The Penn State College of Medicine Nittany Lion statue is seen surrounded by plants in the central courtyard of the College in June 2016.

Clinician Educator Pathway

Clinician Educator Pathway at Penn State

The Clinician Educator Pathway is the track for those students who want to obtain additional teaching and educational skills on top of their medical curriculum.

The pathway allows students to complete medical school in three years, followed by a year of work culminating in a Master of Education (MEd) degree.

Students have the opportunity to work with leaders in educational research and theory in health systems science. This pathway is especially beneficial for those who are considering a career in academic medicine.

The Joint MD/MEd Program requires that the student first be admitted to the MD program at Penn State College of Medicine. Subsequently, the student is recommended for and applies for admission to the Graduate School for the Penn State Harrisburg MEd program in Lifelong Learning and Adult Education. Prospective students can apply for the joint MD/MEd degree any time during the first three years in the College of Medicine.

Students will have formal and informal teaching responsibilities throughout your career (as a resident and/or faculty member). Teaching is a critical component in patient-physician interactions; training in educational principles can facilitate communication with patients, especially within patient education. Becoming aware of teaching and learning principles enhances your own learning. 

Pathway Details

What is the Clinician Educator Pathway?

The Clinician Educator pathway is an option for medical students who wish obtain their MD degree and a master's degree in Adult Education ― Medical and Health Professions, in four years.

What is required for admission?

You will need to be accepted into the MD program, and complete a separate application for the Graduate School at Penn State. You will also need a letter of recommendation from the associate dean of learner assessment and program evaluation at Penn State College of Medicine. A curriculum vita and a statement of career goals that addresses how the joint degree meets those goals will also be required.

How much does it cost?

Through an agreement with Penn State Harrisburg, the MEd will cost nine credit hours for the 30-credit master's degree if you complete the pathway as scheduled. The MD degree will incur the standard costs. 

Application Process

Prospective students can apply for admission to the joint MD/MEd degree anytime during their first three years in the College of Medicine. 

You will need to be accepted into the MD program, and complete a separate application for the Graduate School at Penn State. You will also need a letter of recommendation from the associate dean of learner assessment and program evaluation at Penn State College of Medicine. A curriculum vita and a statement of career goals that addresses how the joint degree meets those goals will also be required.

If you are a prospective Penn State College of Medicine medical student with an interest in the Clinical Educator Accelerated Pathway, email Pathway Director Britta Thompson.

MEd Courses

What are the required courses for the MEd?

  • ADTED 460: Introduction to Adult Education
  • ADTED 505: Teaching of Adults 
  • ADTED 542: Perspectives on Adult Learning Theory 
  • ADTED 501:Foundations of Medical Education 
  • ADTED 502: Instructional and Program Design in Medical Education 
  • ADTED 507: Research and Evaluation in Adult Education 
  • ADTED 588: Professional Seminar in Adult Education 
  • MD courses: Nine credits applied towards the MEd degree from existing required MD courses

What does the recommended schedule look like?

Intro course: The first MEd course, ADTED 460, can be taken during the Phase I sumer break or during the summer of Phase III/IV. Depending on scheduling, this course might be taken summer of Phase II.

Fall (Phase IV): 

  • ADTED 501
  • ADTED 505
  • ADTED 507
  • Complete USMLE Step 2 CK/CS by Sept. 1
  • Fourth-year humanities selective
  • Customized experience/elective: Medical education teaching opportunities
  • Customized MD experience/elective: Opportunities to take MD electives

Spring (Phase IV)

  • ADTED 502
  • ADTED 542
  • ADTED 588
  • Transition to Internship: May 7-8, 2019
  • Customized experience/elective: Medical education teaching experiences
  • Customized MD experience/elective: Opportunities to take MD electives

Contact Us

Director

Britta Thompson, MS, PhD
Associate Dean for Student Assessment and Program Evaluation
Director of Clinician Educator Pathway
Professor, Department of Medicine

Email: bthompson@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

 

Program Coordinator

Kathy Engel

Email: kengel@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

A portrait photograph of Britta Thompson in front of a professional photo background.
Britta Thompson, MS, PhD

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