Cornell Veterinary Educators Academy conference tackles clinical competence, curriculum
Now in its second year since launching, the Cornell Veterinary Educators Academy (CVEA) will be hosting its second of its biannual conferences in Sarasota, Florida on January 12-14, 2024, titled, “(Re)Assessing Assessment: Considerations for Clinical Competence and Curriculum." The deadline for registration is January 5, 2024.
This event will mark the third-in person conference and fourth conference overall from the CVEA, which was established at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine to provide innovative programming for educators and professionals in veterinary medicine and the health professions.
The upcoming January conference will focus on the unique challenges of assessing clinical competence, which presents different challenges compared to assessing technical skills. “Assessment of a learner’s competence can be challenging, even when the targeted competency is observable and relatively straightforward,” says Katherine Edmondson, M.S. ’85, Ph.D. ’89, assistant dean for outreach in health professions education and director of the CVEA. “However, clinical reasoning and professionalism are competencies that are particularly difficult to define, and therefore measure. As a result, they are difficult to remedy.” Edmondson goes on to explain the catalyst for this January conference’s topic. “In conversations I have had with faculty and practitioners, a common theme has emerged: they are challenged to ‘put their finger on what exactly the learner is doing wrong’ when a student or intern seems deficient in clinical, diagnostic reasoning and/or professionalism, and to provide feedback that will lead to meaningful, lasting improvement,” Edmondson says. “Veterinary curricula are adopting a competency framework that includes both professionalism and clinical reasoning as core competencies all graduates should possess. So, it seemed timely to focus the conference on this topic and invite scholars with expertise in these areas to help veterinary educators address this need.”
Keynote presentations will be delivered by Dr. Yoon Soo Park, The Ilene B. Harris Endowed Professor and Department Head of Medical Education at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Dr. Calvin Chou, professor of clinical medicine and Dr. John Penner, assistant professor of medicine, both at the University of California at San Francisco.
The event will tackle key issues that veterinary and medical educators encounter, including what approaches are most effective in teaching professionalism and clinical reasoning, designing effective remediation strategies for students who may be underperforming, and minimizing bias when developing assessments of these complex skills.
The event follows in the footsteps of the CVEA’s previous, successful conferences, which engaged attendees with a mixture of talks and working sessions that left them with plenty of applicable skills and knowledge.
Dr. Nadine Fiani, associate clinical professor of dentistry and oral surgery and associate director of the Cornell University Hospital for Animals, was one such attendee who came away with useful skills for her teaching. “I was thrilled to learn about Concept Mapping from Dr. Edmondson,” she says. “This visual representation of complex concepts appealed to me enormously as it expanded my typically linear method of thinking about a subject. Concept mapping allowed me to pull together various aspects of a topic in a manner that lets students be able to pick up the map from any facet and understand the relationships or flow of information. I have used concept mapping for both teaching and personal learning.”
January’s event will be held at the Lido Beach Resort, a beachside hotel in Sarasota, Florida, with an abundance of local attractions nearby.
Veterinary and medical educators are encouraged to register and attend.
Written by Lauren Cahoon Roberts