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), co-led by Tara Chandrasekhar, MDPaul Riordan, MD, and Heather Vestal, MD, MHS, 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.

Recent resident-led educational projects include: 

  • From afar to our doorsteps: Envisioning a new way forward with customized educational global mental health curricula to optimize psychiatric patient care in the United States
  • Creation of an elective course for fourth-year medical students: “Cultural Contexts of Substance Use Disorders”
  • Community and Public Psychiatry Track proposal development
  • Teaching effective clinical documentation to medical students
  • Experience of personal and professional grief in residency 
  • How to write a case report (and how to mentor a resident writing a case report) 
  • Medical student perspectives on a resident-written psychiatry mid-clerkship exam
  • “Ten things every provider should know about psychiatry”
  • Protected scholarly time and its impact on resident wellness
  • Resident-led workshop on the APA's Cultural Formulation Interview
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction workshop series for third-year psychiatry residents
  • Development of a longitudinal curriculum for PGY-1 residents on the Duke inpatient psychiatry rotation
  • Brief individual psychotherapy mentoring for PGY-1s
  • Vulnerability in residency training: A workshop
  • Repro-Psych 101: A practical overview of perinatal psychiatry for Ob-Gyn residents

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.

Hania Ibrahim

“The clinician educator track is a unique opportunity to develop confidence and mastery in teaching. Through a series of workshops, observation and mentorship, the track has helped me feel more prepared to teach both in the clinical and formal settings. One of the highlights of the CET track is access to the tools, expertise and resources needed to meaningfully contribute to medical education through an educational project.”
Hania Ibrahim, MD, Third-Year Psychiatry Resident