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Creating and maintaining a positive learning environment: Strategies for faculty in the classroom and clinic

June 19, 2017 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

A current “hot topic” in medical education is creating an environment in which students and faculty can express ideas freely and respectfully. Creating a culture of authenticity and respect requires explicit attention to, and cultivation of, the learning environment (LE). The perceived quality of the learning environment have been shown to be associated with medical students’ and residents’ motivation, achievement, depth of learning, and satisfaction. Indicative of its importance in trainees’ experience and outcomes, the LCME now requires that medical schools document how the “learning environment….is conducive to ongoing development of explicit and appropriate professional behavior….in which all individuals are treated with respect.”  The ACGME, in its common program requirements, similarly notes that the ‘Learning and Working Environment’ should emphasize a “commitment to the well-being of the students, residents, faculty members, and all members of the health care team.”


Our HMS Academy Interest Groups — Communication, Compassion & Empathy and Hidden Curriculum — are working in collaboration to create structures that will foster open communication and positive relationships between students and faculty, thereby facilitating a more authentic and open learning atmosphere that includes tolerance for ambiguity, uncertainty, and differing perspectives. In this workshop, we will introduce two pedagogical frameworks — the Learning Agreement and Case-Based Exploration of Implicit Bias — modeling and offering guidance on how they can be used with learners in a variety of settings.  We will use group discussion, demonstration, and reflective practice to assist participants in developing plans to use with learners in their classroom or clinical setting.

Faculty Planning Committee: Jason Fogler, PhD; Amy Sullivan, EdD; Elizabeth Rider, MD; Robert Cohen, MD; Russell Nauta, MD; Alan Woolf, MD; Beth Lown, MD; Kristin Schaefer, MD; & Jennifer Kesselheim, MD; Patrick Lee, MD; Darshan Mehta,MD


Objectives: Upon completion of this workshop, learners will be able to:

  1. Describe how to co-create a learning agreement with students and residents using an “appreciative inquiry” approach;
  2. Carry out a brief mindfulness practice to enhance faculty self-awareness of their needs and expectations related to building and maintaining a positive learning environment;
  3. Identify strategies to manage challenging discussions and promote authentic and respectful communication using a case-based discussion involving perceived implicit bias.

Register Here!


Tosteson Medical Education Center (TMEC) Rm.128