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

James Pickering to Discuss Virtual Communities of Practice

Stay connected with your colleagues around the globe and join us for this week’s IAMSE Cafe round table discussion. Join our moderator, Kelly Quesnelle from Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine as she welcomes James Pickering from the University of Leeds (UK).
Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 10AM EDT – Communities of Practice in a Virtual World. In this session James Pickering from the University Leeds (UK), will lead a discussion around the importance of communities of practice in sharing innovative practice, learning from colleagues, and developing your own scholarly practice. Drawing on his experience of developing a community-based podcast and other social media opportunities, colleagues will be able to discuss the benefits and logistics behind such innovations.

To join the meeting please click here. The meeting password is IAMSECafe or, if you are calling in from a phone, the numeric password is 778130.

We look forward to seeing you this week!

TGME Online Conference Call for Abstracts 2020

The Generalists in Medical Education (TGME) annual conference will be held on Wednesday, November 11 Thursday, November 12 & Friday, November 13, 2020  Online. This year’s conference theme is:

Medical Education in 2020:
What’s Working, What’s Next, and What’s Needed

This theme promotes educational research and innovative ideas that bring new perspectives to not only the current state of medical education but also for the future.

You are invited to submit a proposal for this year’s conference.  It will provide a forum to share your educational research and educational innovations.

The Generalists in Medical Education offer a variety of proposal and presentation formats: a) Round Table Discussions, b) Descriptive Sessions, c) Panel Discussions, d) Problem-Solving Sessions, e) Skill Acquisition Sessions, f) Ignite Presentations.  Descriptions of each type of proposal format can be found on the website.

Please submit proposals via the TGME website

Proposals must be submitted electronically, no later than 11:59 pm EST on July 15, 2020.

 As you read about the session types and review criteria, please be aware of the following changes:

  • We will use Zoom as our platform for the conference. 
  • Some of the sessions will have a different duration than the past
  • Engaging participants in an online format is now part of the review criteria 

The success of any conference rests on high-quality proposal reviews. If you are interested in volunteering your time to review, please send an email to the Program Chair:


We look forward to another great conference!
Nagaraj Gabbur, MD, 2020 Chairperson of the TGME Steering Committee
Michele Haughton, MD, 2020 Program Chair

Good things happening? Share with IAMSE!

The next issue of the membership newsletter of the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE), IAMSE Connects, will be published in July. The purpose of this newsletter is to connect the IAMSE membership with information about our society, about opportunities to get involved with IAMSE, and about each other.

We are very pleased to dedicate one section of this newsletter to recognize the professional accomplishments of our members but we need your help! Have you received awards or promotions or landed a great new job in the last year? We would like to know about it and celebrate your professional accomplishments in our newsletter.

Please send your news and a recent photo to Cassie Chinn at for inclusion in the next edition. Sorry, we can only include professional accomplishments in the newsletter, but welcome you to share your personal news on the IAMSE Facebook and Twitter pages! Thanks for your help!

Deadline: July 1, 2020

Thank you,
Jennifer Baccon
Chair, IAMSE Membership Committee

Don’t Miss the #IAMSE20 Virtual Conference Plenary Speakers

The 2020 IAMSE Virtual Conference will offer many opportunities for faculty development and networking in an effort to bring medical sciences and medical education across the continuum together. This year’s main topic is Envisioning the Future of Health Sciences Education. Each of our four plenary speakers will engage in discussion to help highlight this topic and lead educators and students towards a more inclusive and adapted medical education.

From left: Cindy Nebel, Renay Scales, Maria Mylopoulos and Poh-Sun Goh

When: Monday, June 15, 2020, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM EDT
Title: The Application of Cognitive Psychology to Improve Teaching and Learning
Speaker: Cindy Nebel, Vanderbilt University (USA)

When: Tuesday, June 16, 2020, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM EDT
Title: Cultivating Diversity and Inclusion in Medical Education
Speaker: Renay Scales, University of Kentucky (USA)

When: Wednesday, June 17, 2020, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM EDT
Title: Preparing Future Experts: Cognition, curriculum and adaptive expertise
Speaker: Maria Mylopoulos, University of Toronto (CAN)

When: Thursday, June 18, 2020, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM EDT
Title: Medical Educator Roles of the Future
Speaker: Poh Sun Goh, National University of Singapore (Singapore)

For more information on each speaker and their sessions please visit

Call for Submissions to the IAMSE Resources Page

Do you have an online resource that is freely available and helpful for your development as a health sciences educator? Would you be interested in seeing what other IAMSE members use for faculty development from around the web?

