Medical Educators Meet to Connect, Grow, and Learn

Posted June 4, 2019

Over 250 medical educators attended the 2nd annual Invitational Conference for Educators on May 14-16 in Indianapolis, Indiana, hosted by the National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®). Medical school faculty across the United States are integral to the work of NBME, with over 400 educators  yearly writing test items, collaborating and reviewing the test items, and sharing their knowledge about medical school curricula.  The invitational conference is an opportunity to support newer medical educators in learning best practices in the realm of written and performance assessments.  

Paul Wallach, MD, Vice-Chair of the NBME Executive Board and Chair of the Strategic Educator Enhancement Fund (SEEF), kicked off the conference by inspiring attendees to keep connecting, growing, and learning. Dr. Wallach is also Executive Associate Dean for Educational Affairs and Institutional Improvement   at Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Wallach has been a volunteer on NBME committees for over 25 beginning as an item-writer and content expert in internal medicine and through this process he learned ways to better assess his own students.  In his remarks, Dr. Wallach expressed gratitude for the national faculty of content experts that contribute test items and curriculum expertise to NBME’s examinations.

NBME President and CEO, Peter Katsufrakis, MD, also shared his thanks, and invoked the NBME’s mission, which encompasses the spectrum of health professionals along the continuum of education, training and practice, and includes research in evaluation as well as development of assessment instruments. Dr. Katsufrakis gave an overview of the broad array of services and activities the NBME provides to medical schools and students.

Many faculty members across the country have expressed the desire to learn better ways to create assessments, write items, and evaluate student performance.  “Medical students are motivated for mastery,” said Graham McMahon President and CEO of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, and keynote speaker at this year’s conference. “That is what makes them the ideal learner.”

He continued, “The skills needed to be a functional and effective physician today require an enormous range of competencies. Our job is to try to give feedback to our learners, so they know where they are and where they have room to grow, and to support them and build their competencies in every dimension that is necessary for their development.”

Miguel Paniagua, MD, Medical Advisor at NBME and organizer of the workshops about written-assessment said that he hopes the impact of the conference will grow year after year, as more faculty members are able to attend.

“This conference allows us to meet new faculty and make new allies in the work of assessment. In the future, this conference will continue to teach state-of-the art assessment techniques. Every year, if we can create a new group of experts, we’ve done something special.”

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