MED Talks


Test2Learn: Increasing Fidelity, Engagement, and Learning Outcomes in the Classroom through Personal Genomic Testing

Philip Empey, PharmD, PhD - MED Talk SpeakerPhilip E. Empey, PharmD, PhD | View Speaker Bio

Participatory education, where students have the opportunity to undergo genomic testing, promises to transform genomics education. Test2LearnTM ( is an innovative Pitt program that enables learners to rapidly achieve pharmacogenomics competencies by working with real genetic data in the classroom. Novel tools integrate genetic data into cases within a responsible ethical framework. Published data show learners love this approach; they are highly engaged and have better objective learning outcomes. We’ve trained 900+ learners to-date, won local and national Innovations in Education Awards, and have expanded the program nationally through grants and industry partnerships.

Teaching Medical Decision Making: A New Imperative

MED Talks Speaker - William FollansbeeWilliam P. Follansbee, MD View Speaker Bio

In their recent landmark report, “Improving Diagnosis in Healthcare,” the Institute of Medicine focused national attention on diagnostic error, which has been conservatively estimated to cause 40,000 to 80,000 unnecessary deaths per year. Data suggest that the #1 cause of diagnostic error is cognitive errors in medical decision making. The IOM recommended that accreditation organizations require lifelong education and demonstrated proficiency in medical decision making. But how can we teach physicians and other care providers to make more accurate and more cost-effective diagnostic decisions?

Intraoperative Surgical Teaching and the Role of Video Review

Giselle G. Hamad, MD - MED Talk Speaker

Giselle G. Hamad, MD, FACS, FASMBS | View Speaker Bio

The operating room is a challenging environment for teaching and learning. Duty hour restrictions and financial and medicolegal concerns represent threats to resident involvement in surgical procedures. Surgical teaching in the OR tends to emphasize technical skills rather than decision-making skills. Because decision-making skills correlate negatively with technical errors, there is a need to facilitate intraoperative decision-making by residents. Dr. Hamad will discuss facilitators and barriers to resident decision-making and the effect of video debriefing on assessment of intraoperative surgical skills.

Delivery at the Cusp of Viability: What Can We Learn from Patients about Enhancing Skills in Shared Decision Making?

Katherine P. Himes, MD, MSKatherine P. Himes, MD, MS | View Speaker Bio

Families at risk for periviable birth face the extraordinary challenge of participating in time-sensitive decisions about whether to use life-sustaining interventions for infants born on the cusp of viability. Clinicians must team with families to process uncertain and complex medical information about a baby’s immediate prognosis and long-term morbidity prospects. Results from semi-structured interviews with families who delivered periviable babies teach us about key factors that can help clinicians improved shared decision making. 

Preparing Our Future Colleagues for an Academic Career

Wankiiri-Hale and Horvath - MED Talk SpeakersZsuzsa Horvath, PhD and Christine Wankiiri-Hale, DMD | View Speakers' Bios

The School of Dental Medicine offers pre-doctoral students a three-tiered program with exposure to and training in academic dentistry. The program aims to provide a solution to the national shortage of dental faculty by equipping students with skills necessary for the three pillars of an academic career: teaching, scholarship, and service. Hear how this program serves as a blueprint for students interested in an academic career at other health sciences schools.

Lights, Camera, Action: The Use of Video Review in Teacher Education and Professional Development

Sarah Merriam, MD - MED Talk SpeakerSarah Merriam, MD, MS | View Speaker Bio

Though faculty development programs (FDPs) for the maintenance of teaching skills have been shown to be effective, they remain underutilized in large part due to time, logistical, and methodological barriers that hinder implementation. In 2016, Dr. Merriam's team developed and qualitatively evaluated a novel FDP using large group review of video-recorded teaching encounters. This FDP was found to be an effective, acceptable, and efficient means to improve and expand the teaching and reflective practice of medical educators. By engaging participants in a learner-driven exercise, this FDP allows the entire group to benefit from exposure to a variety of teaching styles and interactive discussion surrounding a teaching encounter. Furthermore, it adheres to tenets of adult learning theory by imparting immediately applicable, skills-based take-home points.

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