Say Hello to Our Featured Member 2019 Annual Meeting Site Host Rick Vari

Our association is a robust and diverse set of educators, researchers, medical professionals, volunteers and academics that come from all walks of life and from around the globe. Each month we choose a member to highlight their academic and professional career and see how they are making the best of their membership in IAMSE. This month’s Featured Member is our 2019 annual meeting site host, IAMSE President Rick Vari.

Rick Vari, PhD
Professor & Senior Dean for Academic Affairs
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
Roanoke, Virginia, USA

Why was the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine the right choice for the 2019 IAMSE meeting?
We are the right choice for the meeting this year because we did a fabulous conference several years ago and we were already in the queue for a future IAMSE meeting. We had some scheduling issues with our original site for 2019 and we were able to step in and fill the void. We have a wonderful hotel site (at the Hotel Roanoke), and the people who came from all across North America for the Collaborating Across Borders V: An American-Canadian Dialogue on Interprofessional Healthcare and Practice, in 2015 really enjoyed it. As a relatively new medical school, we are excited about continuing our growing success in medical education; hosting the IAMSE meeting is a real honor for us.

What opportunities will attendees see in Roanoke that they’ve not seen in years past?
Roanoke is a beautiful city to have a conference. We’ve localized the venue, which is a major goal for IAMSE. Attendees and exhibitors will appreciate the layout of the conference site. We are adjacent to the Roanoke Market Square with restaurants, breweries, and shopping featuring local items. There are just lots of opportunities for networking and entertainment. The program is outstanding with presentations and sessions on current and future challenges facing health sciences educators. International abstract submission is up, so more colleagues from other parts of the world may be attending. Increased student participation will be another highlight. This year, IAMSE is also hosting a Taste of Roanoke Street Fair which will replace the annual gala dinner. IAMSE 2019 is going to be a very easy conference to attend. If you can stay for the Grand Extravaganza on Tuesday afternoon it is going to be very special with a hiking trip to a beautiful location on the Blue Ridge Parkway and a visit to the Ballast Point brewery (East Coast operation) for dinner. 

Can you tell me more about this new event?
We are blocking off the Market Square in downtown Roanoke. We will have tastes of local food, beverages, and music. This is a chance to interact in a casual fun setting with lots of local food and a live band! It’s going to be a lot of fun.

What session or speaker are you most looking forward to this year?
I’m looking forward to, of course, the Board of Directors and Committee Chairs meeting.  I’ve enjoyed being president and interacting with the Board and Committee Chairs in this planning session provides IAMSE with a sense of solid direction.  The plenary sessions also look very strong. I’m interested in the Gen Z session (Generation Z: The New Kids on the Block) and How to Use Disruptive Technology to Make Education Better – Not Just Different.

It sounds likes there is much to look forward to this year. Anything else you’d like to share?
The local response from the other medical schools in the area in support of the IAMSE meeting in Roanoke has been very strong.  As a new school, this is a tremendous opportunity for us and the other medical schools in the area to get better acquainted.

To learn more about the 2019 IAMSE Annual Meeting, including the plenary speakers, workshops and networking opportunities, or to register, please

Reserve your spot before March 15 to ensure the Early Bird Discount!

IAMSE at GRIPE 2019 in New Orleans

The IAMSE booth will be exhibiting at the annual winter meeting of the Group for Research in Pathology Education (GRIPE) in New Orleans, LA on January 24-26, 2019. IAMSE Association Manager Julie Hewett will also be delivering a pre-conference workshop titled, “Using Social Media to Disseminate Your Scholarly Work.” If you plan on attending this meeting, don’t miss this session and do not forget to swing by the IAMSE booth and say hello!

Information on the GRIPE Meeting can be found here. We look forward to seeing you there!

Registration for the 23rd Annual IAMSE Meeting is Now Open!

We are pleased to announce that registration for the 23rd Annual Meeting of IAMSE, to be held June 8-11, 2019 in Roanoke, VA, USA, is now open. At this annual meeting of the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) faculty, staff and students from around the world who are interested in medical science education join together in faculty development and networking opportunities. Sessions on curriculum development, assessment and simulation are among the common topics available at the annual meetings.

Featured plenary speakers include Don Cleveland, Claudia Krebs, Craig Lenz and Geoff Talmon.

Additional meeting details and registration can be found at

IAMSE July Featured Member

Say Hello to Our Featured Member – Zhi Xiong Chen!

Our association is a robust and diverse set of educators, researchers, medical professionals, volunteers and academics that come from all walks of life and from around the globe. Each month we choose a member to highlight their academic and professional career, and see how they are making the best of their membership in IAMSE. This month’s Featured Member is Dr. Zhi Xiong Chen.

