Friday, May 14, 2010

Medical Education Conferences: Which meetings to attend and why?

This entry is a post from Lily .

Christine and I attended the AERA (American Educational Research Association) annual meeting in Denver the first week of May. For those of you unfamiliar with AERA, it boasts 25,000 members who are dedicated to educational scholarship and learning. The group is diverse, including educators, administrators, public employees, researchers, psychometricians, behavioral scientists and students. The AERA is committed to scholarly inquiry related to education and evaluation.
This was my first time attending AERA, and I was privileged to present a paper on our Cleveland Clinic REALL (Resident Educator and Lifelong-Learner) Program during a Division I (Education in the Professions) session entitled “Means and Effects of Scholarly Teaching.” Our project was was well-received and I got valuable feedback from the chair of the session, Casey B. White (University of Michigan Medical School), and Luann Wilkerson (UCLA). The feedback from these individuals was very specific and detailed. You could tell that they had read the paper thoughtfully and carefully. Drs. Wilkerson and White took their responsibilities to heart - they had much to offer in the areas of scholarship in medical education, using theoretical constructs and applying these theories to practice. They analyzed our REALL project within these frameworks.
I also chose to participate in Division I's pilot program, Peer Review and Feedback on Junior Scholar's Presentations, an interactive program where I obtained a critique of my presentation skills from Dr. Ann Frye (UT Galveston). Of course, I had the obligatory audio-visual problems from the get-go (there were 3 different feeds into the LCD projector, 2 Mac computers and my Windows netbook, which the AV assistant cursed because his fingers were bigger than the keyboard!) Dr. Frye offered me several useful tactics to improve my presentation style. As my background and education are based in clinical medicine, many of the topics and sessions at AERA were new to me. I found this meeting to be very different from the AAMC and CGEA; the vast majority of the topics fell outside the medical field – with Special Interest Groups such as Constructivist Theory, John Dewey Society, Motivation in Education, just to name a few. Like many doctors, I seem to attend the same meetings mechanically year after year, listening to the same people talk. Attending this one was an eye-opener, and a great opportunity for cross-fertilization of ideas. I encourage you to check it out at and consider attending the 2011 meeting in New Orleans, April 8 - April 12.Lily

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I also recommend AERA. Though overwhelming at first, I learned about topics not presented at other meetings I attend (AAMC, CGEA, etc.).