Vision & Principles Identified for Aquifer Primary Palliative Care Course

Aquifer — supported by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations — is moving ahead with the development of a national, standardized curriculum and quality online course that addresses critical gaps in palliative care learning across undergraduate medical and health professions education. The Aquifer Palliative Care Leadership Team, a group of expert interprofessional educators, has identified the principles and vision for the new course — “Principles and Practice of Excellence in Primary Palliative Care”

Although palliative care is an established specialty, all providers should have the skills to provide patient-centered care. By focusing on primary palliative care, the course broadens the reach beyond the specialty — moving toward overcoming provider shortages, lack of access, and lack of training — to improve outcomes and quality of life for seriously ill patients and their families. Primary palliative care knowledge and skills are critical in identifying and addressing the unmet needs of patients with serious illness, but most health professionals never receive standardized primary palliative care education.

Vision: Improve the capacity of the US health professions student to deliver humanistic, compassionate interdisciplinary care centered around patient goals of care and quality of life by applying evidence-based methods to alleviate the suffering of patients with serious illnesses and their families through the delivery of primary palliative care.

In the absence of clear national curricular standards on palliative care in medical and health professions education, the Aquifer Palliative Care Leadership Team has advanced this work by completing a needs assessment (stakeholder surveys and focus groups) and literature review. The research findings identified many common challenges that a national, standardized curriculum for health professions education could address, including educational gaps that cause providers to feel unprepared, workforce shortages among palliative care providers and faculty, balancing competing curricular demands, lack of standardization across interprofessional programs, and a lack of widely available materials for pre-professional learners. 

After completing the research activities, the leadership team held a consensus conference, synthesizing the literature review and needs assessment findings into a vision statement and key guiding principles. These principles will directly inform the development of learning objectives for the new course.

Principles of Primary Palliative Care Excellence

Based on the comprehensive needs assessment, the Aquifer Palliative Care Leadership Team has determined the Principles of Primary Palliative Care Excellence to elevate the primary palliative care education and training of all US health professions students, regardless of discipline. Each principle supports the advancement of primary palliative care as a competency for all health professionals. The principles determined by the team are:

1: Alignment of care with the goals, values, and preferences of seriously ill patients based on assessed need.

2: Interprofessional collaboration and care coordination between patients, families, healthcare teams, and systems.

3: Evidence-based and holistic approach that addresses the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual domains across the illness trajectory from diagnosis to end-of-life.

4: Equitable access to high-quality, culturally responsive palliative care services for all patient populations.

5: Education and advocacy to promote palliative care as a gold standard for serious illness care.

Next Steps

Using the vision and principles as a framework, the Aquifer Palliative Care Leadership team is now developing a national palliative care curriculum. The curriculum will be delivered via the Aquifer Principles and Practice of Excellence in Primary Palliative Care online modules and virtual patient cases. Learning objectives are now identified, and development work will begin in late 2021, using varied pedagogies to ensure that learners are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to provide patient-centered care to their communities.

The Aquifer Palliative Care Leadership Team believes that elevating the primary palliative care education and training to all US health professions students, regardless of discipline, will support our goal of equipping pre-professional educational institutions to build a practice-ready healthcare workforce knowledgeable in the principles of primary palliative care and able to deliver high-value, compassionate care to seriously ill patients.


Aquifer Palliative Care Leadership Team

Academic Lead: Mandi Sehgal, MD; Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine/Cleveland Clinic

Aquifer Lead: Sherilyn Smith, MD; Aquifer, University of Washington

Team Members:

  • Brynn Bowman, MPA; Center to Advance Palliative Care
  • Karen Bullock, PhD, LCSW, APHSW-C; North Carolina State University
  • Rebecca Edwards, DNP, APRN, ACNP, AOCNP, ACHPN; University of Alabama
  • Susan Merel, MD; University of Washington
  • Kristen Schaefer, MD, FAAPM; Care Dimensions
  • Barbara Reville, DNP, ANP-BC, ACHPN; Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care
  • Paul Tatum, MD; University of Texas at Austin-Dell Medical School
  • April Zehm, MD; Medical College of Wisconsin

New Osteopathic Resources Now Available

Aquifer is excited to announce the release of new resources for Osteopathic educators. Developed by the Aquifer Osteopathic Task Force, these new Active Learning Modules will help Osteopathic faculty maximize their use of Aquifer cases in their curriculum.

