Medical Education, Med Ed Fellowship Director Interview Series

Medical Education/Simulation Fellowship at TMC/UMKC

The EMRA Education Committee is excited to bring you the Medical Education Fellowship Director Interview Series, which will allow Medical Education Fellowship Directors a platform to describe their fellowship program, highlight different medical education career paths, and provide resources for potential fellows. 
If you are a MedEd Fellowship Director interested in submitting a profile on your program, please email EducationCtte@emra.org.

Medical Education/Simulation Fellowship at TMC/UMKC

Director: Emily Hillman, MD, MHPE
Title: Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
Institution: Truman Medical Center/University of Missouri-Kansas City (TMC/UMKC)
Social Media Tags: #umkcem Twitter: @umkcEM Instagram: @umkc.em

Tell us about you and your program.
Our fellowship program is led by Emily Hillman, MD, and Melanie Camejo, MD. We are supported by a strong EM training program and clinical department that is fully invested in fostering future EM educators, embracing medical education innovation, and providing great patient care. We share more about ourselves and our path to medical education below in question #2.

What makes our program special? Our people! Our applicants, current residents, and graduates share that this is the number one thing that attracted them to our program. Our residents are invariably warm and friendly, have an incredible work ethic, and are committed to continually improving our program. Our faculty are a tight-knit group that values camaraderie and a supportive learning and work environment, and they are ecstatic about our fellowship.

The UMKC EM residency training program is one of the oldest programs in the country, built on a solid foundation that values both tradition and innovation. The curriculum contains a mix of both tried-and-true methods (case conferences and journal club) with an innovative twist that considers adult-learning theory and favors a small-group format. The program offers didactics in the simulation facility every single month! The fellowship is designed so that fellows will play a key role in helping develop and actualize all aspects of the curriculum. The fellows will benefit from the existing program’s faculty, with their broad range of experience, expertise, and interests. Our faculty hold key leadership positions within both the hospital and school of medicine, creating opportunities to provide mentorship tailored to the program’s and fellow’s needs.

Because simulation-based education is a key component of our residency curriculum, the fellowship will emphasize teaching with simulation. The UMKC School of Medicine has been using simulation as a component of its curriculum for over 10 years. As an early adopter, the school values simulation and is working to actively grow and expand simulation for the school and the new Health Sciences District. The growth and formalization of the Health Sciences District offers untapped opportunities for interprofessional education both for the University and our affiliates. Additionally, the UMKC School of Medicine offers a Master of Health Professions Education (MHPE), which is based on an educational research foundation. The program is interprofessional in nature and includes courses on leadership and administration, which enables fellows to ideally meet the program goals.

How did you get involved in medical education, and what is your career path that led you to your Fellowship Director position?
Our fellowship program is led by a duo! We are excited to share more about us with you:

Emily Hillman, MD: I was a late-comer to academic EM. While I am grateful that I spent my first year out of residency exploring community practice, I felt that something was missing. What was missing was something that a career in academics could provide: an opportunity to do what I am passionate about and enjoy (being immersed in a community that fosters lifelong learning), am good at (teaching, advising, mentoring, scholarship), and where I can use those talents to benefit my local academic community.

I have been a full-time faculty member since 2012, and the majority of that time I have been heavily involved in medical student and resident education. I also served for one year as the Chair of what is now the CORD Advising Students Committee in EM. I currently serve as Director of Simulation Education for the School of Medicine and enjoy broadening my academic circle! I am a huge fan of goal-setting, and a few years ago I decided my 5-year plan was to start a medical education fellowship. A few things drove this decision:

  • I realized I get great fulfillment out of advising and mentoring others.
  • I saw the value in our program, our faculty, and the infinite potential in our ability to create a strong fellowship.
  • I fully recognized the benefits of fellowship training and aim to be able to offer something I didn’t have the opportunity to enjoy.
  • I aim to make a positive impact and want to contribute meaningfully to our department.

Melanie Camejo, MD: I always knew I wanted to be involved in academic medicine, but I didn’t receive formal training, like many others, during residency. In 2017, I went straight from residency into an academic institution, but have been so lucky to have the amazing mentors that I have at TMC. They have turned my dream into a reality. I am currently Clerkship Director and working on completing my Master of Health Professions Education. I plan to take what I have learned in both my clerkship role and in my master’s degree program and apply it to future opportunities, such as this fellowship. I am still learning the ropes of academic medicine, but I have grown so much in the past three years since joining TMC and am so thankful for the guidance that I continually have. I am thankful for Dr. Hillman, one of my greatest mentors, who has helped me in this path to becoming involved with this fellowship. I hope to offer the guidance/mentorship to those in fellowship that she has offered to me.

