Why the change in name from “META Scholars” to “Academy Scholars”?

With the formation of the Maine Medical Center Institute for Teaching Excellence, there seemed to be a natural home for the Scholar program. In addition there is a planned expansion of the membership in the Academy so that scholar graduates may be able to continue participating in the medical education community.

Why an “Academy”?

The name traces back to Plato’s school of philosophy, founded approximately 385 BC at Akademia, a sanctuary of Athena, the goddess of wisdom and skill, north of Athens, Greece (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/academy) A modern definition would be “a society or institution of distinguished scholars, artists, or scientists, that aims to promote and maintain standards in its particular field”.

How often and when will we meet?

A defined curriculum has been developed as well as elective opportunities. We anticipate meeting as a group of scholars at least every other month and most months twice from Sept to May. In the past the scholars have met on the second and fourth Thursdays at the Brighton campus. From 5:30pm – 6:00pm the scholars lead a discussion of an interesting medical education paper or present updates on their project. From 6:00pm – 8:00pm Academy faculty or invited presenters lead a discussion seminar.

Who are the faculty?

Faculty of the program will include course directors and department leaders in the Dept. of Medical Education, Chiefs, MaineHealth leaders, and educational leaders from TUSM and TUSM affiliates. Several outside experts are invited every year.

What is the curriculum?

The curriculum is designed to encompass current topics in medical education that will support Academy scholars in further development of their professional and career development, teaching, and scholarly activity. Specific curriculum topics include workshops on teaching skills in lectures, small groups and at the bedside, assessment and giving feedback, preparing abstracts and posters, education theory, medical education funding, history of medical education and others.

How will I be guided throughout this program?

At the start of the program, the program directors will meet with ACADEMY scholars and their mentors to define areas of interest, and to begin to develop an individualized educational plan. We would plan on each scholar creating an educational portfolio over the 2 years. Early on defining scholarly topics to study will be important.

What benefits do Academy scholars receive by participating in this program?

Being an Academy scholar is a great opportunity to dedicate time to professional development in medical education. The expectation is to meet knowledge and skills competencies in education and leadership. Support of 5% FTE will be provided [at a non-specialty-specific rate]; this translates into roughly 100 hours/year. Rural faculty will have mileage reimbursed. CME credit will be provided as well as a certificate of completion.

Academy scholars will be part of a small group of core faculty enhancing the Maine Track program, and participation affords close collaboration with members of the Dept. of Medical Education. One’s portfolio will also contribute to one’s academic advancement and promotion of faculty rank.

Who is eligible to apply?

Academy scholars will include faculty from all disciplines, and will be from Maine Medical Center and its affiliated institutions as well as rural teaching sites of the Maine Track. All scholars must have a current role in the continuum of medical education and an interest in furthering their knowledge and skills in medical education. Four scholars will be selected annually.

What is the application process?

The Academy Scholar application is available on-line and is due March 15. Applications will be reviewed by a MITE committee and accepted scholars notified by May 1.

The application includes a Medical Education Project, what type of project should I use?

The Scholar workshops and seminars will provide you with the tools to develop your Medical Education Project. Thus it is not expected that your proposal will be a fully developed research proposal, but rather your initial ideas about an innovation in education that you would like to pursue while a Scholar. Projects can range from a curriculum redesign for a residency program, a new assessment method, developing new learning materials for an LIC site. There is no limit to projects that will improve the education of our students. Propose something that gets you excited and we will help you bring it to reality!

A Mentor is required on the application, who should I ask to be my mentor?

The Scholar program will provide you with the opportunity to work with your peers and more senior educators. You will have an opportunity for mentoring in many areas of interest. However, it is important for you to have a mentor who will provide you with personal support. Ideally there is a colleague (perhaps more senior but not necessarily) that shares your passion for improving medical education who would like to serve as your mentor.

In particular someone who is interested in your project and perhaps has some expertise that you do not have in some aspect of the project. If you are having trouble identifying a mentor, please do not hesitate to contact either Bob Bing-You, MD or Denham Ward, MD, PhD and we will help you.