The Osteopathic Considerations Active Learning Modules are specifically designed to help instructors and preceptors emphasize osteopathic approaches to diagnosis and treatment. Learners are expected to complete the traditional Aquifer case, prepare for a face-to-face discussion, and participate in a facilitated discussion with other students and a facilitator,” says Erik Langenau, DO, MS, Aquifer Osteopathic Task Force Co-Lead.Each resource includes a Facilitator Guide with instructions, prompts, materials for learners, and additional resources. We believe osteopathic educators will appreciate the flexibility and practicality of this new educator resource, specifically designed to emphasize osteopathic considerations in the care of patients.”

The new resources, now available to all subscribing osteopathic programs, include 90-minute Active Learning Sessions for the following cases:

  • Family Medicine 10: 45-year-old male with low back pain
  • Pediatrics 06: 16-year-old male preparticipation evaluation

Additional osteopathic-focused resources are currently in development. The new resources are available to Osteopathic programs with institutional subscriptions to Aquifer. To find these new tools, go to the Educator Resources section of the Courses page in your Aqueduct account and select Osteopathic Educator Resources.

Did You Know...?

The Aquifer case Geriatrics 11: 75-year-old female with neck pain includes in-depth information on osteopathic approaches, including video content showing osteopathic manipulative techniques. This case is a great resource for all medical and health professions students.

Aquifer Exam Video Proctoring Reinstated

With the rise of the Delta variant of COVID-19, Aquifer has decided to resume offering our exams remotely for all exam users. This option is being reinstated to provide flexibility for faculty and learners as they manage disruptions to the learning environment. We hope that this helps you manage virtual courses during the COVID-19 crisis. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and may return to in-person proctoring in the future. Video proctoring will be available for all Aquifer exam users through March 15, 2022. 

Although our preference remains for institutions to provide Aquifer exams in a proctored setting, spaced with social distancing, we recognize that many schools must now administer examinations outside of a classroom environment.  For more information, please contact [email protected] to reach us. Please also visit our Learning Resources to Use as COVID Surges blog post for more tips and resources on how to maximize your Aquifer subscription.

New Cases on Telemedicine Coming October 15, 2021

Aquifer is pleased to announce the launch of a new course, Aquifer Foundations in Telemedicine, on October 15, 2021. The course will include four free, publicly available cases which provide key foundational knowledge to help students get started in telehealth. The new, short cases are a quick and easy way for students to become familiar with the principles and practice of telemedicine through self-directed learning in less than an hour.

Through the Aquifer telemedicine cases, students will learn how to build a patient history based on clinical condition, perform a physical exam, and manage a patient all through telemedicine. In total, all four cases should take students less than an hour to complete, providing a fast, effective tool for faculty to incorporate this rapidly expanding facet of healthcare into their teaching. The four cases available will be:

  • Foundations of Telemedicine 01 – Introduction to Telemedicine
  • Foundations of Telemedicine 02 – Building a History
  • Foundations of Telemedicine 03 – Performing a Physical Exam
  • Foundations of Telemedicine 04 – Escalating Care

Aquifer subscribers will also have access to an Educator Guide that will accompany the Foundations in Telemedicine to help faculty quickly get up to speed and optimize the way that they use these cases in their pedagogy. 

Aquifer Foundations in Telemedicine is appropriate for both students in clinical rotations and those still in the pre-clinical phase of their education. Content for these cases is aligned with AAMC telemedicine competencies and authored by medical educator members of the Society for the Teaching of Family Medicine (STFM) and the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine (CDIM). The cases are designed to fit in various points in the curriculum so that programs are able to include telemedicine competencies into existing components of their curricula. By integrating these cases, students in health professions educational programs will gain a stronger basis in telemedicine, thus preparing them to deliver high-quality, safe care via this fast-growing care delivery method. This set of cases also allows for a wider range of faculty to be able to teach about telemedicine, as the cases and educator guide provide a blueprint for instruction, and saves time by providing access to ready-made course materials. 

On October 15, all Aquifer subscribers will automatically have access to Foundations in Telemedicine through their Aquifer accounts including the ability to search for them via the Searchable Content Library and combine them with other cases and or Integrated Illness Scripts into custom courses. Free access to the case content will be also available to non-subscribing teachers and learners via Aquifer.org.

Call for Participation: Support Your Colleagues by Sharing Your Success Stories

Care to share? Tell us your story.

INVITATION FOR EDUCATORS & STAFF:
Please share your Aquifer success stories and teaching strategies with our growing network of medical and health professions faculty and administrators.

THE OPPORTUNITY:
Contribute to our webinar, blog, or podcast series. 

