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 Winter 2019 Webinar Series: The Learning Environment System & Case Studies

The 2019 IAMSE Winter Webcast Audio Seminar Series just recently started! The 2019 winter series of the IAMSE webinar program will focus on the role of the learning environment in health science education. The significance and importance of the learning environment is based on the assumption that a poor environment is associated with poor student performance, burn-out and stress. For the Winter Series, we’ve lined up seven speakers to shine a light on the topic across multiple landscapes in medical education. Our final speaker is Dr. Dan Harrington, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.

The Learning Environment System and Case Studies
Presenter: Dan Harrington, MD
Session: February 7, 2019 at 12 pm Eastern Time

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education has recognized the importance of a healthy learning environment for students to optimally learn, to promote well-being, and to develop professionalism. Since 1990 the LCME has used the Graduation Questionnaire (GQ) to survey graduating medical students about their experiences and perceptions of their school’s learning environment. Many schools’ GQ survey results have shown that students were less likely to report unprofessionalism and mistreatment while in school suggesting students are fearful of reporting while they are students. As a result, the LCME focuses on the learning environment in the accreditation surveys of medical schools. 

Following Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine’s (VTCSOM) 2013 LCME accreditation visit, the school established the Learning Environment Advocacy Committee (LEAC), a multidisciplinary committee that serves as the clearinghouse for learning environment concerns from students. The learning environment concerns are reviewed by the committee, recommendations are made to investigate the concerns, and the concerns are addressed in the departments where the unprofessionalism or mistreatment occurred. The LEAC raises awareness of the importance of a healthy learning environment for students, faculty, residents, nurses, and staff at VTCSOM and its clinical affiliate. 

This seminar will review the process of developing the LEAC, the activity of the LEAC since the committee was established, and the results of an organizational wide learning environment survey.

IAMSE Winter 2019 WAS Session 1 Highlights

[The following notes were generated by Will Brooks, PhD.]

IAMSE Webinar Series, Winter 2019

Speakers: Larry Gruppen, PhD
Title: An Overview and Introduction to the Learning Environment
Series: The Learning Environment in Health Sciences Education

The IAMSE 2019 Winter Webinar Series, The Learning Environment in Health Sciences Education, kicked off to a strong start on January 10, 2019 with a presentation by Dr. Larry Gruppen, Professor in the Department of Learning Health Sciences at the University of Michigan Medical School. His webinar entitled “An Overview and Introduction to the Learning Environment” provided a framework on the topic upon with other speakers in the series will build in the coming weeks.

Dr. Guppen began with an acknowledgment of the recent scoping review of literature on the learning environment for the Josiah Macy Foundation in 2018 from which much of the webinar would be based. He noted that the learning environment and associated concepts are defined variably by individuals and that theories and measurements surrounding the topic have not yet been fully established. The AMA defines the learning environment as a social system that includes the learner (including the external relationships and other factors affecting the learner), the individuals with whom the learner interacts, the setting and purposes of the interaction, and the formal and informal rules/policies/norms governing the interaction (AMA, 2007). However, a modified definition was put forth by the Josiah Macy Conference in 2018: the social interactions, organizational culture and structures, and physical and virtual spaces that surround and shape the learners’ experiences, perceptions, and learning.

A challenge faced by those exploring the learning environment is that virtually anything could be considered a part of it including physical facilities, faculty, the patient population, curriculum, institutional culture, assessments, clinical settings, etc. As Dr. Gruppen stated, “If everything is part of the learning environment, then effectively nothing is part of the learning environment.” Another challenge lies in the absence of a common language; educational climate, social environment, and work environment are all synonyms in common use. Dr. Gruppen contrasted the hidden curriculum from the learning environment as separate entities, though some literature may equate the two.

As the root word environ means ‘to surround’, the learning environment can be considered those factors which surround learning. Five dimensions of the learning environment grouped into three domains were defined by Dr. Gruppen: in the Sociocultural Domain, (1) person, (2) social, and (3) organization; within the Spatial Domain, (4) the physical environment; and in the Technology Domain, (5) the virtual learning spaces.

Differences within the person such as personality, resilience, and life experiences all influence how one learns and thus affect the learning environment. Interactions between the learner and his/her peers, faculty, patients, and interprofessional colleagues all impact the social dimension of the learning environment. The organizational level is often blamed for toxic learning environments due to factors including work load, stress, etc. Physical spaces including classrooms, meeting rooms, and their furnishings in addition to critical general features such as new versus old facilities and the proximity of spaces all comprise the spatial domain. Virtual patients, electronic health records, online learning, and technology driven simulation affect the virtual dimension of the learning environment.

A variety of instruments have been utilized to measure the learning environment, but all depend upon self-reporting of the learner through survey questionnaires. As such, data collected to date have been dependent on learner perspectives.

