Medical students and faculty recently traveled to Wisconsin to represent Wayne State University School of Medicine at the first in-person conference on a national movement in medical education that focuses on integrating caring, character and practical wisdom in the profession of medicine.
The WSU School of Medicine team presented several Wayne State-led projects reflecting these ideas at the Kern National Network Conference for Caring and Character in Medicine, held May 29-30. September in Milwaukee.
The Kern National Network, or KNN, comprises seven founding medical schools dedicated to transforming the teaching of medical and health professions using the concepts of caring and character, working with health care organizations to influence cultures and environments, and by sharing knowledge and engaging partners towards broader policy and systems change.
Class of 2025 member Justin Padron attended the conference.
“I learned that each individual has their own life experiences and their own paths in medicine. Merging our own perspectives and experiences can help improve both medical care and medical education,” he said.
Padron, along with classmates Kathleen Young and Sabrina Montemayor, led the panel discussion on “Uncovering the Uncomfortable for Medical Students: Storyboarded.” The presentation was created by a team of six people to share information about how students shifted to a growth mindset, becoming comfortable with what feels uncomfortable in a new environment like the faculty of medicine. The discussion shed light on the specific medical school issues that each member initially faced and the strategies employed to overcome them.
“The roundtable was an informal discussion with other medical students and current residents,” Padron said. “It was surprising that in our discussion, the growth mindset was a relatively new concept for older residents, although it was very familiar to younger residents and current medical students. Our comments were more of a casual conversation and sharing of experiences each individual has had in their journey as a future or current physician.
Anuj Kavi, Adrienne-Denise Bilbao, Rachel Puentes and Alexander Buendia presented “Resiliency Storyboard: We All Just Want to be Some M&MDs”. The objective of the roundtable was to highlight the prevalence of impostor syndrome among young professionals, identify areas of falsehood and raise awareness in the fight against stigma.
The storyboards were part of the Class of 2025’s first month of medical school in 2021.
Sara Ma and Kavi presented “Augmenting Medical Education with Healthcare Consulting”, which focused on the School of Medicine’s innovation and consulting group. The newly created, student-led initiative aims to bridge the gap between medical knowledge and healthcare operations. The roundtable focused on how pro bono healthcare consulting projects can augment traditional medical education by providing unique opportunities for students to co-opt scientific methodologies to support business growth or optimization and local health care clinics.
School of Medicine associate professor emeritus Jennifer Mendez, Ph.D.; Grace Serra, MA, curator of the Wayne State Art Collection; Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Adjunct Assistant Professor and Co-Director of Service Learning Rima Charara, Pharm.D.; and University Advisor Jennifer Crystal, Ph.D., created “Reflective Expression of Values and Formation of Professional Identity Found in Mask Making.” During the roundtable, Dr. Mendez shared the development of the Service Learning Project launched in August 2022 with the Class of 2026. They also shared examples of masks created to illustrate professional identity formation with a growth mindset.
Elizabeth Ellinas, MD, MHPE; Liz Petty, MD; Brittania Hazzard Bigby, MD; Anne Stahr, MS; Dr. Mendez; and LuAnn Wilkerson, Ed.D., also created “Flourising in Women Leaders.” Through the Women Leaders Flourishing Panel, the KNN Women’s Leadership Group, in partnership with the Medical College of Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Women in Science and Medicine, explored the concept of life flourishing with women leaders, by particularly the relationship between growth and leadership opportunities. .
In addition to presentations and panel discussions, students and faculty presented posters “Reinterpreting Community to Foster Resilience in Health Care” by Sara Ma, Wouter Ritsema, Nicholas Baron, Tulsi Sadasivan, Lara Zaril, Jad Baki and the Dr. Mendez, and “Can AI Assess Students’ Perceptions of Resilience?” by Class of 2025 students Matt Kim and Dhruva Kadiyala. This latest poster summarized a project called VADER, or Valence Aware Dictionary for Sentiment Reasoning, an idea initiated by Kim.
“With courses such as service-learning dealing with concepts such as growth mindset and professional development, it is often difficult to gauge the success rate of a course based on tangible measures because there are no exams you can pass to demonstrate in the short term,” Kim said. “Thus, the evaluation must then be based on the reflections of the students before and after the passage in class and on questionnaires administered at the end of the course. For a course director, analyzing projects from all teams to assess sentiment change is difficult and time-consuming, and surveys can have many confusions, such as leading questions and many socially acceptable answers.
VADER was developed to assess the polarity of feelings in major social media platforms and their intensity.
“Since we wanted to see if there was indeed a benefit to doing the project, we used VADER to see if there was a change in the way students think about the various obstacles in first year using the storyboards and their thoughts. We hope that once refined, technologies like VADER can complement the tools we currently have to reduce analysis time while providing a tangible score to see if the price has achieved what the principals intended it to achieve.” , added Kim.
Kadiyala said several medical students from other institutions have asked about how the software works to implement something similar in their own projects. “This conference has assured us that there is potential for substantial progress when health care, education and technology intersect,” she said.
Each presentation was from Service Learning’s professional identity training projects.