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Attendees share takeaways from ACGME Annual Education Conference

This year, 12 Penn State Health employees attended the ACGME Annual Education Conference, held in February in San Diego, Calif. The theme was “Meaning in Medicine: Compassion and Connection.” Among the attendees were the DIO, Associate DIO, the GME office team, the Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Radiology and a few GME coordinators.

Below are a few takeaways from GME coordinators who attended the conference:

  • In WebADS, board certification for faculty will be automatically populated from the ABMS (American Board of Medical Specialties).
  • Clinical Experience and Education (formerly Duty Hours) policies should be shared regularly.
  • The ICE Blog is a great resource. “The ICE blog promotes discussion among Clinician Educators from around the world, archiving a variety of education resources. We welcome anyone with an interest in health professions education,” it says.
  • One way to manage professionalism is by using a systems-based approached. Presenters used an approach called ChECS – Characteristics, External Factors, Contributing Factors and Skills – to teach and remediate professionalism. The focus is shifted from personal characteristics to structural issues, which improves a learner’s self-reflection skills. The ChECS are done with a faculty member that is not the PD, since that person wears an invisible “judge hat.”
  • The Friday afternoon coordinator plenary was titled “Making the Extraordinary, Ordinary: How to Manage GME Crisis.” It was a very eye-opening session. The speaker talked about crises that have happened at her institution and how to manage them at all levels. She has emergency checklists prepared for all kinds of situations.
  • Clinical Competency Committee minutes are crucial to have on file for every CCC meeting. Developing a central, singular narrative for each trainee is best practice to document all individual’s CCC notes, special feedback, remediation plans, etc.
  • It is key to align curriculum, evaluation and assessment with the updated milestones and come up with something like EPAs to make sure trainees understand the practical application of the milestones, their evaluations, and how to specifically improve.
  • One coordinator wrote, “The session that I enjoyed the most at the ACGME Conference 2020 was called ‘Game Theory and the Match.’ It was a fun and witty presentation by Dr. Eric Warm, Internal Medicine Program Director at University of Cincinnati. He described the ‘Prisoner’s Dilemma’ (look it up if necessary), and, using humor, compared it to real-life depictions of the Match. We explored different theories, options, and things we can do to improve the Match. Spoiler alert: In the end, we decided our chances were not good in changing the system – it will need a complete overhaul!”

Coordinators with questions about any of the above takeaways can contact Lauren Talhelm at; she can provide the information for the attendee who shared the information. Many of the sessions were recorded, and the videos have started to be uploaded to Learn at ACGME.

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