Clinician Educator

Resident Dr. Jonathan Nahmias (left), who is in the Clinician Educator Track, teaches medical student Fred Keller how to assess for catatonia.
Resident Dr. Jonathan Nahmias (left), who is in the Clinician Educator Track, teaches medical student Fred Heller how to assess for catatonia. 

The Clinical Educator Track (CET), led by co-directors Heather Vestal, MD, MHS, and Paul Riordan, MD, prepares residents for a career as clinician educators by offering additional training and mentorship toward developing knowledge and skills in teaching and education, as well as fostering academic scholarship in medical education.

Residents in the CET serve as teachers to junior residents, develop expertise in medical education, learn how to conduct and evaluate medical education research and develop relationships with other clinician educators across specialties and institutions.

Read on to learn more about the specific program components and how to apply.

The didactic curriculum is co-developed and taught by CET faculty and residents in 1.5 hour sessions held monthly on Tuesdays before Residency Academic Half-Day. Examples of topics include teaching skills, development of curricula and educational tools, career development and educational research.

Teaching Opportunities

Venues for teaching practice may include teaching opportunities embedded within residency rotations, outpatient clinics or electives; medical student clerkship seminars; teaching in the medical student pre-clinical psychiatry course; and teaching opportunities for trainees across disciplines or specialties. Residents hone their teaching skills through individual meetings with their CET mentor(s) and direct observation/feedback by CET mentors and peers.

Mentoring Opportunities

CET residents are encouraged to mentor junior residents, medical students interested in psychiatry, pre-medical students and underserved youth in the community. The CET will assist interested residents in getting paired with mentees and will provide mentoring training and support.

CET Mentor

Each resident is paired with their own CET mentor who provides guidance on the residents’ education project, mentorship for career development as a clinician educator, and individual guidance/feedback around teaching activities.

A CET mentor may also help the resident identify teaching opportunities, assist in planning/developing the teaching activity, and/or provide direct observation and feedback of the didactic experience.

CET residents will pursue an education project during their PGY3-4 years. The term “educational project” is broadly defined and may include development and/or implementation of curricula, teaching or assessment tools, educational innovations or technologies, or a medical education research study.

Residents are encouraged to present their work at local and national meetings and are encouraged to seek publication in academic journals.

Attendance at Local Conferences, Seminars, and Courses

Residents are encouraged to attend local medical education-related seminars and conferences. Examples include Duke AHEAD and the Duke GME Medical Education Leadership Track.

Attendance at National Meetings

Residents are encouraged to attend national meetings in medical education. Travel awards will be available each year to CET residents who are presenting a poster or workshop at the Association for Academic Psychiatry (AAP) Annual Meeting. Residents will also be supported in applying for external medical education awards and fellowships (which may provide additional funding).

Residents may apply to the clinician educator track in July of their PGY1, 2, or 3 year.

“The Clinician Educator track provides an innovative platform for residents to expand and develop their skills as educators in a deliberate manner. The interactive workshops, individual mentoring and support for independent projects have fostered my teaching skills and contributed to a really meaningful experience as a trainee.”
Jordan Broadway, MD, Third-Year Psychiatry Resident