Zhi Xiong Chen, B.Sc. (Hons), MHPE, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer and Integration Lead Educator (Medicine)
Deputy Education Director
Assistant Dean of Students
National University of Singapore

Tell me a bit about your medical and professional background and what brought you to IAMSE?
I’m a pediatric cancer scientist by training. Initially I was introduced to IAMSE through APMEC meetings, but my involvement didn’t really take off until I became involved with the 2020 Asia meeting when I was introduced to (IAMSE Treasurer and 2020 in Asia Program Chair) Neil Osheroff by my mentor/colleague Dr Dujeepa Samarasekera in 2017. Since then, I got to know the Association a lot better in the past two years and that time has gone by really quickly. 

How are you involved with the Association?
I am on the Program Committee of the 2020 Asia meeting. It is a huge collective effort. I play a bit role relative to other heavyweights in helping to move the meeting along. At the early stage, we looked into venue and dates relative to IAMSE strategic thrusts, and crafting timelines for submissions and registration. Later on, we put together the plenaries and focus session proposals recommended by the reviewers in order to build a strong meeting. The number and quality of submissions was really encouraging. Hopefully, the meeting will help IAMSE better understand the medical education landscape in this region and connect new members from this part of the world to IAMSE. I am also pleased to share that APBSEA and I have been deeply engaged with IAMSE in coming up with sessions for the past 2 APMEC meetings, culminating in a Biomedical Science Track this year, and we can expect yet another great year together at APMEC 2020. On the other hand, thanks to support from IAMSE, I am grateful for my ‘inaugural’ IAMSE experience in 2018. At the 2019 IAMSE meeting, we managed to increase our participation from APBSEA and Singapore. We even had our first focus session! The IAMSE meeting is certainly going to be on my calendar from now on! 

You also founded your own association. Tell me about APBSEA.
APBSEA stands for the Asia-Pacific Biomedical Science Educators Association (APBSEA). It aspires to be an inclusive network of enthusiastic biomedical science educators from several countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Our members consist of educators with a PhD or a PhD and MBBS/MD who are involved in a spectrum of health professions education. APBSEA is now 1.5 years old and we are supporting, developing and empowering educators in the Asia-Pacific region through the creation of opportunities for collaboration, knowledge-sharing and the enhancement of biomedical sciences’ teaching and learning in health professions education.
 Currently, we have 70-80 members at more than 20 institutions across 10 countries or more. We are grateful to IAMSE for welcoming us with open arms and investing much strength and effort in helping us to grow and walk on our own two feet. IAMSE’s spirit of enterprise, openness and positivity is deeply appreciated and has been a key driver of influence and strength in our growth. We really wish to nurture the spirit of helping each other succeed and become better, so that together, we can better serve a broader and wider community of educators.
 APBSEA is also actively engaging in medical education research. Currently, our two areas of interest are biomedical sciences graduate education and teaching evaluation of educators. We would like to reach out and welcome anyone from IAMSE who wishes to collaborate or get involved. In doing so, we hope to reciprocate the goodwill and friendship that IAMSE has so warmly extended to us.

What other things are you up to? Research, articles, teaching, etc?
As the Deputy Education Director for Physiology at the National University of Singapore, I help to shape Physiology education in various disciplines in different ways. I teach medical, dental, life sciences and graduate students. I mentor students under various initiatives and am involved in organising medical education rounds as well as an Associate at the Centre for Medical Education (CenMED). Research-wise, I run a laboratory on paediatric solid tumors and mentor students at different levels and from various disciplines and institutions who are keen on having a taste of biomedical research. I am affiliated to the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore; and a Joint Scientist at the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, where we are focused on finding new drugs, new mutations and new approaches for better evaluation, monitoring and treatment of disease.

I am also the Assistant Dean of Students (at NUS). So while I have two biological kids, I also have 38,000 non-biological ones here at the university. The role of Assistant Dean has really helped to synergize my passion for education with broader university policies. Leveraging on my medical school experiences, I seek to explore how those experiences may potentially benefit the wider NUS community and vice versa.

Education is my hobby. Fathering is my career. So I work really hard for my ‘career’ as a father by playing tennis, going on runs and hiking with my kids. I love the performing arts and am a big fan of theatre. In another universe, I could have been a full-time theatre practitioner. In many ways, theatre is relevant to education and I am glad to live my dream in both. My faith as a Christian helps to multiply my time and energy for the purpose that I live for. 

Anything else that you would like to add?
In the spirit of what IAMSE meeting has role-modeled for us, if anyone is coming to this part of the world, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me for a drink. Good wine drives learning!

