Academy Aims to Build Network of Leaders in Medical Education and Improve Teaching Among UMSOM Faculty
Within a year of the launch of the Medical Education Leadership Academy (MELA) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), faculty members from across the School’s various divisions are expressing an overwhelmingly positive response to the Academy’s mission of creating an environment that fosters career development of a diverse community of nationally recognized leaders in medical education.
“MELA has been an invaluable resource, as it has created pathways for collaboration, further training, and faculty development opportunities for clinician educators here at University of Maryland School of Medicine,” said Rebecca G. Carter, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UMSOM, who is a member of the Academy. “It is opening avenues to share our collective efforts towards improving educational experience for our learners and supporting faculty who choose to focus on educational pursuits in their career.”
The Academy, which launched in the summer of 2021, collaborates with the offices of the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and the Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education in promoting, valuing, and advancing the medical educational mission of the UMSOM. Currently serving 300 members, MELA provides internal professional development opportunities through monthly Education Grand Rounds and funding for highly recognized medical education programs nationally, such as the Harvard Macy programs for educators. The Academy has been successful in securing a $300,000 endowment and an additional $30,000, operating at present, specifically designated for professional development. With this funding, the Academy has been able to send five faculty members to a variety of professional conferences.
“It is evident that UMSOM truly values faculty development by investing in our growth as educators. MELA has given me the opportunity to share my national work in ophthalmic medical education with colleagues locally,” said Academy member Moran R. Levin, MD, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences and Pediatrics, and the Director of Medical Student Education in Ophthalmology at UMSOM. “I also have learned from my peers how be a better mentor, how to deliver constructive feedback, and how to support my education research through funding.”
Likewise, Siamak Moayedi, MD, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at UMSOM, who is also a member of the Academy, appreciates the opportunity to collaborate with fellow educators from different specialties who share a similar passion for graduate and post-graduate medical education. “I am giving an upcoming talk for the MELA Grand Rounds, and I am most looking forward to learning from my colleagues outside of my emergency medicine department.”
Another notable success is the semi-annual MELA Education Days that bring nationally recognized keynote speakers to the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) campus for workshops. This year, MELA added a reception at the end of its fall education day where the Academy presented this year’s newly inducted annual Pass and Susel Academy of Educational Excellence faculty fellows, Laura S. Buchanan, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery at UMSOM, along with Bernadette C. Siaton, MD, MEdHP, Associate Professor of Medicine at UMSOM. The annual Education Toolkit award for education innovation was presented to Idris Amin, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology and Orthopaedics at UMSOM.
Two new awards, the Dr. Babak J. Jamasbi ’89 award for the Rising Star and Educator of the Year, were also announced and presented this year. Katelyn E. Donohue, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at UMSOM, was the recipient of the Rising Star award, and Elizabeth M. Lamos, MD, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Associate Professor of Medicine at UMSOM, was the recipient of the Educator of the Year award.
“With MELA, we have created a community of educators who engage in professional development, contribute medical education knowledge, and are duly recognized and rewarded for their work in education,” said Donna L. Parker, MD, FACP, Professor of Medicine and Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education at UMSOM, and MELA Executive Board member. “We are grateful for the generous support from the many benefactors who have stepped forward to support the academy and its mission. Through their gifts, the School of Medicine demonstrates its commitment to our educators, and by extension, our students.”
For information on how to support MELA or apply for membership, visit https://www.medschool.umaryland.edu/education/MELA/.
About the University of Maryland School of Medicine
Now in its third century, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 46 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs, and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished two-time winner of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research. With an operating budget of more than $1.3 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic, and clinically based care for nearly 2 million patients each year. The School of Medicine has nearly $600 million in extramural funding, with most of its academic departments highly ranked among all medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total population of nearly 9,000 faculty and staff, including 2,500 students, trainees, residents, and fellows. The combined School of Medicine and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has an annual budget of over $6 billion and an economic impact of nearly $20 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine, which ranks as the 8th highest among public medical schools in research productivity (according to the Association of American Medical Colleges profile) is an innovator in translational medicine, with 606 active patents and 52 start-up companies. In the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking of the Best Medical Schools, published in 2021, the UM School of Medicine is ranked #9 among the 92 public medical schools in the U.S., and in the top 15 percent (#27) of all 192 public and private U.S. medical schools. The School of Medicine works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit medschool.umaryland.edu