Director's Message   

Director photo

Key Indicators in Academic Medicine

In February, the journal Academic Medicine introduced a new annual feature, called Key Indicators in Academic Medicine (KIAM). While we truly do not need more acronyms in medical education, the intent behind this new series is to help us take stock of our achievements. Through the creation of key indicators, we can gain insight into the extent of our growth, decline or steadfastness as we consider our complex system of educational programs, institutional resources, students, staff and faculty as well as the values that guide us. Clearly, a large set of key indicators is needed to effectively monitor the intricacies of a medical school. Submissions for key indicators to Academic Medicine are peer-reviewed, and over time it is expected that new indicators will be added, while others are refined or eliminated if their relevance cannot be supported.


The February issue outlines seven key indicators, and includes a call for submissions of additional indicators to be included in future issues. The format for KIAM has been standardized to fit on two journal pages. The first page provides a rationale and methodological approach for the indicator; illustrations of the use of the indicator are found on the second page.


The seven indicators described are:

  • Number of program year 1 residents in accredited residency programs,
  • Matriculants to US medical schools,
  • Education costs and student indebtedness,
  • Physician workforce indicators,
  • Gender diversity in medical school applicants and matriculants,
  • Ethnic origin and racial composition of medical school applicants and matriculants,
  • Joint degrees conferred by medical schools.

Ideally, KIAMs should be meaningful, measureable and amenable to change, and aligned with the strategic goals of the institution. The deadline for submission of new key indicators is June 1, 2012. For more information, go to the call for submissions:

Academic Medicine Special Call for Submisions


Brian Mavis, PhD
Associate Professor and Director
Office of Medical Education Research and Development
College of Human Medicine


AAMC Central Group on Educational Affairs Call for Collaborative Proposals

The CGEA seeks to promote multi-institutional collaborative projects and projects that foster collaborations among UGME, GME, CME and MESRE members, focused on advancing the community of medical education scholarship within the Central region. Proposals for up to $5,000 are due annually June 1. For more information, go to:

Primary Care Research and Development Poster and Conference Sessions

The thirty-third class of the MSU Primary Care Faculty Development Fellowship Program will present the results of their research and curriculum development major projects on Wednesday, May 16 and Thursday, May 17, 2012.  The fellows have been working on their projects during the past year.  They have designed, developed, implemented and evaluated their major project.  


Class of 2012 Fellows


Topics at this year's poster and conference sessions will include:

  • Bedside Ultrasound Curriculum
  • Continuity in Ambulatory Care
  • Teaching Practice Management
  • Sepsis Screening
  • Chronic Care Model Curriculum
  • Teaching Quality Improvement
  • Addressing Parental Vaccine Concerns
  • Do home monitors work for diabetic patients?
  • A Resident Breastfeeding Curriculum
  • Teaching Cognitive Reasoning via Simulation
  • Teaching Professionalism
  • Get the Lead Out: An In-Office Strategy
  • Teaching Transitional Care to Adult Care Providers
  • Core Didactic Curriculum in Family Medicine
  • A System-Based Practice Curriculum for Pediatric Residents
  • Does the METRIC Program Improve Hypertension Care
  • Teaching Residents to Screen for Low Literacy
  • A Curriculum in Maternity and Newborn Care

Each fellow will present their work at a poster session on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the Radiology Building Atrium at Michigan State University.  They will also orally present their projects on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at the Kellogg Center at Michigan State University. 


Both the poster and oral presentations will be judged by two national medical education experts, Patrick C. Alguire, MD, FACP, Senior Vice President for Medical Education, American College of Physicians and Leslie H. Fall, MD, Vice Chair, Pediatric Office of Medical Education; Section Chief, Pediatric Hospital Medicine Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.


Dr. Alguire will also serve as one of our keynote speakers on May 17th at 8:30 a.m. His talk will be on "Teaching in Your Office."  Dr. Fall will be our keynote speaker at 1:00 p.m.  Her talk will be on "Academic Entrepreneurship:  Sustaining Innovation in Medical Education Through Collaboration."


Graduation will be at the end of the day on May 17th, bringing the number of graduates of the Primary Care Faculty Development Program to 601.


