Medical Education Grand Round: The COVID Moment: A Call for an Innovation System to Address the Disruption in Medical Education 


Thursday, September 17, 2020, 5:00pm to 6:30pm


Via Zoom


Rajesh S. Mangrulkar, MD
Associate Dean, Medical Student Education, University of Michigan Medical School
Marguerite S. Roll Professor of Medical Education, University of Michigan Medical School
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Learning Health Sciences, University of Michigan Medical School

Overview: The pressures on higher education have reached a critical point. Even before the pandemic, concerns about education's "value" were already growing, especially in relation to the cost of delivering programs and charged tuition. Critical questions emerged: Is the primary goal of a university education to deliver content? Or develop skills? How does a professional school differ from other schools? With the pandemic, medical schools needed to confront the question: "What is essential in medical education that requires 'in-person' experiences?" Indeed, most medical schools needed to move pre-clerkship students online, and pause the rotations for their clinical students, all while still trying to graduate them on time. What did we communicate to our students and to our profession about the value of medical education with these moves?

This "COVID Moment" should not only be a milestone for how public health systems in our country respond and are redesigned, but also a milestone for education systems, especially medical education. But what will we do with this clarion call?

In this interactive seminar, divided into 2 parts, the presenter will engage the audience with principles underlying large and small-scale innovation in education during a time of crisis. The presenter will reflect on the experiences from medical schools across the country, and offer work at the University of Michigan (UM) as an example. In the second part, he will describe R.I.S.E., a UM health sciences education innovation initiative launched 2 years ago, designed to build a system of innovation which can guide the institution as it reshapes the future of health sciences education. R.I.S.E. deliberately develops individuals as change agents, enables their transformative ideas in education, and grows a community of practice committed to improving education and health. The presenter will engage the audience in a discussion on whether systems of innovation can change a risk-averse education culture and make future responses to crises more effective than the current one.

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to: 

  1. Analyze the actions by the medical education profession during the COVID-19 pandemic that influence thinking about future medical education reform;
  2. Provide an overview of both enabling and inhibitory factors to medical education innovation during a time of crisis;
  3. Engage with colleagues on how individuals, ideas, and culture intersect in building a community of practice that supports innovative thinking and planning for the future.
Accreditation Statement
The Harvard Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The Harvard Medical School designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity