Congratulations to the 2020 IAMSE Distinguished & Early Career Award Winners

IAMSE, on behalf of the Educational Scholarship Committee, would like to congratulate Carol Nichols and Amber Heck on receiving the Distinguished Career Award and Early Career Award, respectively.

Distinguished Career Award winner Carol Nichols

Early Career Award winner Amber Heck.

View the award presentation here

The Distinguished Career Award for Excellence in Teaching and Educational Scholarship recognizes an IAMSE member who has a distinguished record of educational scholarship, including educational research and dissemination of scholarly approaches to teaching and education. Candidates should be Professor, Associate Professor, or equivalent rank, or have demonstrated greater than 10 years of educational scholarship. Additionally, candidates must have a significant record of engagement within IAMSE.

The Early Career Award for Excellence in Teaching and Innovation honors an IAMSE member who has made significant innovations to the field in the short time they have focused their careers toward enhancing teaching, learning and assessment. Candidates for this award will be Assistant Professor or equivalent rank or have demonstrated less than 10 years of educational scholarship.

Congratulations to Dr. Nichols and Dr. Heck on being honored at the 24th Annual IAMSE Meeting in early June. Good luck to both of you in all your future endeavors.

#IAMSE21 Call for Focus Sessions – Due September 1

The International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) is pleased to announce the call for focus sessions for the 25th Annual IAMSE Conference to be held at the JW Marriott Cancun Resort and Spa in Cancun, Mexico from June 12-15, 2021. The IAMSE meeting offers opportunities for faculty development and networking, bringing together medical sciences and medical education across the continuum of health care education.

The purpose of a 90-minute Focus Session is to “focus in” on a specific topic in a small group discussion format. Groups of 10-50 individuals consider a particular topic in an interactive format. Formats can be variable. For instance, the Session Leader may arrange for the pros and cons of a particular issue to be presented by a mini-panel discussion. Alternately, the group may be subdivided and certain tasks assigned to be developed for summary during the last 20-minutes of the session. Discussion in a paradigm of professional development is the goal, so not more than one-third of the time is to be used for a formal presentation (half of the time if using panel discussion format).

All abstracts must be submitted in the format requested through the online abstract submission site found here.

Submission deadline is September 1, 2020.

Abstract acceptance notifications will be returned by November 1. Please contact for any questions about your submission.

We hope to see you in Cancun next year!

Thank you,
Mark Hernandez
Chair, IAMSE 2021 Program Committee

Congratulations to the 2020 Best Poster and Oral Presentation Award Winners

This year, IAMSE showcased over 120 poster and oral presentations, with 13 posters and 6 oral presentations nominated for an award. These awards recognize the most outstanding medical education peer-reviewed presentations at the IAMSE annual meeting. The first author on the winning poster receives a plaque, one year of IAMSE membership, and access to one series of the IAMSE Audio Seminars.

A full listing of this year’s Best Poster Presentation Award nominees and Best Oral Presentation Award nominees can be found here at

Poster Award Winner: “Imposter Syndrome And Class Gender Ratios In Osteopathic Medical School” presented by Jessica Carlson on behalf of Courtney Shill Russell of Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (USA). View the poster here.

Oral Presentation Award Winner: “Outcomes Assessment of the NEJM Knowledge+ Pain Management and Opioids Module” presented by Michael Healy of Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and NEJM Group. View the oral presentation here.

Please join us in congratulating the winners of this year’s awards. If you are interested in submitting an abstract for a poster or oral presentation for the 2021 Annual Conference you may do so beginning in October. More information will be shared later this year.

Congratulations to the 2020 IAMSE Student & Faculty Educational Grant Recipients

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 2020 annual meeting, five faculty grants were given totaling $24,646. In addition, IAMSE, with the support of ScholarRx, awarded four student grants totaling $9,457.

Student Awards
Harini Aiyer
A Child-to-Child Health Education Program for Students in Northern Saskatchewan

Maniraj Jeyaraju
MicroSkills Curriculum: Teaching the Novice to Acquire Sublingual Microcirculation Videos

Tobias Krussig
Food as Medicine: University Park Proposal

Clayton Youngers
An Exploration of First-in-Family (FiF) Physicians’ Journey Into Medicine for the Development of Effective Pipeline Programs

Faculty Awards
Arkene Levy
Enhancing LGBTQI Cultural Competency Education in an Undergraduate Medical Curriculum

Holly West
Straight to the Point: Engaging Learners Through Focused Micro-lectures Using the TED Masterclass Training Program

M. Ariel Cascio
Learning with Others: Academic Outcomes and Student Acceptance of Multiple Peer-Based Learning Group

Olivera Nesic-Taylor
Educational Strategy to Improve Evidence-Based Clinical Reasoning of Medical Students

Joseph D. Fontes
The Association of Medical Student Engagement with Components of Flipped Classroom and Summative Exam Performance

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 at our website.

