What’s New and In the Queue for Academic Medicine

What’s New: A Preview of the December Issue

The December issue of Academic Medicine is now available! Read the entire issue online at academicmedicine.org. Highlights from the issue include:

Beyond “Dr. Feel-Good”: A Role for the Humanities in Medical Education
Kumagai proposes several unique ways in which the arts and humanities contribute to the development of physicians who practice with excellence, compassion, and justice.

Exploring Integration in Action: Competencies as Building Blocks of Expertise
Mylopoulos and colleagues find that understanding integrated competencies as the building blocks of expert capabilities, along with recognizing the importance of mechanisms that support integration, offers an opportunity to use existing competency-based frameworks to understand and teach adaptive expertise.

An Interprofessional Course on Substance Use Disorders for Health Professions Students
Muzyk and colleagues describe a required, interprofessional substance use disorders (SUDs) course for health professions students completing a one-month psychiatry clerkship within the Duke University Health System, and measure students’ pre- and postcourse attitudes toward individuals with SUDs and interprofessionalism.

Academic Medical Support to the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak in Liberia
McQuilkin and colleagues find that a long-term collaboration between Liberia and U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals facilitated successful participation in the response to the Ebola Virus Disease—despite significant logistical and financial barriers.

Medical Students’ Empathy for Vulnerable Groups: Results from a Survey and Reflective Writing Assignment
Wellbery and colleagues’ study extends understanding of empathy beyond care for the individual to include care for vulnerable groups. Social empathy then may function as a valuable concept in developing curricula to support students’ commitment to care for the underserved.

What’s In the Queue: A Sneak Peek

Here’s a preview of an upcoming Invited Commentary by Harold Reiter, MD, MEd, FRCPC, and Kevin Eva, PhD

Vive la Différence: The Freedom and Inherent Responsibilities When Designing and Implementing Multiple Mini-Interviews


The literature on multiple mini-interviews (MMIs) is replete with heterogeneous study results related to the constructs measured, correlations with other measures, and demographic relationships. Rather than view these results as contradictory, the authors ask, What if all of the results are correct? They point out that the MMI is not an assessment tool, but rather an assessment method. Design and implementation of locally conducted MMIs in medical school admissions processes should reflect local needs. As with other local assessments, MMIs should be considered separate from nationally conducted assessments that reflect more universal competencies. With the freedom to exercise unique values in locally constructed MMIs, individual institutions, or small bands of like-minded institutions, in parallel carry the responsibility to ensure local assessment tool validity.

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