Student Life and Times
Steve Miller Medical Education Day
Five years after his death in a Missouri airplane accident, Steve Miller’84 and his dedication to teaching were formally recognized at the first Steve Miller Medical Education Day Oct. 14, 2009, in the Department of Pediatrics. The day was created to shine a spotlight on excellence in medical education and the integration of humanism in the practice of medicine, two ideals that guided Dr. Miller’s career at P&S.
“This teaching day remembers and pays tribute to the legacy and contributions Dr. Miller made and perpetuates his work in integrating humanism into the practice of medicine and creating innovative ways to teach future generations of physicians. The program paid particular attention to balancing professionalism and humanism in medical practice, showing how doctors can hold themselves to high professional standards but also retain the human touch with patients,” says Lawrence R. Stanberry, M.D., Ph.D., the Reuben S. Carpentier Professor of Pediatrics and chair of the P&S Department of Pediatrics, which hosted the event.
The day began with Chief of Service Rounds and continued with a lecture, two workshops, and networking activities. Stephen Ludwig, M.D., professor of pediatrics and associate chair for medical education in the Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, gave the chief of service rounds, “The Ism Twins: Humanism and Professionalism.”
“The students in particular benefited from the chief of service rounds that demystified the ethical quandaries a physician faces by interactively demonstrating inner debates for both students and seasoned faculty, quandaries we face universally as human beings,” says Stephen W. Nicholas, M.D., professor of clinical pediatrics and assistant dean for admissions at P&S.
The day’s first facilitated workshop was “Make a Commitment! Using the Micro Skills of Teaching in the Clinical Environment.” Based on the one-minute preceptor model, participants were shown five techniques that a teacher can use to increase the benefit of the teaching interaction, even when time is limited. The second workshop was titled “Mentorship: Promoting Professional Development and Humanism in the Academic Medicine Center.” The interactive workshop used large- and small-group discussions to explore mentoring and creation of mentoring programs.
The Steven Z. Miller Lecture on Humanism in Medicine was delivered by Marianne Felice, M.D., chair of pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Healthcare-Worcester. The lecture, “Lessons Learned about Humanism in Leadership,” was sponsored by the New York Academy of Medicine and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. Dr. Felice shared reflections on leadership by discussing moral lessons she has learned from family, mentors, peers, and physicians that inform her leadership decisions.
About 250 faculty and students participated in the day’s programs.
“Cultivating humanism has become a major priority for the medical community and for society. Many think that medicine is too disease-oriented and technology-driven and neglects the human dimensions of illness and healing. To change this perception and the reality behind it, we must find ways to permeate each and every aspect of medicine with humanism.”
— Steven Z. Miller, M.D., and Hilary J. Schmidt, Ph.D., Academic Medicine, Vol. 74, No.7/July 1999
The Department of Pediatrics announced at the event the creation of the Steve Miller Fellowship in Medical Education to support medical students conducting innovative research related to fostering the best training of young physicians. The department will use endowed funding provided by numerous donors to support P&S students conducting projects completed during elective rotations or summer breaks under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Projects could include curriculum design, educational research, or intervention projects. Recipients of the first fellowships will present the results of their work in 15-minute presentations at the 2010 Steve Miller Medical Education Day.
“Steve Miller was the quintessential educator whose passion for teaching and humanistic approach to both patients and students is now honored through the Steve Miller Fellowship in Medical Education,” says Lisa Mellman, M.D., senior associate dean for student affairs. “This is a significant boon for medical education and our students, and a wonderful way to remember Dr. Miller.”
Dr. Miller was the Arnold P. Gold Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics in P&S and director of pediatric emergency medicine at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital when he died in 2004 en route to a Missouri seminar on humanism and professionalism in medicine. He received Columbia awards for teaching in 1994, 1996, 2000, 2001, and 2002, including 2001’s Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching.
“Dr. Miller’s great passion was medical education from both a scientific and humanistic perspective. He was devoted to treating individuals with compassion, attuned to the needs of patients and their families, and committed to improving the lives of children,” says Dr. Stanberry.