Monday, July 11, 2016

Joe Real Spotlight

Tell us a little about yourself
I am second year General Pediatric Master Educator Fellow at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). This fellowship provides protected time for me to obtain the Online Master’s Degree in Education (MEd) for healthcare professionals from the University of Cincinnati (UC). As long as I can remember, I have always been interested in education. I was a tutor for science courses at the University of Notre Dame where I completed my undergraduate studies in pre-professional science and Greek and Roman civilization. I attended Vanderbilt University School of Medicine where my interest in education continued through curricula development and evaluation of medical student burnout. Even as a pediatric resident at CCHMC, I continued to pursue education studies.

How is the program helping your professionally?
It was not until my experiences with the MEd program through UC that I began to understand the science behind adult learning and educational research. Through my course work, I have learned that there are step-wise approaches to curriculum development and standardized methods to evaluate testing strategies. Subjects that intimidated me before such as validation studies, qualitative research, and use of technology in education no longer seem unapproachable thanks to the MEd. My educational work is more thoughtful and meaningful as a result of my coursework.

What educational and research projects are you working on?
My fellowship research is focused on use of immersive virtual reality in medical education. Specifically, I have created a virtual reality simulation focused on teaching pediatric residents how to address vaccine hesitancy in the primary care setting. Thanks to what I have learned through the MEd, I have been able to assess this educational study rigorously and plan to disseminate my findings through peer-reviewed publications. I am looking forward to evaluating how emerging technologies such as virtual reality might change the face of medical education!   

Additionally, based on preliminary data obtained through the qualitative research course, I developed a curriculum for caregivers regarding asthma management that has received grant funding.  

What do you see as a challenge for medical education today?
Resident duty hour restrictions and high patient turnover make medical education challenging in the modern era. Consideration of effective and efficient educational modalities that appeals to millennial learners is critical.