IAMSE Featured Member: Amber Heck

Bonaminio 2015

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 Amber Heck, PhD.

IAMSE Featured Member Amber Heck

In 2013 when I first joined IAMSE, I was still a new faculty member with three years of classroom experience under my belt. Already feeling uninspired by the lack of diversity of teaching modalities and experiences our learners were being offered, I sought out professional development experiences outside of the institution.  I was introduced to IAMSE by a respected colleague and I jumped at the opportunity, attending the ESME course at the 2013 Annual Conference in St. Andrews, Scotland. Through this course I was suddenly exposed to a whole new world of medical education. One in which teachers act as researchers and make decisions based on peer-reviewed literature. In which medical educators share experiences and work together toward establishing best practices. That week, I became part of a community of practice.

Opportunity begets opportunity, and through the ESME course I found the IAMSE Medical Educator Fellowship. Through my participation in the Fellowship, I was introduced to an inspiring group of educators. I am continually learning from and modeling myself after the intellectual curiosity and collaborative spirit that I appreciate in my colleagues and mentors on the Educational Scholarship Committee. By inviting me to become a member of the Committee, they showed confidence in me that has propelled me forward. As a member of this team, I am privileged to provide support and create opportunities for aspiring and accomplished medical education researchers.

What I love most about IAMSE is the collaborative environment. IAMSE members foster teamwork, encourage innovation, leverage each other’s strengths, and recognize, reward and celebrate these behaviors in others. In academia, it is imperative that we recognize that no man is an island, and one simply cannot grow to one’s full potential without the support and intervention of others. Mentorship should not be a solitary relationship between two individuals, but a dynamic network of associates. There is no such thing as too many mentors, as they each serve a unique purpose at different times in one’s life. Through the mentorship I receive here at IAMSE, I have discovered that I can combine all of my interests; a respect for the scientific method, a love for biologic mechanisms, and a passion for teaching, into a successful career in medical education.


Want to learn more about IAMSE Fellowship and Grant Opportunities? Visit our website here!