Dr. Gruppen completed the webinar with a discussion of ideas currently circulating in health professions education and in the literature on how to fix the learning environment. The first discussed was curricular change. A publication was discussed which detailed the effects on the learning environment of a comprehensive curricular change that included transition to an organ system-based structure with pass/fail grading. This intervention yielded a moderate to large effect size on the learning environment, but it cannot be possible to pinpoint which factors were most important for the improvement, underscoring the complexity of the issue. Secondly, a Dutch study that examined key factors predicting work engagement among faculty was discussed. This study highlights the fact that faculty engagement and faculty satisfaction impact the learning environment. Faculty are both contributors to and recipients of the learning environment. Faculty development is thus an important cog to consider when thinking about improving the learning environment. Finally, Dr. Gruppen noted that much of the literature on the learning environment centers on student experiences and mistreatment.

While the learning environment is a complex and still poorly defined topic, its importance in medical and health professions education cannot be understated. It is critical for issues related to stress, burn-out, and suicide; it impacts productivity and patient care; and failures in the learning environment can have punitive financial consequences for an organization.

IAMSE 2018-2021 Strategic Plan

Greetings to everyone! Please find on the IAMSE website the 2018-2021 IAMSE Strategic Plan approved by the Board of Directors and Committee Chairs in December of last year. If you have any additional suggestions please send them to me and we will consider them at our next on-site BOD meeting in Roanoke in June 2019. We will be reviewing our progress towards this plan at that time. These are such exciting times for IAMSE and on behalf of the BOD please accept our appreciation for all that you do for IAMSE.

With warmest regards!
Rick Vari
President, IAMSE

Last Call for Educational Scholarship and Student Grant Applications – Due January 15 –

The application deadline for Educational Scholarship grant proposals is quickly drawing near! The deadline for submitting applications is January 15, 2019. Applications are to be submitted on thesubmission page found here before the deadline. Instructions for grant proposals may be found on the grant submission page.

All IAMSE members are eligible to submit a grant proposal. Preference will be given to new projects, and must be relevant to the mission of IAMSE. The results of funded projects must be presented at a future IAMSE meeting. The initial funding award will be announced via email, and at the 2019 IAMSE meeting.

Information regarding the ScholarRx-IAMSE Educational Research Grant Program for Students, including the application process, eligibility, proposal format, and evaluation criteria, can be found on the IAMSE website here.

Applications are to be submitted on the submission page found here by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on January 15, 2019.

IAMSE Winter 2019 Webinar Series: The Learning Environment Panel Discussion

The 2019 winter series of the IAMSE webinar program focuses on the role of the learning environment in health science education. The significance and importance of the learning environment is based on the assumption that a poor environment is associated with poor student performance, burn-out and stress. Our fourth session in the series will be a panel discussion featuring Luke Mortensen, PhD, FAHA, FNAOME; Cindy Anderson, PhD, RN, APRN-CNP, ANEF, FAHA, FNAP, FAAN; and Karen Hills, MS, PA-C.

The Learning Environment Panel Discussion
Presenters: Luke Mortensen, Cindy Anderson and Karen Hills
Session: January 31, 2019 at 12pm Eastern TimeThe panel will include a brief overview of the Learning environment from three different perspectives: nursing, osteopathic and PA education. Following those overviews, the panelists will engage in a live Q&A with the moderator and audience.

From Dr. Mortensen: Within the osteopathic medical learning environment, the considerations – not unlike those of other health education learning paradigms – encompass social, academic, professional, psychological, and physical settings and frameworks as they influence how people learn, organize, and collaborate together. We will discuss different approaches and on-going concerns within the academic setting to positively affect teaching and learning.

From Dr. Anderson: At the Ohio State College of Nursing, our learning environment is illustrated by our commitment to LIVE WELL (Lead, Innovate, Vision, Execute, be Wellness-focused, Evidenced-based, Lifelong learnings and Lights for the world, locally and globally). Evidence for our successful establishment of an effective environment for student learning in Nursing is our redesignation as a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence, recently awarded for our contributions to the development of an environment that promotes student learning and professional development. Process and outcome evaluation informs efforts to refine approaches and promote an effective learning environment.

From Ms. Hills: Using the Gruppen review article as a backdrop, this portion of the webinar will focus on learning environment in PA programs. At the conclusion of the webinar, attendees will be able to discuss the components of how PA programs consider learning environment through personal, social, organizational, physical and virtual lens, thus adding to the interprofessional dialogue allowing for the identification of the elements of learning environments that are shared across the health professions. New accreditation standards for PA programs are being released Fall of 2018. This presentation will describe the role the learning environment has in program accreditation.