Tips for Getting the Most From Your Member Profile

Did you know that you can update your contact information and add a picture to your IAMSE Membership Profile? If you would like to update your information, you can do so by logging in to the IAMSE’s Member’s Only section of the website here.
Once logged in, click “My Profile” at the top of the page. From here, you can upload a picture to your profile by clicking on the current picture shown and also make any necessary changes to your membership profile, such as adding your address, phone number, or university. If you don’t remember your password, you can use the “Forgot your password?” link under the login boxes.
If you have any questions about updating your membership profile please let us know by emailing

We can’t wait to see you in Malaysia!

We are pleased to extend your company an invitation to be an exhibitor at the International Association of Medical Science Educators’ (IAMSE) one-day IAMSE conference to be held in conjunction with the 2020 Ottawa Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on February 28, 2020.

The IAMSE conference explores strategies for teaching, learning and student assessment and brings faculty, staff, and students from around the world who are interested in medical science education together. The conference offers opportunities for faculty development in focus sessions, oral and poster presentations, and networking opportunities.

For more information on exhibiting, please see our exhibitor brochure for pricing and details or please contact the IAMSE office at or by phone at +1 (304) 522-1270. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

Thank you for supporting IAMSE and we look forward to seeing you in Kuala Lumpur!


Julie K. Hewett, CMP, CAE
IAMSE Association Manager

Congratulations to the 2019 IAMSE Student Educational Grant Winners

The International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) wishes to encourage and support scholarship in medical science education and funds multiple research grants every year. At the 2019 annual meeting, IAMSE, with the support of ScholarRX, awarded four student grants totaling $8,975. 

Student Awards
Nicholas Ingram
MedAchieve: Examining the educational outcomes of a medical school mentorship program 

 Lindsey Leggett
Determining the Best Strategy to Integrate Clinical Nutrition and Culinary Medicine for Preventative 

Austin McHenry
3D Printing of Human Organs for Gross Pathology Medical Education

Callie Torres
An Investigation on The Impact of Resource Overutilization on Medical Student Burnout 

Congratulations to this year’s grant award winners. We are eager to see and hear about your findings. More information regarding IAMSE Educational Grants, including information on submitting yourself for consideration, can be found on our website

Thank you,
Chris Burns
IAMSE Student Professional Development Committee

*Reminder* #IAMSE20ASIA in Kuala Lumpur Call for Posters and Orals Due September 15

The International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) would like to remind you that abstracts for Oral and Poster presentations are still be accepted for the one-day IAMSE conference in Asia, on February 28, 2020. This conference will focus on “Integration in Medical and Health Science Education” and will take place in the internationally recognized Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The meeting immediately precedes the international Ottawa Conference on assessment, also held in Kuala Lumpur. With the one-day IAMSE conference we specifically reach out to participants from the Asia-Pacific region, but of course, we also welcome participants from other parts of the world to join us. The IAMSE meeting offers opportunities for faculty development and networking, bringing together medical sciences and medical education across the continuum of health care education.

Please click here to submit your abstract today.

Submission deadline is September 15, 2019. There is no limit on the number of abstracts you may submit, but in the case of scheduling conflicts only presentations per presenter might be granted. Abstract acceptance notifications will be returned by November 15, 2019.

Congratulations to the #IAMSE19 Finnerty Award Winner Gary Rosenfeld, PhD

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I’d like to congratulate Gary Rosenfeld on receiving the Edward Patrick Finnerty Lifetime Achievement Award at the 23rd Annual IAMSE Meeting in June. 

Rick Vari and Gary Rosenfeld

IAMSE President Richard Vari and 2019 Edward Patrick Finnerty
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Gary Rosenfeld

Edward Patrick Finnerty Lifetime Achievement Award

This award is bestowed upon an individual member who has demonstrated a sustained involvement in and commitment to the advancement of the International Association of Medical Science Educators through their many types of service to the organization at the maximal level of performance.

The special nature of this award makes it one for which a member may not apply, but rather, it represents the superlative level of recognition that the organization, through the selection by its Board of Directors, can provide to a most worthy individual whose work on behalf of IAMSE has shown a consistent history of distinguished accomplishments.

It is with sincere appreciation and gratitude to his continued efforts and outstanding support that we bestow this award to our dear friend and colleague, Gary Rosenfeld. Congratulations, and thank you for all that you do for IAMSE.

Thank you,
Richard Vari
President, IAMSE

Congratulations to the 2019 IAMSE Outstanding Reviewer Nagaswami Vasan

Nagaswami Vasan received the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) 2019 Outstanding Reviewer Award during the Association’s annual meeting in Roanoke, Virginia (USA).

