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Medical Education

NAOME Fellows Personal Statements

Mark Andrews, PhD

I have always had a passion for science and education, instilled in me by my parents and special professors, and encouraged by my students. In my many years as a professor of physiology in osteopathic medical schools, I have always gotten great enjoyment from working closely with students and faculty to assure delivery of quality, integrated basic and clinical science osteopathic education. Becoming a Fellow of NAOME was a rare honor as I was welcomed to join a collegial and well accomplished cohort of others with like minds and passions.

As an osteopathic medical educator, I strive to integrate the processes I learned and honed during my years of basic science research, and the thought processes of investigation and innovation which it helped engender in me. As a result, along with being an educator and administrator, my time has been spent in educational research, investigating the processes and outcomes of education, and disseminating this information with numerous publications and presentations.

Education Research, I find it especially important to have a positive influence and encourage and mentor others who are in the pursuit of best practices and uncovering knowledge which can help both students and educators.

India Broyles, EdD

I work with colleagues and medical educators in the UNECOM Master’s in Medical Education Leadership in a process that promotes our cognitive, personal and social development as educational planners. I strive to challenge myself and my colleagues to be inquirers and to critically examine the practices of osteopathic medical education. My creative orientation draws on the talents of all involved, and I use and promote a collaborative work style. I believe in leadership and teaching that are based on democratic values and responds to the osteopathic profession’s values, goals, social needs and changing conditions. Because of this philosophy, I felt an immediate connection to the osteopathic profession and especially to the National Academy of Osteopathic Medical Educators. I enjoy the work with the AACOM staff as we review proposals, judge posters, and serve as sounding board for new ideas. I look forward to mentoring nominees through the portfolio process and welcoming them into the Academy. 

Neal R. Chamberlain, PhD

I have always wanted to belong to something bigger than myself and in some small way contribute to the "greater good". Being part of the osteopathic profession as a Ph.D. basic scientist has allowed me to be part of something bigger than myself. Every year following graduation I calculate how many people will be helped by our newly minted physicians. This calculation helps me see how I have contributed to the "greater good". When I heard about the National Academy of Osteopathic Medical Educators I was excited to see that through this academy I could also be part of something bigger that contributed to the "greater good". The creation of a national academy that acknowledges accomplished osteopathic medical educators has already encouraged me to continue the work of preparing our next generation of osteopathic physicians. I am also excited to see how my participation in the academy can encourage other osteopathic educators as they seek to contribute to the "greater good".

Edward P. Finnerty, PhD

My core principles were framed by my early mentors, parents and teachers.  They instilled in me the belief that you get out of life what you put into it.  They also taught me that there are talkers and there are doers.  The talkers may be smooth and perceived as ‘leaders’ for a short time, but that people will follow the doers.  The strongest and most effective leaders are those that lead by example (doers) and work with others (collegial collaboration).  They are also flexible and prepared to respond to new opportunities as they present themselves.

My professional goals were never to be ‘leader’; rather they were simply to be the best physiologist - scientist and educator - that I could realistically be.  Along the way a variety of opportunities presented themselves, such as NAOME.  I learned much as an elected school board member that has transferred into my role as a medical science educator.  For example:  (1) Students actually want to succeed, thus people will rise to the level of the expectations.  (2) Ask questions and look at the evidence, make evidence-based decisions.  (3) Talk to others, someone else is/has tried to address the same issues, listen and learn from them.  (4) share with others and give credit where it is due.  (5) Be brave and willing to try new things.  (6) Talk is cheap, actions shout.  (7) do NOT lose the excitement and joy that brought you to your career.

The Academy is a natural extension of my beliefs; it is a collaborative and collegial group of osteopathic medical educators whose goal is to promote excellence in our faculty and students.

I have been involved in medical education for all of my adult career.  I have enjoyed teaching and my role as an educator, but is has been on-the-job-training.  The National Academy of Osteopathic Medical Educators is an opportunity to bring together individuals of demonstrated excellence and expertise as medical educators.  They in turn will share their collective experiences, wisdom and joy in there endeavor.  In this fashion, we can contribute to the education and training of the future educators who will replace us.

In keeping with my core beliefs taking an active part in life, I knew very much that I wanted to be a part of this group.

John Graneto, DO, MEd

Thank you NAOME.

The skills needed to be an academic leader are vast and varied. The inaugural members and the selection committee had a true vision about development NAOME and it is pleasing to see it flourish. The NAOME academy is poised to foster the collaborative efforts of medical educators across the osteopathic profession. I look forward to seeing representatives from all campus across all disciplines to enrich the discussion and work of the Academy. Learning from each other strengthens us all. True leaders don’t have (or need) followers their biggest impact is really to encourage and develop others to lead.

Matt Henry, PhD

As a basic scientist, I am proud to be a part of osteopathic medical education and NAOME. I take pride in sharing my enthusiasm for physiology and pharmacology with undergraduate osteopathic medical students. As a member of NAOME I hope to model positive, productive behaviors that support student success. I view being a NAOME fellow as a give and take relationship. Participation in this national organization allows me to contribute broadly to medical education while also learning from other fellows, students, and osteopathic programs.