Thank you,
IAMSE Educational Scholarship & Student Professional Development Committees

Say hello to our featured member Thomas Schmidt

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 profile was written by long-time IAMSE member, Thomas Schmidt, PhD.

Thomas Schmidt, PhD
Professor-Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
Iowa City, Iowa, USA

As I look forward to my retirement this month from the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics in the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa, I also welcome this opportunity to reflect on the important role that IAMSE has played in my academic career as a basic scientist. I feel very fortunate to have been a Charter Member of our international organization and have certainly been gratified to witness its growth, both in terms of membership as well as stature within the broader medical education community. I sincerely hope that as an active IAMSE member I have, in some small way, contributed to that progress by serving on the Board of Directors, Chairing the Program Committee for the 2004 Annual Meeting, and subsequently chairing the Nominating and Development Committees.

These opportunities have certainly contributed to my personal development as a medical educator and for that I am very grateful. In 2010 I was extremely proud and honored to receive the IAMSE Master Teacher Award. That recognition is certainly one of the most gratifying experiences for me in my 37-year academic career at the University of Iowa. Another important “award” that I have been fortunate to receive has been the friendships that I have been so lucky to develop with many IAMSE members. Thanks so much to all of you!

Attending the Annual IAMSE Meetings, whether they were held in the United States, Mexico, The Netherlands or Scotland, has always been a great opportunity for me to present some of my own educational research as well as to think “outside the box” in terms of new advances in all aspects of medical education. Equally important, these annual meetings have enabled me to reconnect with colleagues and good friends from around the globe. Who can forget those exciting silent auctions!

I certainly want to take this opportunity to thank the entire IAMSE team, especially Julie Hewett and Amoritia Strogen-Hewett, for all their help and encouragement. The work you do is invaluable and IAMSE simply couldn’t thrive without your enthusiasm and dedication. I’d also like to express my appreciation to Dr. Peter G.M. de Jong, Editor of Medical Science Educator, for his continued support. Serving as a reviewer for the journal has been both a privilege as well as a responsibility, and I hope to continue serving IAMSE in that capacity after I retire.

Before my concluding remarks, I’d like to share with you a few quotes that have inspired me over the years. I think these brief statements speak in meaningful ways to why we all should strive to achieve our highest potentials as medical educators.

“A teacher affects eternity; he (she) can never tell where his (her) influence stops.”
Henry B. Adams

“Above all, I believe that teaching is an honor: to be able to influence, motivate and encourage the upcoming generation of professionals in the health sciences.”
author unknown

My very best wishes and heartfelt thanks again to IAMSE. Continued success to all of its members, both now and in the years to come.

Stay well!

Respectfully yours,
Tom Schmidt

Congratulations to the 2020 IAMSE Outstanding Reviewer – Michael Bradbury

Michael Bradbury received the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) 2020 Outstanding Reviewer Award during the Association’s virtual annual meeting on Tuesday, June 16, 2020.

Michael Bradbury

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. Bradbury!

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

Congratulations to the IAMSE 2020 Finnerty Award Winner Giulia Bonaminio

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I’d like to congratulate Giulia Bonaminio on receiving the Edward Patrick Finnerty Lifetime Achievement Award at the 24th Annual IAMSE Meeting in June.2020 Edward Patrick Finnerty Lifetime Achievement Award winner Giuilia Bonaminio

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 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 her continued efforts and outstanding support that we bestow this award to our dear friend and colleague, Giulia Bonaminio. Congratulations, and thank you for all that you do for IAMSE.

Thank you,
Neil Osheroff
President, IAMSE

Congratulations to the 2020 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

Medical Educator Fellows Completing the Fellowship in 2020:

  • Mariluz Henshaw
  • Sean Herrin
  • Marije Hogeveen
  • Jaehwa Choi
  • Jeff Fritz
  • Ritcha Saxena

Please join me in congratulating our new fellows. If you are interested in the IAMSE Fellowship program, please visit our website here.