The IAMSE Publications Committee is now requesting submissions for the IAMSE online resources page. We are looking for resources that are helpful across the following areas:

  • Assessment
  • Curriculum Development
  • E-Learning
  • Instructional Methods
  • Interprofessional Education
  • Technology and Innovation
  • Student Support
  • Faculty Development
  • Educational Scholarship

We would like to focus on resources that may be helpful to all members of IAMSE, so we will not be accepting discipline-specific content at this time. The resources should be links to freely available articles, video and audio files, and PowerPoints that are not hosted already on the IAMSE website. Resources will be posted on a rolling basis, pending review and approval from the Publications committee. Please click here to submit your content.

If you have any questions on the submission process, please email

Thank you,
IAMSE Publications Committee

#IAMSECafe Welcomes Alice Fornari to Discuss Faculty Development in the COVID-19 Era

Stay connected with your colleagues around the globe and join us for this week’s IAMSE Cafe round table discussion. Join our moderator, Kelly Quesnelle from Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine as she welcomes Alice Fornari from the Hofstra University Zucker School of Medicine.
*Please note the time change for this week’s session.

Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 1PM EDT  – Faculty Development in the COVID-19 Era. We welcome Alice Fornari who serves as Associate Dean of Educational Skills Development at Hofstra/Northwell and is the Vice President of Faculty Development for the 23 hospitals of the Northwell Health organization. Topics for the discussion will include:
  • Have the fundamental roles of the faculty developer changed as a result of the COVID pandemic? What is the impact on setting, audience expected, activities, and short- or long-term outcomes?
  • Will institutional support for faculty development be enhanced or drift?
  • What changes do we need in faculty development practices in the context of virtual medical education? We will consider the focus and skills of medical educator in 2025.
  • How do we create and maintain virtual communities of practice in the virtual workplace?

To join the meeting please click here. The meeting password is IAMSECafe or, if you are calling in from a phone, the numeric password is 778130.

We look forward to seeing you this week!

Registration for the IAMSE 2020 Virtual Conference is NOW OPEN

We are pleased to announce that registration for the 2020 IAMSE Virtual Conference, to be held June 15-18, 2020 is now open. At this annual meeting of the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) you will be able to connect with and learn from others who share the same passion for the improvement of teaching and learning medical and basic sciences. The annual IAMSE conference will provide you with new teaching techniques, ideas and resources. It is also one of the best professional development activities for networking with other professionals.

Registration is FREE!

By registering for the free virtual conference you will gain access to each of the accepted poster and oral presentations, plenary addresses, award presentations and more! You can find a full schedule of events here. Some events, like the poster and oral presentations, will be presented on demand and will be available for 60 days after the meeting. Please note that you will need to register and be signed in to view any conference events or presentations.

Additional meeting details and registration can be found at

Thank you,
Bonny Dickinson, PhD, MS-HPEd
Chair, 2020 Program Committee

A Review from Medical Science Educator from Dr. Louis B. Justement

Each month the IAMSE Publications Committee reviews published articles from Medical Science Educator. This month’s review, written by Dr. Louis B. Justement is taken from the article titled Medical Biochemistry Without Rote Memorization: Multi-Institutional Implementation and Student Perceptions of a Nationally Standardized Metabolic Map for Learning and Assessment (doi:10.1007/s40670-018-00631-y) published in Medical Science Educator, Volume 29, (pages 87-92), 2019 by Douglas B. Spicer.

As a member of the Publications Committee, I wanted to highlight an interesting article in Medical Science Educator, the journal of IAMSE, on the use of a Metabolic Map that is designed to facilitate the ability of medical students to not only learn biochemistry but to do so in a practical, applied manner. The title of the article is Medical Biochemistry Without Rote Memorization: Multi-Institutional Implementation and Student Perceptions of a Nationally Standardized Metabolic Map for Learning and Assessment by Douglas B Spicer (Medical Science Educator (2019) 29:87-92).

Understanding the principles of biochemistry and biochemical pathways have traditionally proven to be very challenging for medical students due to the complex, interrelated nature of biochemical processes. Students often fail to comprehend how this material is relevant for their future practice of medicine and also express a significant amount of stress when faced with the prospect of memorizing large numbers of biochemical pathways without the appropriate context being provided. This leads to the creation of an excessive cognitive load that interferes with the development of an integrated understanding of normal and pathophysiological metabolic processes.

