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New fellowship explores medical education, technology and innovation

Image with caption: Emergency medicine residents practice on a human patient simulator.

Emergency medicine residents practice on a human patient simulator.

The UNMC Department of Emergency Medicine is offering a new fellowship in medical education, technology and innovation.

The two-year medical education, technology and innovation (METI) fellowship is targeted to graduates of accredited U.S. emergency medicine residency programs. The fellowship is for those interested in developing as a teacher, innovator, administrator and leader in academic medicine. Residents must be board-certified or board eligible at the time of hire.

The goal of the fellowship is to provide a unique, structured training experience that prepares clinician-educators to integrate learning principles with digital competency in order to lead, innovate and transform the clinical learning environment.

Postgraduate medical education fellowships are a fairly recent, but growing, phenomenon, said T. J. Welniak, MD, director of the METI fellowship. The department currently has an ultrasound fellowship and is developing an emergency medical services fellowship.

Dr. Welniak said the fellowship will be the first of its kind at UNMC and the first in the world to provide training and experience in foundational learning principles, digital competency and innovation science.

Training will focus on eight pillars:

  • Edutech competency;
  • Foundational education theory;
  • Curricular design;
  • Clinical service;
  • Bedside teaching
  • Education leadership;
  • Administration; and
  • Interprofessional collaboration.

"The timing could not be better for a training program like this," Dr. Welniak. "You look at iEXCEL, the Interprofessional Academy of Educators, the E-learning lab, faculty development initiatives, the McGoogan Library and makerspace renovations, our burgeoning partnership with the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). You see how serious UNMC is about being an international leader in collaborative, interprofessional innovation and education."

Fellows will work as clinical faculty in the department of emergency medicine, with time each month for "rotations" dedicated to developing curricula alongside experts in undergraduate, graduate and interprofessional healthcare education. Additionally, fellows will learn responsible application of teaching tools such as advanced simulation, e-learning, and visualization.

A master's degree in health professions teaching and technology will be offered through the UNMC College of Allied Health Professions.

  • "The experts and the resources are all here to provide a motivated clinician-educator with the experience, skills, and mindset to not only get a head-start in academic medicine, but to transform it," Dr. Welniak said. "This has been a vision nearly five years in the making -- I am grateful to Dr. Mike Wadman and to all of our institutional and community partners for their support and trust in the potential this program has to change the game in academic medicine."

    Applications currently are being accepted for the two-year position, set to start in July of 2021.

  • What others are saying

    "Department of Emergency Medicine faculty are risk-takers and innovators by their very nature and that led to the rapid development and implementation of high-fidelity simulation curriculum in UME and GME curriculum at UNMC. Now we are looking forward to new collaboration with iEXCEL to look at how we might use new technologies to teach emergency medicine, including virtual reality and holographic imaging among others. This fellowship program will prepare the next generation of emergency medicine educators to not only create and deliver effective education to our learners, but to also continue to push the envelope in applying new concepts and technologies."
    -Mike Wadman MD, chairman, UNMC Department of Emergency Medicine

    "The iEXCEL Program is excited to collaborate with emergency medicine on this EM METI Fellowship program. This collaboration will help offer unique learning opportunities, to individuals completing this fellowship, through experiences in the Davis Global Center and working with the iEXCEL staff who have experience in enhancing current teaching and competency assessment methods. iEXCEL is a transformative model for health care education and training achieved through the use of a wide range of technologies in simulation and visualization. iEXCEL collaboration, with individuals in this EM METI Program, will help transform training that engages learners and help strengthen the future clinical workforce."
    -Ben Stobbe, iEXCEL's assistant vice chancellor for clinical simulation

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