Suh+Klamen TL Symposium

2024 Teaching & Learning Symposium shares 'what's next'

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On April 11, Dr. Boyung Suh and Dr. Aysha Rafaquat led the Academy for Scholarship in Education’s 14th Annual Teaching and Learning Symposium on the Springfield campus.

Dr. Holly Humphrey, president of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, kicked off the 2024 symposium with a keynote address discussing the value of the clinical learning environment. 

Throughout the day, trainees, faculty and staff presented and shared medical education research and innovative ideas with participants and guests in breakout sessions.

At midday, a Story Slam expanded upon the day’s theme, ‘What’s Next?’  Students, staff and faculty members participated, presenting their unique reflections on personal and professional challenges they had faced, and how they ultimately moved forward.

Commitment to Teaching honoreesFollowing the monologues, an award ceremony recognized the outstanding educators of 2023-24.
The Commitment to Teaching Honorees included six fourth-year students:  Ashley Eggert, Edgar George, Meena Jain, Jack Moore, Parth Patel and Shree Patel. (Parth Patel, George, Jain and Moore are pictured at right with Dr. Kevin Dorsey.)

The Outstanding Student Medical Educator of the Year was Cecily Negri, MS4 (pictured below with her mentor and advisor, Dr. Debra Klamen).

The faculty Academy Scholar was Sowmy Thuppal, MD, PhD (pictured below with Dorsey).

Lastly, a new award debuted this year: the Medical Education Innovation Award. It is given to a faculty member who embodies the drive to improve the design, evaluation and delivery of medical education -- something SIU School of Medicine has been famous for since its inception. The inaugural recipient is Dr. Debra Klamen, senior associate dean for education and curriculum, and the chair of the Department of Medical Education.

Dr. Klamen's well-known motto is: “If it ain’t broke, make it better.” Here are some examples of the innovations she has advanced over her 20-year career at SIU:

  • Implementing the pass/fail in clerkship
  • Programmatic assessment
  • Critical clinical competency as a spiral online curriculum
  • The diagnostic justification evaluation method
  • Character development curriculum
  • The Lincoln Scholars Program, launched in Carbondale in 2020

She is also a part of National Board of Medical Examiners’ effort to advance clinical reasoning using school-based Objective Structured Clinical Examinations. 

Finally, her leadership and support for the areas of education and curriculum, library, continuing and professional development encourages her colleagues and mentees to constantly innovate and improve. 

Accepting the honor, Dr. Klamen credited her mentor, Dr. Reed Williams, for enticing her to leave Chicago to visit SIU, and Deans Dr. Kevin Dorsey and Dr. Jerry Kruse for their steadfast support of her work. “This is the best medical school in the country, if not the world,” she said. "This place was born to innovate. It’s in our DNA."

In subsequent years, the award will be renamed the Debra Klamen Medical Education Innovation Award in her honor. 

View more photos from the symposium on Zenfolio.

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