The Academy 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.
  • 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: Kathleen.Fairfield@mainehealth.org and Robert.Bing-You@mainehealth.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

Abtin Farahmand, MD

Abtin Farahmand, MD

Dr. Farahmand specializes in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism & Internal Medicine. Endocrine is a field of medicine that can involve virtually every organ in the human body. Patients with endocrine disorders often have chronic issues that will involve seeing his or her endocrinologist for many years. Dr. Farahmand went into this field, because not only does he enjoy the medicine of Endocrine, but he believes it is critical in creating a solid rapport with your patients over time to handle such chronic conditions.

Project Name: Diabetes Curriculum for Internal Medicine Residency

Amy Moore, MLIS

Amy Moore, MLIS

Amy Moore, MLIS is a Medical Librarian with over a decade of experience connecting library patrons with knowledge to learn, share and create. Amy specializes as a library nurse liaison and has taught and co-taught sessions on evidence-based practice and information literacy for residents, nurses and clinical scholars. She also enjoys sharing the many time-saving services and resources the Library offers, including EndNote, a citation management software.  She serves as a member of the Interprofessional Research and Innovations Council and an adjunct member of the Mid Coast Hospital Nursing Research and EBP Committee. Amy graduated with her Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University as a Circle of Learning Scholar. She enjoys hiking and time outside with family and friends.

Project Name: An Evidence-Based Practice Tutorial for a Learning Management System

Brittany Lachance, DO

Brittany Lachance, DO

Brittany Lachance is native Mainer specializing in Neurocritical Care. She attended UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine, completed residency in Neurology at Boston Medical Center, and completed fellowship at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Her research interests have included post-cardiac arrest management, electrophysiology in neuro-prognostication, and the use of simulation training in medical education. She aims to build her career around medical education and simulation and is excited for the learning and guidance to come from the MITE program. Outside of work, she enjoys Boston sports and spending time with her husband and two dogs.

Project Name: Simulation Based Mastery Learning to Improve Performance of Declaration of Death by Neurologic Critera

Emily Erickson, MD

Emily Erickson, MD

I am a family physician in primary care with Northern Light Mercy Hospital. I was drawn to Family Medicine by the challenge of being a diagnostician in the primary care setting, the opportunity to foster relationships with patients across their lifespans, and the importance of prevention to good health. I have always had an interest in teaching and have enjoyed hosting Tufts Maine Track students in the office for the past few years. When not working, I enjoy biking with my family, vegetable gardening, and generally being outdoors.

Project Name: Teaching Faculty Strategies for Providing Feedback on Nonverbal Communication to Medical Students to Improve Empathy

Katherine Liu, MD

Katherine Liu, MD

Dr. Liu practices adult inpatient medicine, which means that she take care of adults in the hospital who, for the most part, are unexpectedly sick. Dr. Liu’s position allows her the privilege of caring for Mainers from varied backgrounds and therefore she has the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. This is a part of the job she very much enjoys. Dr. Liu believes that high quality health care is a right for all patients and strive to provide this for the people and families in her care.

Professionally, her interests focus on medical education and mentorship for both residents and medical students as well as helping hospital medicine develop better practices around geriatric hip fracture management.

Project Name: Curriculum for Environmental Education

Kristine Pleacher, MD

Kristine Pleacher, MD

Dr. Pleacher is a pediatric intensive care specialist. She complete her pediatrics residency at Maine Medical Center and her critical care fellowship at the University of Utah. She has been back at Maine Medical Center since 2011. Dr. Pleacher finds end-of-life care in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) to be the most meaningful part of her job. She also enjoys teaching medical students and residents. She applied to the MITE program to improve her teaching skills and to help develop a new curriculum in the PICU. In her free time she enjoys outdoor activities with her husband and children.

Project Name: Reducing Burnout among Trainees in Pediatrics

Maria Egger, PA-C

Maria Egger, PA-C

Maria Egger, PA-C is a physician assistant with Maine Medical Partners Geriatrics since 2014, providing care in the postacute and long term setting.  Originally from New York, she obtained a BA from Cornell University and an MS in population genetics from New York University.  She has resided in Maine for over 30 years where she attended University of New England’s physician assistant program, then began her career practicing adult inpatient medicine at Central Maine Medical Center.  Prior to attending UNE she volunteered with MMC’s HELP program where she developed an appreciation for the adverse effects of delirium in older adults. Her clinical interests include interdisciplinary education and team building.  Since 2014 she has been lecturer and preceptor with UNE’s PA Interdisciplinary Geriatric Education Program.  In her free time she enjoys reading, fiber arts and spending time with family doing many outdoor activities particularly along the Down East coast.

