Potential Unleashed

Potential Unleashed! is a feature highlighting the UNR Med Faculty Development Funding Program and the UNR Med Faculty Mentoring Program recipients, raising awareness of funding support opportunities and the school’s commitment to UNR Med faculty members.

By sharing these achievements, we hope that other faculty members will be inspired to pursue professional development opportunities.

Amy Smith, PhD, Director, Office of Continuous Institutional Assessment

Faculty Development Funds received to participate in:

  • Annual DG Vision Conference: Data Governance and Stewardship
  • Harvard Macy Institute: A Systems Approach to Assessment in Health Professions Education course

Amy Smith

How did both of these awards contribute to your professional development and how did they contribute to advancing data governance efforts at UNR Med?

Without attending the Data Governance (DG) Vision conference, I cannot imagine attempting to lead the data governance initiative at UNR Med. Prior to this conference, I had no background or experience in data governance. I knew that it was something our school would benefit from, but did not know how to move the initiative forward. This conference gave me the background I needed to get DG started at UNR Med, and provided me with resources, tools, and frameworks to help make this initiative a success. 

What achievements resulted from the awards?  

The DG Vision conference had a direct impact on how we are developing DG at UNR Med. Without the conference, I would not have identified the framework that we are using to ensure that our process is systematic. The real benefits of the DG Vision Conference will be when data governance is implemented, and during our next LCME self-study. I expect that DG will make this process much more efficient. 

About the Harvard Macy program, I incorporated things that I learned there into my microlearning session on “creating a data-driven culture”. I also incorporated things I learned from Harvard Macy into our LCME and CQI processes.

Were there unintended or unexpected outcomes or benefits? 

I was invited back to the Harvard Macy program as Alumni Faculty to facilitate a literature group. This allowed me to network and build relationships with the program faculty who experts in medical education and assessment. This network has been a great resource.

Would you recommend following this approach to career development to other faculty members?  

Yes. This program allowed me to participate in much more intensive faculty development than I otherwise would have been able to do. I also think that the application process helped my focus by clearly articulating my reason for attending and establishing goals for the experience.

Do you have any advice for your colleagues?

I would advise colleagues to use the faculty development program to take the opportunity to learn something new, outside of their normal scope of work. While both the Harvard Macy and DG Vision programs were extremely valuable, I think the lesson I learned from two experiences is to push myself outside of my comfort zone. The Harvard Macy program was very much inside of my comfort zone and similar to my education and other professional development experiences.  In contrast the DG Vision conference was nothing like anything I had ever done before. It was outside of the evaluation and assessment field and outside of academia. I felt completely out of place, but this pushed me to learn something completely new and bring back expertise that (hopefully) will transform how we work with data at UNR Med.