2015 AACOM Scholar-in-Residence: An Interview with Stephen Davis, PhD

AACOM's Medical Education Department is pleased to introduce AACOM’s 2015 Scholar-in-Residence Stephen S. Davis, PhD.

AACOM’s Medical Education Department is pleased to introduce AACOM’s 2015 Scholar-in-Residence Stephen S. Davis, PhD. Dr. Davis hails from the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic10-2015_S-Davis_scholar-in-residenceMedicine (OU-HCOM) in Athens, OH, where he has served as Director of Faculty Development and Assistant Professor of Family Medicine since 2004.

Developing Scholars in OME

The AACOM Scholar-in-Residence Program provides opportunities for our member college of osteopathic medicine (COM) faculty to engage in focused study and develop their competencies in medical education at the AACOM headquarters in Chevy Chase, MD.

As an AACOM Scholar, Dr. Davis will be collaborating with AACOM on a unique professional development project from October 7 to December 15, 2015. Upon completion of the program, Dr. Davis will return to the OU-HCOM campus with new resources and knowledge to further contribute to osteopathic medical education (OME) in his role as Director of Faculty Development.

Dr. Davis has spent 20 years in faculty development within the military—the Air Force Academy and Air Force ROTC—and civilian institutions, including Hocking Technical College and OU-HCOM. He plans to seize this opportunity to advance his understanding of AACOM and its constituents while working on a project that will be of benefit to all of our nation’s COMs.

The following is an interview with Dr. Davis about his appointment as AACOM’s 2015 Scholar-in-Residence:

Q: What got you interested in AACOM’s Scholar-in-Residence program?
A: I've been at OU-HCOM for 11 years, participating in AACOM activities—including the conference planning committee and the Society of Osteopathic Medical Educators (SOME) Special Interest Group (SIG), for which I became a member of the Steering Committee this year. I’ve also served as the SOME Faculty Development SIG moderator since 2009. During this time, I participated in a variety of roles with the AACOM Annual Conference, and I became a National Academy of Osteopathic Medical Educators (NAOME) member in 2014. Therefore, I’ve had the good fortune to develop an ongoing relationship with AACOM’s Dr. Mortensen and Dr. Cymet. Dr. Mortensen informed me of this program and encouraged me to apply.

Q: What kinds of activities have you participated in with AACOM thus far in the program?
It’s been kind of a whirlwind of activity … AACOM sponsored me to attend the recent Collaborating Across Borders (CAB) V conference, for which I am developing a report to share with the osteopathic medical education community; additionally, I spent a day at the Fall IPEC Institute and attended the recent presentation by AACOM’s Osteopathic Health Policy Intern (OHPI), where I learned more about considerations for better serving our nation’s rural and underserved populations. I’m currently working on a survey, an IRB, and a spreadsheet that compiles all U.S. COM faculty development contacts.

Q: What is your area of focused study?
COM faculty development information/personnel compilation, and year three and four allopathic (MD) preceptor preparation for osteopathic medical students. My idea is to develop a guide and perhaps a toolkit that can be used for faculty development with MDs who are precepting DO students.

“A large portion of our community preceptors include allopathically-trained physicians (MDs) and it is incumbent upon us as osteopathic medical educators to provide our MD colleagues with the expectations, tools (knowledge, skills, and attitude), and appropriate feedback if we want to achieve the outcome of highly-functioning osteopathic physicians,” Dr. Davis laments. 

“My research on COM/SOM faculty development programs has revealed that there is still a need to specifically address and advance the necessary training component for our third- and fourth-year allopathic community preceptors. My greatest hope is that this project will be part of the solution to bridge this gap.” 
Q: What more do you have to tell us about the professional development program you are working on with AACOM’s Medical Education Department?
In a nutshell, my goal is to provide a guiding document for use by our national COM/SOM faculty development personnel. We all have very similar challenges and are much stronger together if we can more readily communicate with each other, which is why one of the principle goals of this resource is to facilitate seamless and collaborative dialogue among the COMs.

I am also pursuing development of an online educational tool specifically targeted to MDs precepting DO students who are in their third- and fourth-year clinical rotations. Our allopathic colleagues are often at a loss when precepting DO students in terms of supporting and encouraging requisite experiences and education in osteopathic principles and practices (OPP). The project idea is based on COCA Standard 4.4.1 (Faculty Development program must include knowledge and understanding of OPP; and the guideline that all faculty, on-campus and off-campus should participate in a comprehensive OPP faculty development program).

Q: Did we come up with the project or did you, Dr. Davis?
The project is based on mutual collaboration between AACOM, OU-HCOM leadership, fellow faculty development colleagues, and me. It’s based upon our experience in trying to reach and provide education on OPP to our widely-distributed and extremely busy community preceptors. It is also partially born out of my experience with OU-HCOM’s recent COCA inspection and my training to become a COCA inspector.

Q: Upon returning to OU-HCOM, what are your goals and plans to apply what you learned during your time with AACOM there?
I anticipate publishing both the faculty development contact information resource and the electronic module on the AACOM Faculty Development web page for use by all COMs, if possible and desirable. 

For more information, visit AACOM’s Scholar-In-Residence Program web page.

Luke H. Mortensen, PhD
AACOM Vice President for Medical Education
(301) 948-4143 

Inside OME Header
October 2015
Vol. 9, No. 10