Thank you,
Amber Heck
Chair, Educational Scholarship Committee

Check out the IAMSE Webcast Audio Seminar Series Archives!

The International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) is pleased to announce that the archives for “The Role of Basic Science in 21st Century Medical Education,” the 2019 Spring series of the Webcast Audio Seminars are now online!

The Webcast Audio Seminar archives are located on the IAMSE website under the Events heading as Web Seminars. Here, you will be able to search the archives or browse by year and series.

If you have any issues accessing the archives, please just let us know at

Say hello to our featured member Amber Heck

Say hello to our featured member
Amber Heck

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 2020 Early Career Award for Excellence in Teaching and Innovation recipient, Amber Heck, PhD.

Amber J. Heck, PhD
Associate Professor of Medical Education
TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine
Fort Worth, Texas, USA

How long have you been a member of IAMSE?
I have been a proud member of IAMSE since 2013. My first meeting was at St. Andrew’s University and I have only missed one meeting since. At the time, I was a new faculty member with only 3 years of teaching experience and was in search of faculty development opportunities. I attended the ESME course at that first meeting and learned so much that I was hooked right away.

Looking at your time with the Association, what have you most enjoyed doing? What are you looking forward to?
After being inspired by the ESME course, I decided to apply for the IAMSE Medical Educator Fellowship. My time in the Fellowship Program was very productive and instrumental to my growth as a medical educator. It resulted in my first publication in medical education and I have been pursuing this type of scholarship ever since. Over my time with IAMSE, I have become increasingly involved in the administrative side of things. I was asked to join the Educational Scholarship (ES) Committee, first as a member, and later to serve as Chair in 2018. Serving on the ES Committee has been one of the most fulfilling and enriching opportunities of my career. Finally, I became a member of the IAMSE Board of Directors in 2019, which has furthered my understanding of how the organization runs and opened up opportunities for collaboration, mentorship and friendship on an international level.

Among my favorite things to do within the organization include mentoring and serving as a reviewer. As part of the ES Committee and Professional Development Committee, I get the opportunity to review the work of our members in the form of faculty development sessions, poster and oral presentations, and research grants. In addition, I serve as a reviewer for our journal, Medical Science Educator. Through reviewing, I learn so much about educational scholarship and the exciting work our members are doing to improve medical education. Through my mentorship role on the ES Committee, I get to share this knowledge with other members and celebrate their successes alongside them.

What I most look forward to every year is the Annual Meeting. It is an excellent opportunity to meet others, hear about the exciting work of the members of IAMSE, and grow both professionally and personally. I am hooked on attending pre-conference professional development sessions and focus sessions, and I look forward to attending them again in person at the 2021 meeting in Cancun.

What interesting things are you working on outside the Association right now?
I am fortunate to have been faculty at three brand new medical schools. Currently, I am a founding faculty member at the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine, where we employ a novel, patient-centered, active learning phase I curriculum. The majority of my time now is served by developing new classroom materials and activities, which I find great joy in. In regards to scholarship, I have focused my research on faculty development related to integration and active learning. In addition, I recently co-authored a book chapter and look forward to working more on similar formats, sharing knowledge through review and synthesis. I really enjoy academic writing and spend the remainder of my time outside of classroom preparation pursuing such opportunities.

Let’s talk about your award! You were chosen as the 2020 recipient of the IAMSE Early Career Award for Excellence in Teaching and Innovation. Tell us more about that.
I am truly humbled to receive the 2020 IAMSE Early Career Award for Excellence in Teaching and Innovation. It is an honor to be selected by my colleagues and mentors within IAMSE for this award. I have observed past winners’ careers and innovations and feel grateful to be listed among them. Through the career awards, IAMSE has inspired and instilled confidence in awardees to continue to pursue innovative projects in the field of academic medicine.

What type of Innovations have you focused on in your career? What would you like to see happen in the field of medical education in your tenure as an educator? 
I have been lucky in my career to be able to explore multiple research questions related to student preparation and faculty development. In the past, I have pursued projects related to early medical education preparedness interventions, such as pre-matriculation courses and orientation programs which promote a growth mindset and metacognitive approach to learning. More recently, I have focused my attention on developing faculty to thrive in an integrated, active learning academic environment. My most exciting innovation so far is the development of a tool to assist faculty with self-assessment of integration within a single educational session.