Project Name: Postacute Care Interdisciplinary Delirium Education Program

Maxwell Afari, MD

Maxwell Afari, MD

Dr. Afari specializes in Cardiovascular Disease. In 2019, he completed a clinical and research fellowship in advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Prior to this, he underwent 10 years of graduate medical education, culminating in board certifications in internal medicine, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, and cardiovascular medicine. Dr. Afari’s clinical interests are focused on the management of patients with weak heart muscles, heart pumps, heart transplants, and specialized cardiac care for cancer patients. He also is a researcher (with multiple clinical and research awards, book chapters, and manuscripts), and enjoys teaching medical trainees. Dr. Afari looks forward to providing the best and most dignified care that Mainers deserve!

Project Name: Development of an Inter-Professional Curriculum in Cardiovascular Medicine Advanced Care Practitioners

Michael S. DeFrancisco, BSN, RN, CCRN-CSC

Michael S. DeFrancisco, BSN, RN, CCRN-CSC

My name is Mike, and I am the clinical nurse educator for the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit, and cardiothoracic step down floor (R1). I have been a nurse since 2009, and have mainly worked in critical care settings. I have also taught nursing clinical for USM in the past. I enjoy all things education and professional development, and am passionate about using innovative methods to enhance engagement. I am presenting at the Magnet conference in October and will be speaking about an escape room project focusing on nursing sensitive quality indicators that myself and a few other educators created. I am currently working on my Masters in nursing education at Walden University and should be done March 2023.

I live in Windham with my partner and 8 year old daughter. I consider myself an escape room enthusiast (I have played over 350 escape rooms).

I love Halloween, the beach, theme parks, and wild life. I am also participating in a Spartan Trifecta this summer/fall.

Project Name: R1 (Cardiothoracic Surgery Step Down) Intermediate Care Simulation Immersion Series

Nora Fagan, BScN, RN, CMSRN

Nora Fagan, BScN, RN, CMSRN

Nora Fagan, RN, MSN, CMSRN is the Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) for the medical and surgical oncology units at Maine Medical Center. Nora graduated from Dalhousie University School of Nursing in 2007 and received her master’s degree from Purdue Global University in executive nursing leadership in 2021.  Although a Maine native, Nora worked for many years in Canada until 2015 when she accepted a position at Maine Medical Center. She has taught for the University Of Maine School Of Nursing and has experience precepting in many different clinical specialties. Nora’s current role as a CNE has allowed her to develop educational series and programs for registered nurses such as the Surgical Oncology Series, a new graduate nurse support group and an IMC nursing series to name a few of her favorites. Nora has worked with the Hannaford SIM center team to help develop a continued educational SIM program for team development for the new oncology units in the Coulombe Family Tower. She is a member of the Oncology Nurses Association and a member of the Medical Surgical Nursing Association. Nora’s passion lies in interdisciplinary team focused education, intermediate care unit development and new graduate nurse program development.  She lives in Falmouth with her husband, three children and golden doodle.

Project Name: IMC RN Curriculum & Program Development

Rebecca Harvey, MD

Rebecca Harvey, MD

Dr. Harvey received her medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She comes to MMP having recently completed her residency at the University of Michigan Health System, Department of Otolaryngology as Assistant Chief Resident. Dr. Harvey’s clinical interests include sleep medicine, rhinology, and otology, as well as medical education and simulation. In her spare time, Dr. Harvey enjoys spending time with her family, and enjoying the scope of activities that the four seasons of Maine has to offer.

Project Name: ENT For The Maine ED: Development of a Novel Curriculum for Emergency Medicine Providers Treating ENT Patients

Sanchita Bose, MD

Sanchita Bose, MD

Entering medicine, I always knew I wanted to improve the quality of life of my patients. As a urologist, I have the distinct privilege of helping my patients live healthier, happier, and more active lives. I enjoy empowering my patients to seek treatment for conditions that can be very sensitive and personal in nature. It is a great joy when I see my patients return to activities that they once loved (such as playing with their kids/grandkids or a simple game of golf) but could not perform due to their urologic conditions. My husband and I moved to Maine because of its beauty and warm sense of community. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, running, reading by the fire on cold nights, and watching my beloved Baltimore Ravens. It is truly an honor to be able to live and work in Maine and to take care of its wonderful people.

Project Name: Collaboration Between Urology Residents and Inpatient Nurses to Expedite Suprapubic Catheter Exchanges for Patients