All faculty, staff, residents and students are welcome to attend on May 16th and 17th.  If you are interested in attending, please contact Donna Mulder or Emily Bean at 517-432-8722 or [email protected].


A complete schedule outlining the times for the the concurrent presentation sessions for each fellow, can be found at the fellowship web site at:  


Donna Mulder
Director of Faculty Affairs and Development
College of Human Medicine


AT&T Awards: MSU Award Competition in Instructional Technology Highlights College Faculty

The 2012 MSU AT&T Faculty-Staff Award winners were honored at a luncheon this past April 17th, 2012. Dr. Cindy Arvidson
and team members (Jiatyan Chen, Geraud Plantegenest) received 1st place in the category of Best Enhanced Course for the submission of the Virtual Interactive Bacteriology Laboratory  (VIBL) used in the Medical Microbiology and Immunology (MMG 522) course.


The competition benefits the work of faculty and staff by bestowing peer reviewed recognition and highlighting their innovative approaches in teaching and learning to the larger MSU community.


The awards were created to respond to the growing use of online technologies for instruction at Michigan State University. The annual awards program is generously funded by AT&T, to both recognize and encourage outstanding contributions and best practices in the use and development of technology to enhance teaching and learning at MSU. 


Dr. Arvidson's VIBL website is utilized by more than 500 first-year medical students in the Colleges of Human and Osteopathic Medicine spread across different geographic locations in Michigan. It was designed to maximize the use of laboratory and faculty resources and replaces two of the three live 2-hr laboratory sessions.


The website ( is hosted at a non-secure site that the student can access anytime during the course or after it has been completed, including later in their academic program when some of the same concepts arise. The entire VIBL is also published at MedEdPortal, an on-line resource for medical school teaching materials published and maintained by the American Association of Medical Colleges.


If you are an MSU faculty or staff who have developed and offered fully online, hybrid (blended), or technology-enhanced face-to-face credit-bearing courses at MSU, then consider submitting your work for the 2013 AT&T Faculty-Staff Award Competition in the Spring of next year. For more information visit:


B-CLR offers free instructional design consultations to CHM faculty needing help with blended and online curricular materials.  To find out more about B-CLR  services, visit  the B-CLR webpage


Geraud Plantegenest

B-CLR Manager


517-353-2037 ext. 237

[email protected]

CHM Program Evaluation
The Impact of Education-Related Debt and Career Choice

One of the key features of the CHM mission has been to graduate physicians to meet the health care needs of Michigan. Historically, we have measured our success in this area in terms of the number of students selecting primary care specialties and the number of students who choose to practice in rural or urban underserved areas. CHM ranks above the 90th percentile nationally among US medical schools for proportion of graduates practicing in primary care specialties. CHM also ranks above the 80th percentile in the proportion of graduates practicing in rural areas and above the 90th percentile for National Health Service Corps (4%) participation.  Nationally, 37% of our graduates practice in locations designated as health professions shortage areas (HPSA).

Enlarge image

In more recent years, there has been increasing concern nationally about the debt load of medical students at graduation and the impact of this debt on the career choice of our graduates. The CHM Graduate Follow-up Study annually surveys our graduates two years post-graduation, and among the many issues addressed in the survey are questions related to debt load and the impact of this debt on career choice.


This figure shows the self-reported debt of CHM graduates two years after leaving medical school. The mean medical education debt for the 2009 graduates exceeded $190,000; this is almost double the education-related debt of graduates ten years earlier.  For the 2009 graduates, almost half (47%) indicated that debt had no impact on their specialty choice; a smaller proportion of graduates reported that debt had a minor impact (28%) on their specialty choice, while 25% reported that debt had a moderate or major impact on their career choice. Not surprisingly, the mean medical school debt reported by each of these groups varied significantly, as show in the table below.



Aside from the increased burden related to debt, there is evidence of increasing impact of debt on specialty choice. The figure below shows the historical trends in CHM graduates' report of the impact of debt on career choice. Among 2009 graduates, 47% reported that their education-related debt had no impact on their career choice, compared to almost 80% of the graduates of 1998 who reported no impact of debt on their career choice.