Anything else that you would like to add?
I would like to thank the IAMSE Executive Committee and IAMSE Board of Directors for their support and mentorship. I would also like to thank the members of the IAMSE Educational Scholarship Committee and Professional Development Committee. It is through the opportunities designed and bestowed by these groups that I have been able to grow so much in my career as a medical educator. Please allow me to thank the members of the ES Committee individually for their mentorship and fellowship:

  • Amina Sadik
  • Diana Glendinning
  • Joe Stein
  • Jon Wisco
  • Katie Huggett
  • Kelly Quesnelle
  • Norma Saks
  • Paula Smith
  • Staci Leisman
  • Wilhelmina Hols-Elders

Click here to register for the IAMSE 2020 Virtual Conference!

ScholarRx offers free access to Rx Bricks online curricular system to schools affected by COVID-19

In response to a request for assistance from a partner medical school impacted by COVID-19, ScholarRx has agreed to make its Rx Bricks program available at no cost to M2 students for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. This comprehensive, online resource can assist schools implementing contingency plans necessitated by the COVID-19 outbreak.

In this specific case, Rx Bricks will support the Infectious Disease course where the school has lost access to teaching faculty due to the public health emergency. ScholarRx will provide the students with access to Rx Bricks and further assist the school with curricular implementation and mapping support.

ScholarRx wishes to extend this offer of free access to Rx Bricks to you and your school. Please let us know if we can help you support the education process during this challenging period.

For more information or to request assistance, go to:

Rx Bricks is an innovative digital learning system designed to help students easily learn the foundations of medicine. 

Rx Bricks offers a repository of preclinical curricular materials and learning frameworks that can be rapidly deployed and customized to suit your unique curriculum needs and goals.

Rx Bricks uses short, high-yield, interactive lessons called “bricks.” Content is broken down into the smallest cohesive learning units, or “bricks”, and organized around basic science topics (e.g., pressure-volume loops) or clinical concepts (e.g., ischemic heart disease). Each brick uses clear language to explain and contextualize key topics, many in less than 20 minutes. Then it offers built-in review tools to test understanding of the content right away.

Currently, ScholarRx offers more than 600 Rx Bricks covering 12 preclinical disciplines and organ systems.

To learn more, go to:

A Special Message from IAMSE President, Neil Osheroff

Dear IAMSE Members,

I hope that you are all safe and well.

By any definition, 2020 has been a challenging year. The COVID-19 pandemic upended the way that we teach, but more importantly, it has had an immediate effect on the way that we live our lives. The pandemic has isolated many of us and forced us to confront our resilience and well-being.

However, recent tragic events involving African Americans have shone an even harsher light on issues related to isolation, resilience, and well-being. The shocking and needless deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, among others, and the ensuing protests, have brought long-festering social injustice issues to the forefront. It is time for us to acknowledge that while we all remain concerned about our health during the pandemic, many of our colleagues, students, friends, and neighbors have daily fears for their personal safety, and indeed for their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

Although the conversation about racism has been precipitated by events in the United States, racism, hatred, and xenophobia are not confined to the North American continent. These are universal issues. Thus, we must use this painful but illuminating time as a turning point. Hatred and injustice are abhorrent and antithetical to our roles as educators and academic leaders and IAMSE rejects them in all of their forms. IAMSE members have the responsibility and privilege of training the next generation of health professionals. We must work with our colleagues and trainees to lay the foundation for a better and more just future that fights for equity and inclusion, recognizes our commonalities, and celebrates our differences. We must embrace diversity rather than be frightened by it, and we must be prepared to discuss, listen, learn, and act.

IAMSE is deeply committed to realizing the vision of social justice and equality for Black people and other racial, ethnic, and religious groups, across the globe. Although we have programs in place that are beginning to formally address these critical issues, we know that considerably more progress needs to be made. To this end, you have our pledge that IAMSE will continue to work toward a more just, equitable, and inclusive society in the future.

By committing to take action that will help mold a better world today, IAMSE can have a profound influence on combating racism and health disparities in the future. Let us all work toward this common goal. We have an important opportunity to better ourselves and our organization, thereby increasing the impact that we have on our institutions, our communities, and the world.

Sincerely yours,

Neil Osheroff, Ph.D.
President, IAMSE
On behalf of the Board of Directors