UMEC Spotlight on Faculty Development: Bethany Skinner, MD

Meet Bethany Skinner, MD
Assistant Professor 
University of Michigan

At the 2018 Martin L. Stone, MD, Faculty Development Seminar, Doctor Skinner (with Angela Liang, MD, and Katherine Strafford, MD) presented Beyond the Bootcamp: Enhancing Senior Medical Student Education with Creative Curricula.

APGO: What is your role in medical student education?
Doctor Skinner:
I am assistant director of the Obstetrics and Gynecology clerkship at the University of Michigan and enjoy introducing students to ob-gyn and teaching them about diverse aspects of women’s health care. I also have a significant role in senior medical student education, including teaching surgical skills during our residency prep course and serving as an advisor for senior medical students.

APGO: What was the inspiration for your presentation topic?
Doctor Skinner: The fourth year of medical school is a time that students ideally use to explore career interests and build skills and knowledge to facilitate their transition to residency. Residency prep courses (“boot camps”) are an excellent way to strengthen these skills, but they occupy only a few weeks of the fourth year curriculum. Residency directors have also identified knowledge and skills gaps in incoming interns, and I think that the fourth year of medical school provides ample time and opportunity to address these concerns. Along with my co-presenters, I hope to inspire other educators to develop solutions to this problem by creating innovative fourth year electives that integrate science at the bedside, engage students in teaching, utilize longitudinal curricula and optimize mentorship.

APGO: What were some of the challenges you faced while developing your program? What was the solution?
Doctor Skinner: I think the biggest challenge was thinking of new and creative ways to refresh and optimize learning and career development in the fourth year. We solved this by identifying areas of need (basic science integration or meaningful mentorship, for example) and brainstorming as a group how to use our faculty strengths and institutional resources to create electives or career development opportunities in these areas. We also engaged students in this process, which was very helpful as they have an excellent understanding of how they and their peers learn and often have creative ideas about how to improve education.

APGO: What resources did you find the most useful in developing your program (including APGO resources)?
Doctor Skinner: Fellow faculty at my institution and other APGO medical educators with whom I have collaborated have consistently been an amazing resource and source of support and innovative ideas. The APGO videos for the Medical Student Objectives have also provided inspiration to make learning creative, fun and student-centered.

APGO: What are one to three things that you hope people who attended your presentation at the Faculty Development Seminar take home with them?
Doctor Skinner: The fourth year of medical school provides a fantastic opportunity to solidify knowledge and develop skills that will be useful for residency and future careers. Use colleagues, students and APGO resources to generate ideas for creative electives focusing on areas of educational need to engage students. There are numerous ways to optimize learning and career development in the fourth year and facilitate a smooth transition to ob-gyn residency for our senior medical students.

Registration is now open for the 2019 Martin L. Stone, MD, Faculty Development Seminar in Maui! Click here to learn more and register.