Dear members and supporters of the LCI,
I am very excited to greet you as the chair of the Learning Communities Institute for 2018. The LCI has grown tremendously over the past 14 years and now encompasses 44 medical schools throughout North America. Last year’s annual meeting at the University of Alabama-Birmingham was a great success, with 96 faculty, 24 administrators, and 39 students attending from 38 medical schools. The meeting consisted of many excellent presentations, posters and workshops, many of which are available to LCI members in the Past Annual Meetings section of the LCI website. Some highlights of the meeting included the keynote address by Dr. Richard M. Frankel, Professor of Medicine and Geriatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine, on their experience with 6,000 third year medical student individual and community reflections. Christine Motzkus, a MD/PhD student at the University of Massachusetts, received the Joel and Ellen Gordon Young Investigator Award for her presentation on peer to peer development of student leadership. Peter Denson, MD received the Ron Arky Award for his contributions to the development of learning communities as an early innovator in establishing medical school learning communities as Dean of the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine.
Thirty-five LCI members are currently in involved in the new LCI Research Network. In the past year the research network began work on 3 projects: the impact of LCs on students’ wellbeing; the impact of LCs on faculty members’ wellbeing; and, professional identity formation for LC students. The projects were selected based on input from learning community directors, faculty, students and Deans at LCI member institutions. Project updates will be provided at the 2018 LCI meeting. In 2019 we will start a new cycle of projects and will also be looking to expand our network with new participants.
The leadership group for 2018 is listed below, so please reach out if you would like to get involved in any of these areas, or just have questions about the activities of the LCI. Faculty, administrators, professional staff, and students are welcome on any of the committees.
In the coming year we will be adding functionality to our website, allowing members to access selected presentations from past annual meetings. We will also be initiating a series of webinars that address current issues of interest to learning communities. In addition to the research network’s ongoing work, members of the research network leadership will be editing a special edition of the Journal of Medical Education and Curriculum Development, focusing on medical school learning communities. The 2018 Learning Communities Institute Annual Meeting will be hosted in New York City at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai on September 28-29, 2018 with a pre-course on September 27, 2018. The call for submissions is now up, so please consider contributing to what should be another outstanding meeting.
Thank you for your engagement with the Learning Communities Institute. I invite you to take part in this fantastic community of like-minded faculty, administrators, and students who are dedicated to the values of learning communities in medical education. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any member of the leadership team with questions or interest in participating further in the LCI. See you in New York!
Mark Whipple, M.D., Sc.M.
Chair, Learning Communities Institute