This award is an initiative of the Editorial Board of Medical Science Educator, the peer-reviewed journal of IAMSE. The award is presented annually to recognize one of the journal’s reviewers for his/her outstanding peer review efforts over the past year. The recipients are selected based on several criteria including reviewer performance and delivering the reviews in a timely manner. Congratulations Dr. Vasan!

Thank you,
Peter de Jong
Editor-in-Chief, Medical Science Educator

IAMSE Administrative Office Closed for July 4th

In observance of the Independence Day holiday in the United States, the IAMSE Administrative offices will be closed on Thursday, July 4. We will resume normal hours on Friday, July 5.

Congratulations to the 2019 Medical Educator Fellowship Recipients

On behalf of the Educational Scholarship Committee, we’d like to congratulate those who have completed this year’s IAMSE Medical Educator Fellowship Program.
 The Fellowship program is designed to develop well-rounded medical education scholars with additional evidence of specialized achievement that enhances and supports career advancement.
 The program is divided into three phases:

  • Completion of an AMEE Essential Skills in Medical Education (ESME) program
  • Completion of two, day-long faculty development courses
  • Completion of a project which results in educational scholarship and demonstrates the application of content themes at the participant’s home institution
Fellowship Class of '19

IAMSE Medical Educator Fellows Class of 2019 Medical Educator Fellows Completing the Fellowship in 2019

  • Sateesh Babu Arja
  • Sireesha Bala Arja
  • Khalil Mohamed Eldeeb
  • Carrie A. Elzie
  • Arundathi Jayatilleke
  • Elizabeth K. McClain
  • Mary E. Steinmann
  • Praveen Kottath Veetil
  • Lu Xu

Thank you,
Amber Heck
Chair, Educational Scholarship Committee

Last Call for #IAMSE20 in Denver Pre-Conference Workshops Abstracts Due July 1

Don’t miss your last chance to submit an abstract for a Pre-Conference Workshop or Faculty Development Course for the 24th IAMSE Annual Meeting. This meeting will take place in Denver CO, USA, from June 13-16 2020. As a reminder, proposals are to be submitted in the format requested through the online proposal submission siteDeadline for submission of abstracts is July 1, 2019.

As a reminder, the focus of these workshops should include:

•    Leadership/Advancement as a Medical Educator
•    Research/Scholarship/Publications
•    Instruction/Assessment
•    Technology 

We offer two options for these courses: six-hour faculty development courses and three-hour pre-conference workshops. 

Pre-Conference Faculty Development Course
A Faculty Development Course is 6 hours in length and enrollment is limited. Instructors are asked to combine appropriate amounts of didactic presentation with significant “hands-on” opportunities for participants. For the participants, a certificate of attendance will be available after completion of the course. 

Pre-Conference Workshop
Pre-conference workshops are sessions of 3 hours in length with mainly “hands-on” opportunities for participants. The enrollment to a workshop is limited. Participants will receive a certificate of attendance after completion of the workshop.

Please contact for any questions about submitting your workshop.

Save the Date for the IAMSE Fall 2019 Webcast Audio Seminar Series

Join us every Thursday in September and the first Thursday in October for the IAMSE Fall 2019 Webcast Audio Seminar Series. 

The theme for the Fall series is “Re-Imagining Faculty Development in Health Professions Education” where we will feature several speakers from across the US. This series will provide participants with not only practical tips for developing their own skills but also insight into how to become engaged with and possibly improve the faculty development culture within their institutions.  

As always, IAMSE Student Members can register for the series for FREE! for more information.

Details about the series will be coming soon, so keep an eye on your inbox. For more details on the upcoming Fall 2019 series or our archives, please visit

Registration for the One-Day IAMSE Conference in Kuala Lumpur is Now Open!

We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for the one-day IAMSE conference, to be held February 28, 2020 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Immediately preceding the 2020 Ottawa Conference, this conference of the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) will have many opportunities for faculty participation, development, and networking, and brings together medical sciences and medical education across the continuum. Participants include basic scientists and clinical faculty from a variety of health care and educational disciplines. Students are also encouraged to attend and participate in the program.

Featured opening plenary speakers include Neil Osheroff, Vishna Devi Nadarajah, Sharifah Sulaiha Binti Syed Aznal, and Bonnie M. Miller. The topic of this opening plenary session will be: “Overcoming Barriers to Curricular Revision: Perspectives from Faculty and Administration Leaders.” Our closing plenary speakers include Ronald Harden, Dujeepa Samarasekera and Kimberly Lomis. The topic of the closing plenary will be: “What Are the Next Steps in Health Professions Education?”

Additional meeting details and registration can be found at