To address this problem, Stanford University School of Medicine Faculty worked in conjunction with the Association of Biochemistry Educators to develop a map that contains medically-relevant metabolic pathways for use as a standardized national resource that is readily available for download (Pathways of Human Metabolism: ( The goal of this Metabolic Map (MetMap) is to provide a resource for students to aid in their appreciation of the relationship between metabolic processes and disease that will avoid the need to memorize biochemical pathways without context. This MetMap is designed to be used as both a study aid or resource for students and as a resource during assessment.

The MetMap is currently being utilized by a number of institutions across the country and to assess its impact on student perceptions of biochemistry, the authors conducted a survey of 481 students from three different medical schools that integrate biochemistry content with other topics in interdisciplinary courses longitudinally in the MS1 year. The survey results support the value of the MetMap as a resource for student learning of normal metabolic processes and how dysregulation leads to disease. Students responded that the MetMap: 1) aids visual and mental organization of metabolic pathways, 2) Promotes deep learning and the application of knowledge learned in the context of disease processes, 3)decreases the need for memorization, 4) reduces anxiety of exams and 5) aids in long-term recall.

Although students give the MetMap high marks in general, there were some concerns raised that are of note. The first and foremost is that although the MEtMAp is an effective learning resource, students were concerned that because it is often used in both learning and assessment activities, that reliance on the MetMap may result in under preparing for licensing exams. Students were concerned that it may still be necessary to memorize a lot of facts in order to be fully prepared for licensing exams. This raises the question of whether in the future such standardized national resources will be incorporated into licensing exams. This very question is currently under discussion by a USMLE Metabolic Map Task Force. A second issue noted by students was that the MetMap is still quite complex in nature, however, they also indicated that through repetitive use of the MetMap, they were able to develop a more integrated understanding of metabolic pathways and their relationship to disease.  Going forward, studies to assess the impact of the MetMap on student learning outcomes should provide important insight regarding whether the MetMap is effective as a resource for teaching metabolic processes and their relationship to disease.

Louis B. Justement, PhD
Director, GBS Immunology Graduate Theme
Director Undergraduate Immunology Program
Associate Director, Medical Scientist Training Program
Professor, Department of Microbiology University of Alabama at Birmingham
Member, Publications Committee

IAMSE May Featured Member – Bonny Dickinson

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 Annual Program Chair and IAMSE President-Elect Bonny Dickinson.

Bonny Dickinson, PhD, MS-HPEd
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs
Mercer University School of Medicine
Macon, Georgia, USA

First, how are you? How are you adapting to the sudden shift online and from home during the pandemic?
The faculty, administration and students at Mercer University School of Medicine adapted amazingly well to the changes during the pandemic. In some ways, we’ve become even more efficient and connected although we miss seeing each other face-to-face. I admit I’ve become a bit of a Zoom-zombie or Zoombie…

How long have you been a member of IAMSE and what is your position in the association?
I joined IAMSE in 2013 when I began a faculty position at The Western Michigan University Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine, which welcomed its inaugural class of medical students in 2014. I quickly caught the “IAMSE bug” and first became involved with the IAMSE Professional Development committee in 2016 then chaired by Dr. Carol Nichols. This committee nurtured the growth of a subcommittee that I co-chaired with Nicole Deming, JD, MA. This committee, the Committee for the Advancement of Medical Science Educators (CAMSE), launched an IAMSE member survey to better understand the institutional adoption of promotion and tenure criteria for medical science educators. The survey results were published in Medical Science Educator and informed the development of IAMSE Educator and Evaluator Toolkits, which are now freely available on the IAMSE website:

In 2017 I was elected to serve on the IAMSE Board of Directors and in 2019 I assumed the role of chair of the IAMSE Professional Development Committee. In 2019 I was also elected to serve as IAMSE President-Elect and chair of the IAMSE 2020 Program Committee. In other roles, I serve as a member of the IAMSE Oversight Committee, the IAMSE Executive Committee, the IAMSE 2021 Program Committee, and as an Associate Editor and member of the Medical Science Educator Editorial Board.

As you find yourself chair of the very first virtual IAMSE meeting, which wasn’t the plan at all, what insight can you give us on this event? What will be added, what will be subtracted, and what will be adapted?
IAMSE is truly blessed to have an outstanding Program Committee that developed the agenda for the 2020 annual meeting. Because of the hard work and dedication of the Program Committee members, we will have an outstanding virtual conference. All of the plenary speakers have agreed to present webinars and we will also have the first-ever student-led plenary. We are excited that the student-led plenary will be a new addition to the annual conference and serve to engage our student members, who will be the next IAMSE members and leaders in health professions education.