Barbara M. Kriz, PhD

I began my academic career with an intent to focus on basic research in cell biology and was privileged to have excellent training at an exciting time of discovery in this field.  As part of my graduate studies, like most Ph.D. candidates, I was required to teach and had the opportunity to do so in both the laboratory and lecture setting.  I found this experience to be most rewarding.  While pursuing postdoctoral research, the opportunity to continue to teach presented itself and I found myself leaning toward an emphasis on education.  I was advised that if I chose to balance my career toward teaching I would regret it within five years.  That was nearly 30 years ago and I have not spent one day regretting my decision.  In my career, I have served as a member of or have chaired just about every type of academic committee and task force.  I have grown from someone with trepidation about speaking in public, to someone who actively contributes and leads groups. I have felt that my job is to help out whenever and wherever asked, in the service of my college and university.  I have served on academic committees at the national level, but I have never sought or desired greater recognition or office.  I have found that I have much to do to contribute to the growth and development of my own institution, including the mentoring of individuals here and have, therefore, chosen to focus locally.  I tend to see myself as best suited as a member of an ensemble group of players and not necessarily the principal actor.  At the same time I appreciate that the NAOME is recognizing the importance of a good supporting cast.  At this stage of my career, I would like to honor those who have helped me by helping others who may have a similar “story” to expand their horizons and obtain the recognition they deserve for their teaching, leadership, and service contributions to the osteopathic profession.

Luke H. Mortensen, PhD

What terrific fellowship and a timely resource this Academy provides! It is truly exciting to participate in its early development and its goals to professionally recognize educational excellence, mentor and further support the potential of the osteopathic educator. As medical educators, we have tremendous responsibility to our learners, our colleagues, our institutions of higher education and, therefore, to the practice of medicine. Of our own choosing, we carry a mantle of ‘instructional stewardship’ that rigorously compels us to seek and investigate innovation and best practices in didactic and clinical instruction toward the production of competent and efficacious osteopathic physicians. My doctorate degree was granted from an osteopathic university and that influence and meaning is tangible and ever-present in my current 16-year tenure at an osteopathic institution. My application to this Academy was submitted to support that mantle and provide my educator colleagues that same commitment of time and experience offered to me. The inaugural members of the National Academy of Osteopathic Educators are so very proud to be able to offer fellowship in this Academy through an application process that fosters self-reflection and evaluation into one’s own educational accomplishments, mile-stones and personal victories that have led to peer and student acknowledgement of excellence in osteopathic teaching and learning.

Donald J. Sefcik, DO 

The concept "pay it forward" has been popularized by various foundations and organizations, in books and at the movies.  The purpose of the National Academy of Osteopathic Medical Educators (NAOME) is to "foster and value the scholarship of teaching and learning; provide role modeling and support for educators in osteopathic medical education programs; and to foster networking and collaboration among institutions of osteopathic medical education by providing a forum for the exchange of ideas about educational endeavors including teaching, evaluation, curriculum design and implementation, faculty development and educational research".  Paying it forward, to me, is the bedrock upon which the osteopathic profession was built.  As a twenty-plus year osteopathic physician, educator and administrator, submitting an application for consideration as a Fellow in NAOME was an easy decision.  Having been granted the status of inaugural member of NAOME, I look forward to the opportunity of serving as a coach and adviser, encouraging academic scholarship in our profession.  I also look forward to exchanging ideas and best practices with colleagues, learning from others throughout the osteopathic community. 

Patricia S. Sexton, DHEd

I am very proud to be in the inaugural class of the National Academy of Osteopathic Medical Educators. I began work in visioning this Academy, the first national academy of educators, more than three years ago with other interested SOME members. After the input of medical educators across the country and the help of experts in the area of academies of educators, I believe what has been developed has potential to provide mentoring and development, as well as recognition for faculty, and better educational practices for facilitating student learning. Ultimately this will translate into better care for patients. I look forward to finding innovative ways to work on such issues with colleagues across the country and working on issues of importance identified by SOME. I applied to become part of this inaugural group because I believe in the difference excellence in education can make.

Roberta A. Wattleworth, DO

I chose to submit my mini-portfolio to NAOME since this academy best represents what I do- I am a physician educator at an osteopathic medical school.  I want to work closely with individuals who teach in a similar capacity so that I may learn from others about best practices and sharpen my personal teaching abilities.  I have been a faculty member at my university for over 12 years, and welcome the opportunity to network with others in my position from other colleges with the ultimate goal of becoming a stronger teacher and role model for my students.

Wayne Wilson, PhD

During my postdoctoral work, I expressed an interest in teaching some classes.  Somewhat to my surprise, I found that the time I spent with the students in the classroom was every bit as challenging, interesting, and exciting as the time I spent at the bench engaged in my own research projects.  When it came time to seek a faculty position, I was committed to securing an appointment at an institution where teaching made up a significant portion of my workload and where the quality of my teaching would be valued by the administration.  I have been happily employed in just such a position since 2005.  Although I feel that I have grown as an educator over the years, I knew that there was more to learn about osteopathic medical education and more that I could contribute to the profession.  The application process for membership in the National Academy of Osteopathic Medical Educators gave me the opportunity to reflect upon my teaching philosophy; goals for the future; strengths; and areas where I have yet room to grow.  Completing the application was beneficial in and of itself.  Membership of the Academy, however, brings so much more.  Through it, I have the opportunity to actively collaborate with a group of like-minded individuals and can make meaningful contributions to the enhancement of osteopathic medical education beyond the walls of my own school.