vicki Hayes, MD
2013-15 Scholar

Current Scholars

Eliza Bullis, MD

Eliza Bullis, MD

Eliza Bullis first developed an interest in medical education at Tufts University School of Medicine in 2011, where she took a course in Med Ed and took joy in her assignments to teach herself as well as others.  She did her residency in combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Yale New Haven Hospital, where she continued to engage in regular teaching on the wards and reports, enjoying getting students, co-residents, and faculty excited about a culture of joyous and shared learning. She participated in the newly developed Yale Medical Education Interest Group, presented regularly at morning reports, and larger multidisciplinary noon conferences. She contributed 3 chapters to the Yale Primary Care Curriculum. With her enthusiasm for learning and trying different teaching styles during her residency, Eliza was thrilled to take the role of Chief Resident in the Pediatrics Residency Program at Yale. There her experience in hands-on teaching and curriculum design grew exponentially with activities such as teaching on the wards, coaching other teachers, and implementing new residency curricula around Evidence Based Medicine, Clinical Reasoning, and Outpatient Pediatrics. Eliza is excited to continue her journey in medical education in her new role as an MITE scholar and hospitalist in the Internal Medicine and Geriatrics departments at MMC.

Project Name:  Simulation Program for Internal Hospitalists

 

Emily Zarookian, MD

Emily Zarookian, MD

Emily Zarookian grew up in southern Connecticut. She attended undergraduate at Boston College and medical school at University of Connecticut School of Medicine. She then moved to Maine for Internal Medicine Residency in 2012. During residency she enjoyed teaching and was happy to accept the position of Chief Resident in 2015. During chief residency, she was able to hone her teaching skills by leading educational sessions multiple times weekly.  She was also involved in building and developing curriculums during chief year- including the primary care track and motivational interviewing. She is currently working as a hospitalist and is the medical director of the new Preble Street Clinic.  She continues to be involved in medical education by serving as a faculty mentor for the evidence based medicine curriculum and the Maine ACP poster session. She is looking forward to developing her teaching skills further with the MITE program. During her free time she enjoys swimming, skiing, and hiking with her dog, Turtle.

Project Name:  Developing a Longitudinal Experiential Curriculum in Healthcare Disparities and Population Health for Internal Medicine Residents

 

Gary DiPerna, DO

Gary DiPerna, DO

Gary DiPerna, DO, received his medical degree from the University Of New England College Of Osteopathic Medicine in 2011. He then went on to complete his internal medicine residency and nephrology fellowship at Maine Medical Center. Recently he joined Maine Nephrology Associates where his practice focuses on chronic kidney disease, end stage renal disease, and hospital based consultation. Dr. DiPerna now lives in Gorham, ME with his wife and daughter. They enjoy hiking, biking, and skiing.

Project Name:  Implementation of a Care Management Program in a Nephrology

Ross Isacke, DO

Ross Isacke, DO

Dr. Isacke grew up in southern Maine and attended Bates College for undergraduate. He met his wife Adriana Isacke while attending graduate school at the University of Vermont. They returned to Maine and went to the University of New England for medical school and later couples matched here at MMC. He graduated from internal medicine residency in 2015 and has been working as an MMC hospitalist since then. During his time as a resident, he became very interested in quality improvement and was a founding member of the House Staff Quality and Safety Council. He is now the Chief of Medicine at Western Maine Health at Stephens Memorial and serves as the Operations Lead for Hospital Medicine at MMC.  His wife is an MMP family and sports medicine doctor in Scarborough and they both enjoy their time with their sons Desmond and Eamon.

Project Name:  Proposal to Create a “Cases and Condundrums Conference” at Maine Medical Center

Sanjeev Francis, MD

Sanjeev Francis, MD

Dr. Sanjeev Francis is a native of New York. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Union College and his medical degree at Albany Medical College.  He completed residency in Internal Medicine at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital of Cornell University Medical Center, where he also served as Assistant Chief Medical Resident. He completed a fellowship in Cardiovascular Medicine and a fellowship in Non-invasive Cardiovascular Imaging at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  After his training Dr. Francis served as the Director of the Cardio-Oncology Program and had an active role in the education of fellows, residents and students at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School from 2009 until 2015.  Dr. Francis joined Maine Medical Center in the fall of 2015 and currently serves as the Director of Education for the Cardiovascular Institute.  He is a member of Maine Medical Partners – MaineHealth Cardiology where he practices general cardiology, advanced imaging and leads the newly formed cardio-oncology program.  His clinical and research interests include cardio-oncology, application of advanced imaging techniques, and education.

Project Name:  Precision Education:  Creating a Dynamic Curriculum to Engage the Individual Learner

 

Tamara Palka, MD

Tamara Palka, MD

Tamara Palka was born and raised in Shavertown, PA.  She currently resides in Cape Elizabeth.  Tamara attended Saba University School of Medicine, and then went to University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt for General Psychiatry Residency.  She attended MMC for Child Psychiatry Fellowship and now works at Spring Harbor Hospital’s developmental disorder unit.  There are about a dozen specialized inpatient hospital units for children with autism/developmental disabilities in the nation and she has worked on 3 of them.  She teaches both residents and fellows from MMC.  Involved in ongoing research with the Autism and Developmental Disorders Inpatient Research Collaborative (ADDIRC) and presented a poster at the national AACAP (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) meeting in October.  She is also the state delegate for MCCAP (Maine Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) as well as an executive committee member.  In her free time she loves to enjoy seasonal activities, spending time with her family and baking.

Project Name:    Curriculum Development and Community Outreach Component for the Developmental Neuropsychiatry Fellowship