The University of Wisconsin Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Medicine and Public Health launched a new clinical teaching learning community in collaboration with the UW-Madison Teaching Academy and the Interprofessional Continuing Education Partnership (ICEP).  

The clinical teaching learning community is designed to support the professional development needs of health sciences clinical faculty and preceptors, according to Barb Anderson, ICEP chair. In addition to the learning community, a new designation within the UW-Madison Teaching Academy was created. 

The clinical affiliate of the Teaching Academy designation recognizes the efforts of faculty members and preceptors who have a passion for clinical teaching and learning, and a desire to become a master teacher. Applicants must have a teaching appointment with one of the UW-Madison health sciences schools that comprise the Interprofessional Continuing Education Partnership.

Teachers across the schools’ health professions must effectively teach diverse content, ranging from basic biomedical knowledge and applied problem-solving skills to advanced clinical care and professional skills, in a wide variety of settings including classrooms, communities, clinical care areas, and health care settings, according to Elizabeth Petty, MD, senior associate dean for academic affairs at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

“This affiliate program has been specifically designed to help better meet the educational needs and professional development requirements of teachers in those programs,” she said.

This mission of helping educators improve is certainly shared across the health sciences schools, according to Susan Zahner, DrPH, MPH, UW-Madison School of Nursing associate dean for faculty affairs.

“Investing in the development of teachers in clinical settings, and making evidence-based and best-practice information available to them to use, will result in better education for future generations of students,” she said.

By fostering better educators among nurses, doctors and pharmacists – three critical parts of the patient care team – patients benefit in the end, according to Beth Martin, PhD, assistant dean of the UW School of Pharmacy.

“We owe it to those who trust us with their care to provide the most highly trained health care professionals we can, and that all starts with great teachers,” she said.

To be eligible to become a clinical teacher fellow, faculty members and preceptors must first complete an application available on the Clinical Teaching Learning Community website.

Launched in late 2017, the learning communities are interactive social platforms for continuing education. Health-care professionals can take online courses for credit, interact with other team members and read supporting educational materials.

People interested in the new programs are invited to an informational session co-hosted by the health sciences schools, Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education (CIPE) and UW-Madison Teaching Academy. The event is coordinated with UW-Madison’s Go Big Read series, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. March 14 at Enroth Hall inside Signe Skott Cooper Hall, 701 Highland Ave., Madison. In addition to unveiling the new learning community, the Go Big Read event will feature a reception and a book discussion of "Hillbilly Elegy" by JD Vance.

About the Interprofessional Continuing Education Partnership (ICEP)

In January 2015, the School of Medicine and Public Health Office of Continuing Professional Development, School of Nursing Continuing Education in Nursing Program, and the School of Pharmacy Division of Pharmacy Professional Development began a partnership intending to expand professional development opportunities that focus on interprofessional collaboration and teamwork.

The resulting Interprofessional Continuing Education Partnership (ICEP) was awarded Joint Accreditation in 2016, which is a new distinction from the three global leaders in health care continuing education accreditation.

About the UW-Madison Teaching Academy

Founded in 1993, the UW-Madison Teaching Academy was created to promote, recognize and support excellence in teaching and learning among faculty, staff and students across the campus and beyond. It is made up of 300 fellows and future faculty partners from a wide range of departments and programs at UW. Fellows are faculty, academic staff, and outreach instructors who have nominated for demonstrating a high level of teaching and a commitment to improving the quality of teaching and learning.