Meeting Recap: The 2017 APGO Martin L. Stone, MD, Faculty Development Seminar

More than 200 women’s health educators, residents and medical students gathered in beautiful Palm Springs, California earlier this month for the annual four-day medical education meeting of the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO). The theme of the 2017 APGO Martin L. Stone, MD, Faculty Development Seminar, “Finding Your Oasis in Medical Education,” was not only appropriate for the serene desert setting, which offered attendees a retreat from their active schedules, but also promised attendees solutions to common contemporary challenges in academic medicine.

A Program for Renewed Passion and Healthy, Thriving Careers
Throughout the program, the meeting space of the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort and Spa was charged with the energy of academic obstetrician-gynecologists eager to learn and implement new ideas and techniques in their home institutions. Meeting attendees participated in workshops, round tables, and recreational sessions featuring strategies for maintaining physician wellness, establishing Interprofessional dsc_0104education programs, and fostering career growth and advancement. Even the recreational activities carried the theme of wellness, with APGO’s annual favorite, the 5K Suds Run & Walk fundraiser, promoting fitness and camaraderie among participants, and the new Vino & Vinyasa wine tasting and yoga experience, encouraging educators to wind down after a long day of learning.

With themes of wellness and improvement – both systemic and personal – running through every aspect of the program, it was easy see how attendees left the meeting reinvigorated and motivated to reengage at their home institutions. Julie B. Covarrubias, EdD, Professor and Associate Director of the Office of Education for the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said of the 2017 meeting:

The program was so well-rounded. It really offered something for everyone. The plenary speakers are always great, but I especially enjoyed them this year. The breakouts were filled with such useful information – those made me want to run home and implement all that I learned.

Notable Key Note Speakers
The meeting kicked off with this year’s Martin L. Pernoll, MD, Educator, Maryellen Gusic, MD, Senior Advisor Educational Affairs, University of Virginia, delivering her keynote address, “Ensuring Competency in Interprofessional Collaborations: Creating Opportunities that Promote Learning.” Doctor Gusic explored strategies for developing and measuring competency in Interprofessional collaboration for both undergraduate and post-graduate learners, and examined approaches to overcome challenges to implementing IPE curricula. Keynote attendees left prepared to identify opportunities to enhance Interprofessional learning at their home institutions.

Other plenary speakers delivered dynamic and inspiring talks calling for improved healthcare and medical education systems, and better quality of life for providers, educators and learners. Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA, President and CEO, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, presented “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Health Care Galaxy;” Eve Espey, MD, Professor and Chair, University of New Mexico, presented “Negotiating the Win-Win for Your Academic Career;” Jeanette L. Calli, MS, Director of Match Operations, National Resident Matching Program, presented “Trends in the Match: Implications for Advising;” and Alice Domar, MA, PhD, Executive Director, The Domar Center for Mind/Body Health, presented “Wellness (How Stress Affects Health).”

APGO President’s Big Picture
APGO President Roger P. Smith, MD, Professor and Assistant Dean, Florida Atlantic University, addressed the membership at the annual Susan M. Cox, MD, and Doug Morris President’s Breakfast. His session, “The Tyranny of Just,” encouraged participants to adopt a more holistic career perspective and view themselves as more than “just a teacher.”

A Lunchtime Learning Session to Write Home About
At the always entertaining and informative Lunchtime Learning Session, Hedy S. Wald, PhD, Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, presented “Reflection, Resilience, Humanism: Interactive Reflective Writing and Professional Identity Formation.” Doctor Wald’s interactive session, a favorite among many meeting attendees, explored the role of writing-enhanced reflection in supporting healthy professional identity formation and boosting provider and educator resiliency and humanism.

School is in Session
Before the start of every Faculty Development Seminar, APGO holds the first two sessions of the three-part Clerkship copyinnstatDirectors’ School. Developed and directed by the APGO Undergraduate Medical Education Committee (UMEC), the Clerkship Directors’ School invites new and established clerkship directors to prepare for the role and brush up on needed skills. This was the second year that the interactive Innovation Station session was held during the program. During this session, participants were introduced to low-fidelity simulations, aids and handy tools that can be implemented into the clerkship. The third part of the Clerkship Directors’ School, which is more advanced, is held each year at the CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting.

The 2018 class of the APGO Academic Scholars and Leader Program also met prior to the start of the seminar. Course participants gathered for the first of several sessions in the rigorous 15-month curriculum designed to develop outstanding teachers and educational administrators. This group of scholars marks the 20th year of the APGO Academic Scholars and Leaders Program.

And the Winner Is…
Several award and scholarship recipients were recognized at the 2017 APGO Martin L. Stone, MD, Faculty Development Seminar.

As part of APGO’s commitment to actively engage international ob-gyn educators, APGO provides financial assistance for international attendees to attend the Faculty Development Seminar each year through the APGO International Scholarship Program. This year, APGO welcomed two International Scholars: Grace Chiudzu, MBBS, Malawi College of Medicine/Kamuzu Central Hospital, Malawi, nominated by Daniel Clarke-Pearson, MD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Zero Tarrekegn, MD, Hawassa University College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ethiopia, nominated by Laurel Rice, MD, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.

Each year, APGO recognizes junior faculty with demonstrated accomplishments and a bright future in women’s health education with the William N.P. Herbert, MD, Promising Educator Award. This year, APGO recognized Silka Patel, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, for her outstanding potential as a future leader in academic ob-gyn.

Until Next Year
APGO would like to thank the 2017 meeting faculty for their creative and thought-provoking presentations, and for inspiring meeting attendees to go out and further APGO’s mission of improving women’s health through education.dsc_0401 Thank you also to the meeting co-chairs, B. Star Hampton, MD, Margaret L. McKenzie, MD, and the rest of the APGO UMEC Committee for planning such a memorable and successful meeting. And, last but certainly not least, we would like to thank our meeting attendees and the entire APGO membership for their continued support and dedication to our field.

The 2018 APGO Martin L. Stone, MD, Faculty Development Seminar will take place January 6-9, 2018 at the Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa in Manalapan, Florida. APGO will announce the call for abstracts in the coming weeks and invite those interested in presenting to watch our newest video on How to Write an Educational Workshop Abstract.

For more information about the APGO Martin L. Stone, MD, Faculty Development Seminar, APGO Clerkship Directors’ School or other programs and awards, please visit