Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Institute for the Transformation of Medical Education

Transformational Times

The Transformational Times is the weekly e-newsletter published by the Kern Institute to deliver stories of hope, character and resilience from our virtual community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Subscribe Now
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Character and Caring: A Pandemic Year in Medical Education

When classrooms and clinical rotations shut down in March 2020, medical school faculty, staff, and students craved connection, comfort, and guidance. Out of that need, the Kern Institute created a weekly newsletter, the Transformational Times, to gather and amplify the voices of those rushing to the front lines and of those who supported them.

The nascent community shared its reactions over the summer to racial injustice, in the fall to the COVID-19 surges and the return to school, and in the winter and spring to the continued societal discord and slow adjustment to the new normal. Character and Caring: A Pandemic Year in Medical Education, a collection of essays, stories, and creative responses, shares the voices of diverse members of the medical community and beyond through a year of disconnection and reconnection. With honesty and creativity, each contributor tries to discern what medical education–and our world–might look like on the other side.

Transformational Times

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In This Issue

Guest Director's Corner

  • Cheryl A. Maurana, PhD: In a Time of Divisiveness and Polarization, How Can We Forge a Path Toward Flourishing?


  • Kristina Kaljo, PhD; Karen Marcdante, MD and Sandra Pfister, PhD: What am I Doing Here? A Narrative on Belonging in the Space of Medical Teaching and Learning
  • Chelsea Weaver, PhD: Introducing the Active Learning Clinic
  • Mary Ann Gilligan, MD, MPH: Effective Communication Skills are an Essential Component of Good Patient Care
  • Ali Harrington, MD, MT (ASCP): Faculty Roles in the MCWfusion™
  • Nabil Attlassy, Paul Beinhoff and Rohan Patnaik: Residency Virtual Interviewing: A Love-Hate Phenomenon
  • Michael T. Braun, PhD: Still KICSing, One Year In

Poetry Corner

  •  Shel Silverstein: Where the Sidewalk Ends

Archive of Transformational Times