WHY CONTRIBUTE:

  • Sharing peer stories, expertise, and innovations in teaching strategies helps other educators advance their teaching.
  • Webinars, blogs, and podcasts have a broad reach and excellent engagement through Aquifer’s community of interdisciplinary, interprofessional educators.
  • Educators are consistently impressed with the quality of the information and grateful for the generosity of their peers in sharing.
  • Participants receive a letter for their CV and recognition on the Aquifer website.

Educational Impact

With Aquifer, your work will make a big impact on medical and health professions education. Over 70,000 students use Aquifer cases each year.  

AUDIENCE:
Our audience includes interdisciplinary faculty, administrators, and program leadership from 390 programs from across the U.S. and beyond, including:

  • 97% of US medical schools
  • 66% of osteopathic medical schools
  • 100+ physician assistant programs
  • A growing number of nurse practitioner, residency, and international programs

Opportunities & Estimated Time Commitment

It’s quick and easy to contribute to Aquifer’s well-supported educator-to-educator resources. 

“Participating in Aquifer’s national webinar provided me with the opportunity to connect with my colleagues in various specialties nationally to discuss best practices in using Aquifer cases with our learners. The majority of the work was done by the amazing Aquifer staff. The webinar itself was fun, the participants enthusiastic, and it left me feeling energized about teaching during this overwhelming time.“

Mandi Sehgal, MD, Cleveland Clinic Weston

Qualifications

Any faculty, course or clerkship directors, program leaders, deans, coordinators, or staff who are actively using Aquifer–or have deep past experience using Aquifer–are encouraged to apply.

Next Steps

Apply to be an author, podcast guest, or webinar presenter by completing the short web form below, telling us about your experience with Aquifer. Our team will be in touch after your submission to confirm the status of your application and upcoming opportunities that fit with your expertise and interests. 

Please contact Karey Waters, Aquifer Communications and Insights Manager, with any questions you may have about the process. We look forward to working with you to help support your peers and share your teaching innovations.


Contributor Application

Note: You will receive an email confirmation when your application submits successfully. If you don’t receive an email confirmation, please resubmit using Google Chrome as your browser, or contact us.

  • In 1-2 sentences (or more), please share how you have implemented Aquifer in your program.

About Aquifer

Aquifer is a non-profit organization dedicated to delivering the best health care education through collaborative development and research into innovative, high-impact virtual teaching and learning methods. With 15 million virtual patient cases completed since its founding in 2006, Aquifer is the leader in developing clinical learning tools for health professions education.

Aquifer Consortium Members Honored by AGS

Aquifer congratulates consortium members Mandi Sehgal, MD, and Becky Powers, MD, AGSH, on their honors presented by the American Geriatrics Society (AGS). 

Dr. Mandi Sehgal: Outstanding Mid-Career Clinician Educator of the Year

Dr. Mandi Sehgal was recently presented with the Outstanding Mid-Career Clinician Educator of The Year Award at the AGS Virtual Annual Meeting. This award recognizes a faculty member for impressive work in geriatrics education. Although she was the 2020 recipient of this award, because of the cancellation of last year’s event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she was awarded her honor at this years meeting. Dr. Sehgal is a geriatric medicine clinician-educator at the Cleveland Clinic Weston. At Aquifer, she serves as the Teaching & Learning Lead, as well as a Case Author on the Aquifer Geriatrics course board.

Dr. Becky Powers: New AGS Fellow

Dr. Becky Powers has been named one of fifteen AGS Fellows – a “select group of experts recognized for their deep commitment to the AGS and to advancing high-quality, person-centered care.” A a clinician educator in the South Texas Veterans Health Care System GRECC, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology, and Palliative Medicine, Dr. Powers is an associate editor on the Aquifer Geriatrics course board.


Aquifer is a thriving, collaborative community of healthcare education leaders deeply committed to driving innovation in teaching and learning. The Aquifer Educators Consortium brings together more than 70 healthcare educators across disciplines to collaborate, innovate, and make advances in health professions education. For educators and healthcare providers, participation in the Consortium offers a unique cross-disciplinary peer community and an exciting opportunity for academic scholarship and advancement.

Integrated Illness Scripts Work Published in Medical Science Educator

Medical Science Educator Logo

Aquifer is excited to share an important new publication in Medical Science Educator:Thinking Slow More Quickly: Development of Integrated Illness Scripts to Support Cognitively Integrated Learning and Improve Clinical Decision-Making. The article is authored by the Aquifer Sciences Leadership Team of Leslie Fall, MD; Robin English, MD; Tracy B. Fulton, PhD; David M. Harris, PhD; Khiet Ngo, DO, MS; James Nixon, MD, MHPE; Jacqueline Hembrook-Short, MA, MS, PhD; and Amy Wilson-Delfosse, PhD.

