Teaching the teachers in FACE

The Faculty / Fellows as Clinician Educators (FACE) program is a training program offered to members in the Division of General Internal Medicine and to fellows in any Internal Medicine subspecialty identified by their program director with an interest in clinical education. Along with some fundamental lessons in pedagogy, participants have ample opportunity to practice their teaching skills, focusing on different skills in various settings. Instructors and peers provide feedback on practical applications of the theories.

“Communicating effectively is an essential skill in all aspects of our profession,” Christopher Strouse, MD, said, “and at its core the FACE training is about learning to effectively communicate information.” Strouse participated in the training course during his time as a Hematology-Oncology fellow. Now, nearly three years into his role as a clinical assistant professor, he says the training he received in FACE still comes in handy.

“I think a lot about the skills I learned in FACE when I am interacting with fellows and residents in my clinic, and when I’m asked to give presentations/lectures on my specialty. However, even in my clinical work I’ve been able to put a lot of the skills into practice when teaching my patients about their diseases.”

The curriculum is a mix of workshops, independent reading and self-reflection, and a final recorded project, a teaching video that demonstrates mastery of the course’s concepts. All of this adds up to professional development for a faculty member who is looking to build a career with education as a core component.

Zachary Smith, MD, is a former hospitalist at UI Health Care and a graduate of the FACE program. He now provides primary care and education to residents in Bangor, Maine. FACE helped him identify the right moments to provide instruction when he is rounding with learners. Before the program he felt “anxious and worried” that he had to constantly be teaching. “Instead,” he says, “I was able to be more targeted when I did decide to provide a lecture or off-the-cuff presentation.”

Smith also says that FACE helped him build a portfolio for applying to positions with teaching as a central component. Amal Shibli-Rahhal, MD, MS, MME, agrees with Smith that FACE proved crucial in taking on new roles. “I strongly believe that this certificate was one of the main factors that qualified me for my first job with CCOM as course director.” She says that she “lean(ed) heavily” on skills that FACE taught her. “My positive teaching evaluations and the formal training on teaching though FACE were my ticket to that position.

Jeydith Gutierrez, MD, MPH, is one of the newest faculty members to join the FACE program administration. She says that she is excited to provide program participants the same opportunity to grow as clinician educators as she got when she went through a few years ago. “I thought I was a decent clinician educator when I started,” she says, “but FACE showed me some shortcuts to become more effective. It also showed me my blind spots. I got rid of some habits that weren’t necessarily terrible, but not always helpful for learners.”

Gutierrez also appreciated the monthly accountability of FACE and the instructor guidance. “We are encouraged to just try a couple new things out and blend them into how we already work. Instructors were always very open about their own challenges and how they overcame them. FACE was a great way to experiment with different teaching strategies and improve. Everybody should take this course.”

She notes that they will begin considering applications for the 2023-24 academic year over the next month or so. Interested faculty and fellowship directors can contact Denise Floerchinger for more information, or to indicate an interest in participating in the program.

Current FACE Participants

FACE Class of 2020

FACE Class of 2019

Mehul Adhaduk, MBBS
Associate, General Internal Medicine
Neeru Agarwal, MBBS, MBA
Associate, General Internal Medicine
Iliya Amaza, MBBS
Second-Year Fellow, Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine
Elizabeth Batchelor, MD
Second-Year Fellow, Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine
Brian Daniel, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor, General Internal Medicine
Yaser Dawod, MD
Associate, General Internal Medicine
Chad Glisch, MD
First-Year Fellow, Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Mariko Hagiwara, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor, General Internal Medicine
Christopher Strouse, MD
Second-Year Fellow, Hematology and Medical Oncology
Dhaval Save, MBBS
Associate, General Internal Medicine
Hesham Yasin, MD
Associate, General Internal Medicine
Most of the FACE Class of 2019


Leave a Reply