They have a certain way of approaching problems. It involves collecting
ideas, getting people stimulated to
provide ideas, and then going through
a process of sharing and proving those
ideas to come up with a best idea or a
best few ideas.
That’s a really useful exercise, even in
conferences, where collectively you’re
coming together to synthesize information that can come up with new solutions,
new approaches. We use that [process]
all the time as a general method of pulling people together to gain consensus
and move the organization forward.
How does that work in practice?
How this would be adapted to a medical
conference would be interesting. Let’s
say you’ve got a group of oncologists
coming together and the focus is on clinical trials. This process could be great at
trying to find solutions to improving the
quality and pace of clinical trials. You’d
give them some background information beforehand. You’d seed subgroups
with some expertise that they’d be apt
to have coming [to the conference]. You
use it as a vehicle for having them teach
each other, and escalate the best ideas
up to the larger group.
Do medical conferences generally tend
to overlook the expertise and experience of their attendees?
That’s definitely true. I think they
tend to select a handful of people from
the audience and put them up on the
podium, when others in the audience
may be just as informed, but certainly
could contribute in an important way to
the topic. Then they just rely on the Q&A
to bring out that additional expertise.
Is some of your new education model
simply a function of the fact that it’s 2017
and the students who are now coming
through medical school are used to a
di;erent way of learning?
Definitely there are di;erences in this
generation [compared to] ours. We
were forced to sit in a chair and listen
to a lecture and take notes and then
digest those notes to reproduce in a test.
That’s the model that we followed in
our educational events and conferences.
For our students, they watch a You Tube
video, and then they go pull down a document on Google, and then they write
a few words, and then they go back. It’s
a really scattered way of approaching
a topic, but overall more e;ective both
in terms of learning and ultimately in
terms of accessing knowledge than the
method that we have relied on — relying on memory as a vehicle.
I do think that some of this is just
what [today’s students] bring to it, but
I’ve got to say, I think it’s introducible to
adults. I think one of the things you discover as a physician, you come back to
these conferences — you discover how
little you learn from a lecture. You’re not
getting tested on it, right? It’s just whatever you absorb. Ask people two weeks
later what they learned, and they’re
probably not going to be able to tell you
that much. But you do remember from
a new case: “Oh, I just saw this case of
X. I’d never seen one before, and this is
Senior Director of Education
and Academic Radiology,
Radiological Society of
Oak Brook, Illinois, USA
The medical-conference meeting
model is de;initely evolving. We
are working to include shorter,
more engaging presentation formats for our traditional lectures
at the annual meeting, and are
using new technologies. We are
also evaluating how we balance
science and education in both the
traditional and virtual worlds.
We have both sta; and volunteer
resources actively engaged in
discussions to reevaluate our
traditional model, both for content
and logistics. This is a tremendous
endeavor given the size of our annual meeting. We are using more
gaming and audience-response
technologies at the annual meeting. At a smaller meeting, we recently used a Catchbox [throwable
microphone] and it was very well
received. Our challenge is to blend
contemporary learning theories
with our image-dense education.
‘You use it as a vehicle for having them teach each other,
and escalate the best ideas up to the larger group.’