Faculty news: Sharing student appreciation and gratitude

The following is from Dr. John McCarthy: As a result of being the Interim Assistant Dean for Clinical Curriculum, I have had the pleasure and responsibility of helping to deal with student feedback that the Learning Environment (LE) team of Melinda Frank and Karla Kelly brings each week to the Incident Response & Oversight Committee (IROC). This committee is comprised of D. Heather McPhillips, Associate Dean for Curriculum, Dr. Gerald Tolbert, interim Associate Dean and Assistant Dean for Student Support, and me. I

The IROC and the LE team review every comment and evaluation the students advance at the end of their clerkship experiences. This last quarter, we had 1,041 responses, 14 of which needed attention. Of those 14 responses, four needed action in a more acute fashion. Ten needed attention, but the IROC members felt there was not a need for urgency: The issues were concerning, but ones which did not necessitate intervention that needed to be released with a timing which might compromise the student’s identity.

I have been impressed that even with the widespread teaching community across this huge region, with very diverse views, that our students generally have profound appreciation for their educators. For example, out of the 11,252 respect scores submitted by students academic year-to-date, 98.1 percent were 5s (consistently treated me/others with respect) and 1.3 percent were 4s (treated me/others with respect almost always).

There are very few outliers, and my sense is that we do not adequately and robustly verbalize the appreciation that our students have for their educators. You, who are doing the clerkship teaching, are critical to the development of tomorrow’s physicians throughout our region. You are immensely appreciated. Every graduation, I hear about those of you who have helped to shape, educate, and mentor our students. It is a profound gift you bring to the table, and we truly cannot thank you enough for your engagement.

I am sharing the following de-identified MSE student comments so that you can “hear” in their own voices the students’ deep appreciation for their educators:

  • This preceptor was great to work with. In addition to his calm demeanor, he let medical students “take the reins” with certain tasks and patient interviews; however, he was always there to help if needed. He treated all patients and staff alike with respect and dignity. He was always very thoughtful and offered explanations when suggesting management plans/med changes.
  • It was such a pleasure working with this preceptor. She was always willing to teach and engage with me about her thought process. She has so much on her plate and yet was always willing to direct me to resources when I didn’t know a particular answer
  • I loved this rotation; everyone was so open-minded and treated each other with such respect that I really felt like the residents’ equal as a sub-intern. The team provided constructive feedback and would debrief with me whenever I felt overwhelmed by a case.
  • This attending is an incredible educator, mentor, and physician. She always involved the students in the learning process and was great in giving feedback and hearing out our goals, I learned a ton from her experience and was lucky to have her as my attending.
  • This attending is an exemplary role model, both as a doctor and as a human. I thoroughly enjoyed my learning experience under her tutelage.
  • He was an amazing resident! Included me in teaching exercises, tried to provide me educational patients, and answered my ceaseless questions patiently.

We hope that we are providing the support which makes this enjoyable and rewarding for you. If not, we would appreciate knowing how we can be better. The IROC and the LE team commend you and value your contribution to tomorrow’s healers.