Stanford Medicine X Conference Day 2


click here to read about Day 1 of Medicine X.

The second day of Medicine X took place in a relaxed, outdoor atmosphere. The day was packed with concurrent small group lectures called Learning Labs. This allowed for more dynamic interactions between the presenters and the audience but I wish I didn't have to choose between multiple sessions in the same time slot.

The morning sessions took me back to medical illustration school, except here our colleagues are all health care professionals rather than students, and the problems they were working on are very real. For the first time I saw my training as a medical illustrator from the clients' perspective and I reluctantly understood why artists struggle to get paid. Medical illustrators are taught to be great communicators, but (generally speaking) ultimately the messages they communicate belong to someone else. When I made the initial transition from a medical illustrator to an ocularist, the most drastic change was the feeling of respect from people around me. My skills hadn't changed, but somehow taking a job as a health care professional prompted people to respect me more than before.

Many sessions on this day revolved around visualization and multimedia modules as the educational tool. The most unexpected session for me was about UCSF offering credit for medical students to edit medical contents on Wikipedia. It makes sense when you think about it--who better to raise the quality of medical contents than people who are in the medical fields? From an educator's perspective, it forces the students to research the subject in depth and think about what contents to include/exclude from a page. It's a win-win situation.

My favorite lecture of the day was an afternoon session where Yale professor Dr. Viji Kurup talked about her and her colleague Dr. Veronica Matei's work on educating medical students using the "flipped classroom model." In a traditional classroom environment, students learn the bulk materials in a classroom setting. The students are then assigned homework to further their understanding of the subjects. In a flipped classroom, the students are given the (fact-based) materials to study on their own prior to class, and the class time is reserved for guided instructions that promote a higher level of thinking. Dr. Kurup makes a compelling case for this teaching model through extensive literature review as well as data obtained through their own studies. By the end of the hour, I am convinced that this instructional model would greatly benefit the ASO Educational Program.*

We'll save my thoughts on the the Educational Program for ocularists for another time. As Day 2 of Medicine X came to the end, all the attendees left with some parting gifts (including a personalized luggage tag). Dr. Chu did an amazing job hosting the event and he is actually the reason I was able to attend this event.

We're left with some final thoughts on a postcard to take back to our lives. How might we...
...meaningfully include everyone in medical education?
...imagine what the teacher of the future will look like? understand the needs of today's learners?
...give back to others in our work?

I can say with certainty that Medicine X has dramatically changed the way I view both medicine and education. It broadened my perspectives and makes me look forward to the rest of my career.

*ASO, the American Society of Ocularists, established an Education Program in the early 1970s. There are no other formal education programs for ocularists at this time.