Enlarge image

The issues related to career choice are complex and debt is only one factor that plays a role in this decision. A recent study by the Robert Graham Center provides insight to the complexity of the question of career choice. Click here for a link to this report, What Influences Medical Student and Resident Choices? Nonetheless there is a general concern that education-related debt is becoming a more important in this decision, suggesting the need to consider various approaches help ameliorate the impact of debt. In this respect, CHM has been exploring enhanced student support such as scholarships, cost controls, and various loan repayment options to enhance students' flexibility to consider more career options. 

Faculty Development
Survey of Faculty Development Needs

In January 2012 the College conducted a faculty development needs assessment, a joint effort of OMERAD, Faculty Affairs and Development, and College-Wide Assessment. It had been many years since such a large-scale assessment was done, and times have changed so much that we felt we needed to find out what faculty felt they needed now. 


We emailed the online survey to faculty at all campuses and received a little over 400 responses. The survey asked faculty about their interest in skill development in the following areas:

  • Curriculum Development
  • Teaching
  • Technology Skills
  • Evaluation
  • Educational Research and Scholarship
  • Career Development
  • Learning Format
  • Special Learning Opportunities 

For the respondent group as a whole, the most popular topics were:

  • Curriculum     
    • Selecting instructional strategies to enhance learning
    • Implementing curricula
  • Teaching
    • Teaching in small group settings
    • Motivating learners
  • Assessment and Evaluation
    • Providing constructive feedback to learners
    • Assessing clinical performance, and
    • Evaluating outcomes in relation to an educational experience.

While topics such as providing constructive feedback to learners and assessing learners' clinical performance were endorsed by respondents across many communities, the interest in some topics was more focused by community. The table below highlights the topics that received endorsement by 50% or more of the respondents in each community.

Enlarge image


The questionnaire also asked about preferred learning formats and the timing of program offerings. Live face-to-face workshops was the most popular learning format (63%), however self-paced web-based tutorials were endorsed by many respondents (53%). Distance-learning (41%), webinars (41%) and on-line lectures (39%) such as Camtasia were less frequently endorsed.


When asked about times of the day and days of the week, there was tremendous uniformity in that about 20% to 30% of respondents were available at any time specific time block on any specified day; there was no convergence apparent as far as scheduling. Thursdays from 4:00 to 6:00 pm was the block with the most respondents available (34%). This information highlights the challenges of scheduling live faculty development presentations.


The survey results are instructive and in the months ahead, various units of the College will be using these needs assessment findings to plan for future faculty development programs and delivery formats.

In This Issue
CHM Program Evaluation
Hot Off the Press

Articles published by OMERAD faculty:

Academic and professional career outcomes of medical school graduates who failed USMLE Step 1 on the first attempt 


Leon McDougle, Brian E. Mavis, et al. 


Advances in Health Sciences Education Journal, 2012. See DOI 



Pricing principles used by scholarly open access publishers

Björk, BO-Christer; Solomon David.


Learned Publishing, Volume 25, Number 2, April 2012, pp. 132-137(6) . See DOI


An interactive gallery featuring examples of CHM blended and online learning projects by B-CLR
A medical education listserv maintained by OMERAD

Peer-reviewed international
open access journal for disseminating information on the education and training of physicians and other health care professionals

Click on the link to view past issues of our newsletter

Medical Education Scholarship Group
Meets first Wednesday of each month in room A116 East Fee Hall from 1:30 pm-3:00 pm.For questions about this group contact Dr. Brian Mavis: [email protected]

OMERAD Technology Center (OTC) 
Units within the College of Human Medicine interested in sponsoring faculty and/or staff development programs in support of education and scholarship may request use of the room.

The OTC is located in A211 East Fee Hall.

For questions about the OTC contact John Williamson: [email protected]

Contact  Us
For questions about this newsletter, please contact us at:


Visit our website for more information:
Follow us on Twitter @omerad_chm 



The Office of Medical Education Research and Development is a unit within the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. Its mission is to improve medical education and related service programs through evaluation and research consultation, relevant instruction, and programs of faculty development.
Established in 1966, OMERAD is the oldest continuously operating office of medical education in the United States.


A-202 East Fee Hall

East Lansing, Michigan 48824