Lifelong Learners

Mastering the art of teaching takes practice and patience. The 12 faculty members who make up the 12th Cohort of the Master Teacher Leadership Development Program (MTLDP) are now one step closer to becoming leaders of their craft. During a graduation celebration on June 11, this cohort of health professionals presented a capsule of the results they achieved during a year-long leadership development program for faculty in medicine, health sciences, and basic sciences.  

“This program is our flagship professional development program,” said Yolanda Haywood, M.D., RESD ’87, associate dean for diversity, inclusion, and student affairs and associate dean for student and curricular affairs at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS), welcoming family and friends of Cohort 12.

Haywood, who is a graduate of Cohort 2, acknowledged the graduates as “emerging leaders in academic medicine.”   

The program, administered by GW’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD) for the School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS), celebrated the graduation of 12 SMHS faculty members who teach medical students, residents, and fellows at GW, Children’s National Health System, the Washington, D.C. Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

This program is unique among other faculty development programs across the country, explains Ellen Goldman, Ed.D., associate professor of human and organizational learning at GSEHD and director of MTLDP.  “We are one of the few whose leadership crosses a medical school and a school of education, and the only one I know of that awards a university certificate upon completion.”

As an inaugural graduate of MTLDP, Mary Ottolini, M.D., M.P.H., professor of pediatrics at SMHS and vice chair of medical education at Children’s National Health System, has seen this program evolve. “Since I was involved with the conceptualization of the program 13 years ago, I have seen graduates transform upon completing this program,” she said. “Graduates have made fundamental changes in how they educate their trainees and how they deliver patient care.”

Created in 2002, the program is designed to strengthen teaching skills, encourage scholarship in education, and cultivate educational leadership potential. Since its inception, 128 faculty members have completed the program.

The program is made up of six courses (18 credit hours) taken over one year, with five hours per week spent in class and an additional 10-15 hours preparing assignments. Faculty members who complete the program are awarded a graduate certificate in leadership development from GSEHD. Their credit hours can be applied towards a Master’s in Education and Human Development.

For Hope Jackson, M.D.’09, PGY5 resident in the surgery program at SMHS and graduate of the 12th Cohort, the program gave her the opportunity to work with like-minded people who are as excited about education as she is. “The program taught me not only the technical aspects of education like curriculum development, but the value of teamwork and how to sharpen your leadership skills,” she said. 

While congratulating Cohort 12, Vincent A. Chiappinelli, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology, associate vice president for health affairs, and associate dean at SMHS, acknowledged the leadership and teamwork that comes out of this course. “Many of us were trained to be researchers. I had no formal instruction in education,” said Chiappinelli. “This program provides the training to be an effective educator.”

As Jackson continues her residency, she will use the skills and tools she learned in MTLDP to be a leader on her surgical team. “Working with my peers has given me a new perspective and further insight on what it means to be an effective leader.”