MCW Course Director provides mentoring to medical students
Todd Hoagland, PhD, has been taking people under his wing ever since grade school. “I used to help people with math or whatever they were struggling with,” he said.
Dr. Hoagland is the course director for MCW’s Clinical Human Anatomy courses and has won multiple teaching awards for his efforts.
Inspired by a professor he had during his Master’s program, Dr. Hoagland decided teaching was a passion he wanted to pursue. “He was amazing,” said Dr. Hoagland of his mentor. “He was a systems physiologist, and they don’t make them like that anymore. He had a way of taking very complicated information and breaking it down. He helped me to see connections I had not seen before.”
Dr. Hoagland freely admits he borrowed a lot from his mentor and, “I ‘steal’ good technique from every presentation I attend,” he added.
“I want the students to know that we are in this together, we are there to learn from each other,” said Dr. Hoagland. Every year during the course this opportunity presents itself. “We had a student find these pyramidal shaped objects in the bladder. Neither I nor the other instructor had seen this before, even with 50 years of experience between us,” he recalled. They ended up doing a literature search to determine the cause of this condition.
Students in Dr. Hoagland’s courses learn the anatomy of the human body, but what’s more important is what he calls his “hidden curriculum”.
Dr. Hoagland and his colleagues model collaboration, not competition, as the way to succeed. “Medical students need to ‘pay it forward’ by helping their peers. I want to see that they can take care of themselves and each other, otherwise how will they ever be able to take care of a patient,” said Dr. Hoagland.
“Going to medical school is one of the greatest things you can do – but it’s a group effort,” said Dr. Hoagland.