Education Resource Email #2: Harvard Macy Institute

In the interest of archiving the Education SIG’s “Education Resource Email” collection and making it more widely available, we have decided to post past emails. The email below was originally sent to the Education SIG listserve on July 13, 2012.
Hi everyone,
Two of your fellow EdSig members, Jennifer Reidy and Holly Yang, have taken the time to describe their experience at the Harvard Macy Institute faculty development course. Please keep reading as this is an amazing resource!
Lynn O’Neill
Education SIG Vice-Chair

Dear Education SIG members,

This year we’ve attended courses at the Harvard Macy Institute in Boston, which we want to highly recommend as an outstanding resource for faculty development. The Program for Educators in Healthcare Professions is designed for physicians, basic scientists and other healthcare professionals to stretch their skills in teaching, curriculum development, evaluation, leadership and information technology. The program consists of two sessions in residence at Harvard: an 11-day winter session and a 6-day spring session. Throughout the program and between the sessions, participants conduct an educational project of their own design at their home institution with support from peer and faculty mentors at Harvard Macy.

We had a class of about 80 people from 13 countries, and made invaluable friendships and professional relationships. The course director, Dr. Liz Armstrong, designed the course to foster a strong sense of community. The experience is very rigorous and intense, and you feel bonded to your classmates – likely for the rest of your careers. It is a great opportunity to network outside of palliative medicine and introduce our field to influential peers in medical education.

All of us have been to innumerable conferences during our education and careers, but Harvard Macy is truly a transformative, life-altering experience! The faculty are among the best we’ve ever seen, and they come from Harvard’s schools of medicine, business and graduate education. As a result, the curriculum is a fascinating mix of educational theory, adult developmental psychology, literature on organizational change and quality improvement, among other themes. One of the highlights of the course is the “peer consultation group,” which consists of 4-5 participants and a faculty facilitator who brainstorm ideas, give advice and provide support for each individual’s educational project throughout the course and beyond. We intend to keep in touch with our groups and will likely seek feedback from them for years to come.

For more details, you can check out their website at The program is expensive and requires a significant time commitment, so getting support from your own institution is paramount. There are a growing number of alumni who are palliative care physicians, so we are creating our own community as well! Please feel free to contact us if you have questions or want more information.


Jennifer Reidy, MD
University of Massachusetts

Holly Yang, MD
San Diego Hospice & Palliative Care

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