IAMSE at APMEC 2019 in Singapore

The 16th Asia Pacific Medical Education Conference (APMEC) will be taking place in Singapore from January 9-13th, 2019. IAMSE is proud to be included in APMEC 2019 as participating partner reflecting the strong collaboration we have built over the years. The IAMSE booth will be present at the conference to exhibit, so if you plan on attending this meeting, do not forget to swing by and say hello! 

There will also be several workshops, lectures, and session with IAMSE involvement for you to consider:

  • Workshop: “Developing Fair and Holistic Approaches to Evaluate Biomedical Science Educators”
  • Workshop: “An Experiential Introduction to Mind-Body Medicine Skills: Tools to Reduce Stress and Foster Resilience and Well-being”
  • Workshop: “Using Social Media to Disseminate Your Scholarly Work”
  • Workshop: “Tips and Tricks for Successfully Publishing Scholarly Work in an International Journal on Medical Education”
  • Opening Keynote Address: “Fostering Well-Being in the Learning Environment: The Imperative for Medical Educators”
  • Plenary Lecture: “Embracing Curricular Revision: Integrating Foundational and Clinical Sciences to Create Better Future Health Professionals”
  • Panel Discussion: “Supporting Biomedical Science Educators: A Matter of Self-Esteem, Identity and Promotion Opportunities”
  • Symposium: “Integration of Biomedical Science and Clinical Education: How to Make It Work?”
  • IAMSE Sharing Session to learn more about IAMSE as an organization

For more information on the APMEC Meeting, please click here.

IAMSE Excellence in Teaching Award Nominations Still Open

Don’t forget that nominations for the 2019 Excellence in Teaching awards are still open, both of which will be presented at the annual meeting in Roanoke, Virginia in June.

Since 2007, IAMSE has honored member medical educators with two prestigious awards to recognize and promote teaching excellence and educational scholarship in the medical sciences. Qualified candidates may self-nominate, or be nominated by an IAMSE colleague.

Details regarding each award, the required application materials, and deadlines are found in the document linked here. All nomination/application packets must be received by Danielle Inscoe (Danielle@iamse.orgno later than February 28, 2019.

WAS Winter 2019 : The Learning Environment During Residency

The 2019 IAMSE Winter Webcast Audio Seminar Series is right around the corner! The 2019 winter series of the IAMSE webinar program will focus on the role of the learning environment in health science education. The significance and importance of the learning environment is based on the assumption that a poor environment is associated with poor student performance, burn-out and stress. For the Winter Series, we’ve lined up seven speakers to shine a light on the topic across multiple landscapes in medical education. Our third speaker is Dr. John Co, Director of Graduate Medical Education at Harvard Medical School.

The Learning Environment During Residency
Presenter: John Co, MD, MPH, CPPS, FAAP
Session: January 24, 2019 at 12pm Eastern TimeThe Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) established the Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) Program in 2012 to provide institutions that train residents and fellows with formative feedback to improve patient care while optimizing the clinical learning environment (CLE) in the 6 CLER Focus Areas (Patient safety, Health care quality (including health care disparities), Care transitions, Supervision, Fatigue management, mitigation, and duty hours, Professionalism). In the Fall of 2018, the ACGME released its second CLER National Report of Findings, which details findings from the second set of visits to nearly 300 ACGME Sponsoring Institutions with 3 or more core residency programs. During the webinar, we will present findings from the report, as well discuss changes over time since the first cycle of CLER visits.

Save the Date for the Spring 2019 Webcast Audio Seminar Series

Join us every Thursday in March and the first Thursday in April for the IAMSE Spring 2019 Webcast Audio Seminar Series. 

The theme for the Spring series is “The Role of Basic Science in 21st Century Medical Education” where we will feature several speakers from across the US and Europe. Speakers will discuss topics such as the changing roles of the basic science educator, going lecture free, and the role of foundational sciences in clinical years. 

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

Details about the series will be coming soon, so stay tuned. For more details on the upcoming Winter 2019 series or our archives, please visit

Consider Donating to IAMSE This Year

On behalf of IAMSE and the Finance Committee, we hope you have a joyous holiday season and wish you a happy and prosperous new year. We ask that you consider including IAMSE in your year-end charitable giving plans. Your gift will support the IAMSE mission to advance health professions education through faculty development and to ensure that medical science education continues to be firmly grounded in foundational sciences and includes the best practices of teaching. It will also help to provide travel awards that enable junior faculty members and students to attend our meetings and to access our educational resources.

Donating is easy—please access the “Make a Donation” button on the IAMSE website under the “Connect” subheading or by clicking here. A contribution in any amount would help greatly. 

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Happy Holidays from the IAMSE Admin Team!

From everyone in the IAMSE office, we would like to wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season!

The IAMSE Administrative Office will be closed on December 24 & 25, 2018 and on December 31, 2018 and January 1, 2019 for the holidays.

We are truly grateful for the support you have provided to us at IAMSE and are greatly looking forward to what 2019 has in store!