USU’s Health Professions Education Degree Program Seeks Providers

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(Re-posted from this link.)

The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences is seeking military health care professionals who would like to gain expertise in leadership, research and theories in one of the university’s new innovative and dynamic graduate programs.

Last year, USU’s F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine launched the Master of Health Professions Education and the Doctor of Philosophy in Health Professions Education as it became clear there was a need for leaders with academic skills within all military services. Many senior-ranking physician educators and program leaders had retired, separated from the military, or had changed their career path. These new degree programs offer a chance for military providers to fulfill that need in the military health system, and become educational leaders and scholars.

“Those who complete these programs will be very well prepared to serve as academic leaders, such as program directors, clerkship directors, service chiefs, chairs, or educational deans,” explained Dr. Steven Durning, director of graduate programs in HPE. “They’ll also contribute to the continuous advancement of health professions education and research in the MHS as well as in the civilian community.”

The programs are geared toward active duty military personnel who are health professionals, including physicians, nurses, dentists, as well as Defense Department civilian health professionals working in the MHS or the Public Health Service. The programs can be completed on a part- or full-time basis, and blend face-to-face coursework and practicum opportunities with a robust online learning community. The programs focus on a number of competencies, including leadership, scholarship and research, teaching, learning and assessment, and communication.

“Our HPE programs are staff by a world-class faculty who have published more than 500 peer-reviewed journal articles and have won more than $30 million in grant funding for educational research,” said Dr. Louis Pangaro, chair of USU’s department of medicine, which oversees the degree program.

Military health care professionals are “highly regarded, exceptional leaders who are committed to intellectual development and professional growth,” Durning said.

Advanced degrees in health professions education are also increasingly emphasized as a requirement for academic leadership positions throughout the nation’s medical educational system, he added, and so these programs are expected to have a lasting impact on both the MHS and the civilian community.

Improving Educational Methods

The first student to enroll in the PhD program, Dr. Matthew D’Angelo, agreed with those sentiments. He is an assistant professor and Interim Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in the Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing, and has been teaching graduate level nursing for the last decade.

“The HPE program has offered countless experiences where I’m given the opportunity to reflect on how I, and the programs within the GSN, deliver curriculum and how it is evaluated,” D’Angelo said.

The program has helped him conceptualize and develop online teaching materials for austere anesthesia, he said. In turn, he has created a new faculty orientation seminar, covering a variety of topics in education.

What he most enjoys about the program is learning the basis of “why” he teaches the way he teaches.

“I think good teaching is often intuitive, but the administration of education is far more complex … I (now) think differently about how I teach and how we instruct our advanced practice nursing students.”

He added that the workload has been challenging, requiring a breadth of understanding in a range of topics, but the faculty have been supportive.

“Modern education is far more complex that it was 20 years ago,” he said. “As we, as a society, move to competency-based education, faculty will need to be versed in rigorous assessment techniques and have a solid foundation in curriculum design … The HPE program, by far, will be an asset to the university and the future of military health care education.”

Interested health professionals can apply here.

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