What are the benefits to completing a fellowship in medical education?
Residency doesn’t always prepare graduates for a career in academic medicine. It can be challenging as a new faculty member to balance a clinical workload, teaching responsibilities, and still find time to fill knowledge and skill gaps. Fellowship/post-doctoral training increases the likelihood of early success in academic medicine by providing a combination of mentorship, protected time, and a curriculum to foster the development of critical skills. Fellows who graduate will have a valuable skill set that will propel their academic career forward at an accelerated pace!

Does your program have a particular niche within medical education or unique aspects potential fellows should be aware of?
Simulation and medical education research are quickly gaining momentum in their integration into residency programs. This fellowship is unique in melding simulation and an educational piece that includes a master’s degree. This expanded curriculum includes learner and program assessment and graduate level research courses, aspects often missing in one-year fellowships. The proposed optional two-year format with a Master of Health Professions Education is designed to equip the fellow with the knowledge and skills necessary to function at the highest level in clinical and non-clinical teaching endeavors, as well as medical education research.

What are the different career paths that fellowship graduates from your program have taken after graduation?
Our program was just approved by the University this past academic year, and we are eager to match our first fellow.

What advice do you have for residents who are just starting to get involved in medical education, especially residents who may not have a lot of resources at their own program?
When possible, identify a mentor. They may be able to assist in creating an elective that exposes you to different aspects of medical education. Get involved as much as you can with the residency and medical student education leadership. Ask for additional hands-on teaching opportunities, and volunteer for residency committees.

What qualities does your program look for in potential fellows?
We are looking for a fellow who is considering or desires a career in academic emergency medicine and has a passion for teaching and simulation-based medical education. Other descriptive qualities: team player, good communicator, advocate, innovator, organized, works well with deadlines, email responsive, “tech-savvy.” The fellow should be motivated to improve existing programs and processes and have high internal motivation.

What is the application and interview process like at your program (ie, application requirements, timeline, match process, participation in CORD universal offer day)?
Qualifications:

  • Candidates must have graduated in good standing from an ACGME-accredited emergency medicine (EM) residency program and must be board-certified or board-eligible in EM.

Application Requirements:

  • A curriculum vitae with contact information for three references. At least one reference should be a member of the resident's leadership.
  • A letter of recommendation.
  • A statement outlining reasons for pursuing a combined Medical Education/Simulation Fellowship. (No longer than 250 words).

Interviews:

  • Candidates will be invited to interview during September-October. We aim to align our interview period with other fellowship programs.

Match Process:

  • There is one fellowship position. Offers will be made in accordance with the CORD Medical Education Fellowship Community of Practice recommendations, which lends towards a universal offer day in late fall.

Applicants must be accepted to the UMKC Master of Health Professions Education (MHPE) Program in order to start the fellowship.

What are your thoughts on the value of a master’s degree in medical education? Does your program require it or accommodate fellows who want to pursue one?
We greatly value this! We are extremely fortunate that our School of Medicine offers a Master of Health Professions Education (MHPE), which two-year fellows are required to complete. One-year fellows can complete a graduate certificate (half of the coursework). The MHPE coursework is a cornerstone of our curriculum. UMKC’s MHPE program emphasizes project-based work, allowing fellows to maximize their time by creating educational innovations that can be implemented locally. The program also encourages a scholarly approach; therefore, most projects can result in research projects and related presentations and/or publications. The MHPE allows for graduates to learn from other university-based experts and function at the highest level in clinical and non-clinical teaching endeavors and medical education research.

If a resident is interested in getting to know more about your program, what is the best way for them to get in touch with you?
We would love to answer your questions! We respond reliably to email. If interested in the fellowship program, please contact Emily Hillman, MD, MHPE (emily.hillman@tmcmed.org), and Melanie Camejo, MD (melanie.camejo@tmcmed.org). You can also follow our residency program on social media platforms (we are particularly active on Instagram @umkc.em) in order to get to know us a bit better!

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