There is a science to educating physicians – and Cincinnati Children’s is playing a leading role in this emerging field.

Our new General Pediatric Master Educator fellowship is the first of its kind nationwide to focus on the growing need for formally trained clinical educators to teach the next generation of pediatric specialists.

“Doctors are expected to be educators,” says Melissa Klein, MD, program director. “But many have been winging it. A great deal of medical education has not been formalized. This program aims to elevate the science of medical education.”

The two-year fellowship prepares physicians to more critically evaluate educational efforts. It focuses on creating and evaluating innovative curricula and effectively teaching in continually changing environments.

“The fellowship provides the medical educator the time to develop an innovative educational project, implement it and study it in a systematic, scientific way,” Klein says.

The medical educator fellowship was launched with a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in October 2011. The program’s first fellow will begin work in April 2012. The program will accept one fellow per year for the next four years.

The program requires fellows to pursue a Master’s Degree of Education for Health Care Professionals (MEd) through the University of Cincinnati. Fellows will teach residents and medical students in supervised inpatient and outpatient settings. They also will learn leadership and research skills.

As Cincinnati Children’s strives to be a leader in clinical care, research and education, this new fellowship strengthens the educational mission, says Klein.

“Fellows who graduate from this program could become course directors, residency and fellowship program directors, and more,” she says. “This fellowship gives them the tools to become experts in educational methods.”