If I may ask you to speculate, how do you think the sudden shift to a virtual meeting, both for IAMSE and other organizations, will affect meetings in the future? How will IAMSE 2021 in Cancun be different from the original plan?
The virtual meeting planned is going to be novel but also very much like the face-to-face annual meetings in many ways. To engage our membership during this difficult time and to bring new faculty to IAMSE, the conference registration and content will be completely free to both IAMSE members and non-members. A virtual conference program will detail the free offerings that will occur over the span of 4 days in June. Poster and oral presentation abstracts will be published in a special edition of Medical Science Educator as has been done in the past, and members will have the option of loading a PDF version of their posters and recordings of their oral presentations to the conference website for viewing. We plan to also give authors the option of providing their contact information to foster collaboration. Award winners will also be recognized. Awards, including student and faculty travel awards, early and distinguished faculty career awards, the Finnerty Lifetime Achievement award, outstanding poster and oral presentation awards, and the Medical Science Educator reviewer award will be presented. In addition to the plenaries, which will be presented as interactive webinars, we are also considering the possibility of providing focus sessions as a series of summer webinars, so stay tuned!

In general, I think what we will learn is that there is value to streaming conference content, recording content, and making it available to our members who are unable to regularly attend the annual conference. This will strengthen our membership and the association.

It is difficult to say what our IAMSE 2021 meeting in Cancun will look like as so much depends on the development of an effective vaccine and treatment for COVID-19. What is clear, however, is that we will continue to have an annual conference, whether it is completely on-site in Cancun (fingers crossed), a blended conference with on-site and virtual components, or completely virtual much like that planned for June 2020.

Have you had any time to be part of interesting projects, research or activities outside the association recently?
As a new Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, I’ve become involved with the AAMC Group on Faculty Affairs, and this has helped me to navigate my new role as my career has shifted from educating medical students to supporting the faculty who teach students.

Anything else that you would like to add?
Yes, I’d like to formally thank JulNet (Julie Hewett, Cassie Chinn, Elizabeth Davidson, Danielle Inscoe, Rachel Hewett, and Amoritia Strogen-Hewett), our sponsor organization Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine, and each and every member of the IAMSE 2020 program committee for their enthusiasm and dedication to the association and its members:

•    Gergana Deevska – Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (USA)
•    Peter de Jong – Leiden University Medical Center (Netherlands)
•    Emine Ercikan Abali – City College of New York School of Medicine (USA)
•    Laurel Gorman – University of Central Florida College of Medicine (USA)
•    Robin Harvan – Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University (USA)
•    Melissa Henderson – Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (USA)
•    Mark Hernandez – Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (USA)
•    Machelle Linsenmeyer – West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (USA)
•    Matthew Linton –  Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (USA)
•    Michele Monteil – Augusta University/The University of Georgia Medical Partnership (USA)
•    Jennifer Montemayor – Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (USA)
•    Gustavo Patino – Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine (USA)
•    James Pickering – University of Leeds School of Medicine (United Kingdom)
•    Sol Roberts-Lieb – Carle Illinois College of Medicine (USA)
•    Lee Schein – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (USA)
•    Rick Vari – Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (USA)

Stay tuned to upcoming announcements regarding the 2020 IAMSE Virtual Meeting and how to register for this FREE EVENT!

#IAMSECafe Asks How Newer Medical Schools are Handling COVID-19

Amber Heck & Michael Lee to Discuss COVID-19 and the New Medical School

Stay connected with your colleagues around the globe and join us for this week’s IAMSE Cafe round table discussion. Join our moderator, Kelly Quesnelle from Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine as she welcomes Amber Heck and Michael Lee on Thursday, May 7.

Thursday, May 7, 2020 at 10AM EDT  – COVID-19 and the New Medical School. Amber Heck from Texas Christian University and The University of North Texas Health Science Center (USA) and Michael Lee from the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas – Austin (USA) will offer perspectives and challenges of dealing with COVID-19 from the view of a newer medical school. Topics to be considered are: challenges to keeping up with content development, online rapport with unfamiliar students and updating exams with exam banks of limited size.

To join the meeting please click  here.
The meeting password is IAMSECafe or, if you are calling in from a phone, the numeric password is 778130.

We look forward to seeing you this week!