UMEC Spotlight on Faculty Development: Cynthia DeTata, MD

Meet Cynthia DeTata, MD
Assistant Professor 
Stanford University School of Medicine

At the 2018 Martin L. Stone, MD, Faculty Development Seminar, Doctor DeTata (with Kimberly Harney, MD) presented Using Trigger Videos to Expand the Student Perspective of the Clinical Learning Environment: Does It Improve the Student’s Perceived Experience?

APGO: What is your role in medical student education?
Doctor DeTata:
I have been involved in multiple roles in both Stanford’s residency program and the school of medicine. Along with Doctor Harney, I have been the medical student clerkship director since 2005.

APGO: What was the inspiration for your presentation topic?
Doctor DeTata: The original inspiration for this topic was the realization that recognizing, responding and reducing mistreatment is not straightforward. The AAMC and APGO have had an increased focus on the learning environment and student wellness. The AAMC has published definitions of what constitutes mistreatment, and tracks these through the Graduation Questionnaire. It seems as if we could just describe mistreatment and ask everyone to be nice, yet we had incidents that were reported by our students and not even recognized as such by our faculty and residents. We received a grant to create the videos shown in the presentation, which were scripted specifically to address how students, resident and faculty might see the same situation in different ways. We found the videos to be very useful in triggering awareness and conversations regarding mistreatment and the learning environment, and have noted decreased medical student reporting as a result. I would like to share the videos to see if they could be helpful in programs at other institutions.

APGO: What were some of the challenges you faced while developing your program? What was the solution?
Doctor DeTata: We originally had to experiment with the most effective way to show the videos in terms of timing and audience. We found that the discussion triggered by the videos was more thoughtful and useful when we showed the videos to students, residents and faculty separately. We also improved our ability to facilitate the triggered discussions. The biggest challenge in developing this workshop was the need for tech savvy facilitators for our small group activities. I am thrilled to have past graduates of our clerkship and residency program here to assist with the workshop.

APGO: What resources did you find the most useful in developing your program (including APGO resources)?
Doctor DeTata: Although I did not use resources from APGO meetings and the APGO website to develop this workshop, I use them extensively in the education of our students. They have motivated me to make every one of our lectures a “flipped classroom,” given me ideas to enhance our skills labs and simulation, tools to revamp our curriculum, and inspiration to make continued improvements to our program. The uWISE questions and APGO educational topic videos are very popular with our students and a great addition to our clerkship website.

The videos were part of a larger project on student mistreatment in conjunction with our Surgery and Emergency room clerkships. We were fortunate to have high quality videographers and equipment for the videos as they were funded through a grant. We were also fortunate to have enthusiastic participants who were willing to try out their acting skills. I appreciate the chance to share the videos with others who might find them useful.

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 DeTata: Student mistreatment is steadily decreasing everywhere, but it is possible to decrease incidents of student mistreatment in one’s own institution by demonstrating support for students and discussing the learning environment frequently. And of course, I would like to share the videos!

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