Rheumatology educators not only must keep up with the latest evidence-based medicine, they must also keep up with the evolving way students receive information and the best practices for reaching various types of learners.
During this year’s ACR/ARP Annual Meeting, rheumatology educators will find sessions designed to help them with this and other challenges facing the subspecialty.
“The expansion of technology in education has put endless information and resources at students’ fingertips,” said Annual Meeting Planning Committee member Tina Mahajan, MD, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha. “Educators must present information in a way that is in line with the way today’s learners learn, while simultaneously dealing with significant time constraints, which can make that difficult.”
Dr. Mahajan said among the many excellent sessions for rheumatology educators, Doctors’ Toolbox: Learning to Communicate and Teach (9:00 – 10:00 AM Tuesday, Nov. 12), will be particularly helpful for those looking to connect with today’s learners.
Educators also need to be up to date on cutting-edge patient care, and in rheumatology, that includes musculoskeletal ultrasound.
“Musculoskeletal ultrasound has become more widely used, but a lot of fellowship programs still don’t teach it,” Dr. Mahajan said. “But that’s changing. A lot more programs are offering training on musculoskeletal ultrasound or want it to become part of the curriculum.”
For program directors who recently added musculoskeletal ultrasound to the curriculum or who hope to soon, Dr. Mahajan recommends the Current and Promising Trends in Ultrasound in Medical Education session (7:30 – 8:30 AM Tuesday, Nov. 12).
She said another must-see session for rheumatology educators will be the Medical Education Year in Review (7:30 – 8:30 AM Monday, Nov. 11), which covers the most up-to-date, important literature in the field from the past year.
“There are so many reasons to get on a plane and go to a national meeting,” Dr. Mahajan said. “No. 1, the content is excellent, but there’s also something to be said about being in a place where you can interact with the experts and network with your peers.”
Given the value of networking during the meeting, Dr. Mahajan said, there are opportunities rheumatology educators should keep in mind. For example, Friday afternoon, November 8, there’s the Pediatric Program Directors Breakout Session (1:00 – 2:00 PM) as well as the Division & Program Directors’ Forum (1:15 – 4:30 PM).
“Rheumatology is a small community,” she said. “The group of program directors is an even smaller subset. Having educators together in the larger context of the annual meeting allows for more communication, more development of ideas. I really do feel it’s a great venue and opportunity for people to discuss different ways of doing things — particularly in the education realm.
“In clinical practice, things are data-driven and generally standardized, so we’re kind of the same page. But with education, there’s not a lot of data on different teaching styles and learning methods. That’s where learning from others who have been there is very valuable.”