In this publication, the authors explain the evidence-based, interdisciplinary approach to developing Integrated Illness Scripts and Mechanism of Disease Maps, and outline the benefits of using these new pedagogical tools to improve developing clinical decision-making skills. Integrated Illness Scripts are specifically designed to provide a framework for cognitive integration, creating a new mental model for learners and an opportunity for faculty collaboration. By incorporating Integrated Illness Scripts, a nationally-developed learning tool into instruction, clinical learners are able to improve both inductive and deductive reasoning skills more quickly and accurately diagnose patients. Integrated Illness Scripts were designed by a multi-institutional and multidisciplinary group of leading clinical and basic science educators.

Aquifer’s Integrated Illness Scripts will be available July 1 to Aquifer Curricular Partners. Aquifer Curricular Partners are programs that subscribe to all five subscription-based Aquifer signature courses.


About the Medical Science Educator

This journal offers all who teach in healthcare the most current information to succeed in their task by publishing scholarly activities, opinions, and resources in medical science education. Articles focus on teaching the scientific skills which are fundamental to modern medicine and health, including basic science education, clinical teaching and the incorporation of modern education technologies. The Journal aims to provide its readers with a better understanding of teaching and learning techniques, in order to advance medical science education. The journal is an official peer-reviewed publication of the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE).

About Aquifer

Aquifer is a unique mission-driven non-profit organization dedicated to delivering the best health care education through collaborative development and research into innovative, high-impact virtual teaching and learning methods. With 15 million virtual patient cases completed since its founding in 2006, Aquifer is the leader in developing clinical learning tools for health professions education.

New Cases on Interventional Radiology Coming July 1

Aquifer is excited to announce that two new cases on Interventional Radiology (IR) will be added to the Aquifer Radiology course beginning on July 1, 2021. The new cases, which cover the role of IR and the basics of common problems, are designed to build a foundational understanding of how to use IR as a consultation service, providing valuable knowledge for learners advancing to any specialty.

“IR is at the forefront of modern medicine with increasing interest in and demand for IR services, but it is not a conventional part of the undergraduate medical curriculum. Student exposure to IR is frequently inadequate, as few programs across the country have included fundamentals of incorporating IR in patient care in the curriculum,” said Jeffery Hogg, MD, of West Virginia University and Senior Director of Aquifer Radiology. “Our team is excited to provide these new cases, developed specifically for undergraduate learners to fill this important gap in medical and health professions education.” 

Both of the new cases are focused on IR consultation and the interchange between the referring service and IR service, helping learners understand how IR fits into overall patient care. The first case, Radiology Case 20: Interventional Radiology – Vascular, takes place in a busy hospital-based interventional radiology practice. The team manages different vascular problems in scheduled patients along with unplanned schedule interruptions. Radiology Case 21: Interventional Radiology – Nonvascular, walks the learner through a typical day in the interventional radiology suite, where the learner will assess patients and apply ACR Appropriateness Criteria to determine appropriate nonvascular interventional procedures, and learn basic workup of patients for interventional procedures.

The new cases are applicable to medical students, as well as physician assistant and nurse practitioner students. Teams of medical educators authored and peer-reviewed the new cases, in keeping with Aquifer’s rigorous content development standards. Like all Aquifer signature cases, both Interventional Radiology cases can be added to any custom course and include student progress reporting. Subscribers to Aquifer Radiology will find the new cases accessible from the Aquifer Radiology signature course and the searchable Content Library on July 1, 2021.

Aquifer Radiology Seeks Course Board Member & Case Editor

Make an Impact: Work with Aquifer to Advance Medical Education

Aquifer—a unique non-profit organization dedicated to advancing healthcare education—is now accepting applications for two key positions supporting the Aquifer Radiology course.


Our Reach

Working with Aquifer, your work will make a big impact on medical and health professions education. Aquifer’s virtual patient cases are used in 97% of U.S. allopathic medical schools, 66% of osteopathic medical schools, and a growing number of health professions programs.

Aquifer Radiology is used by 215 programs, including medical schools, physician assistant, and nurse practitioner programs.


Open Positions

Aquifer Radiology Course Board: Teaching & Learning Lead

This position is part of the interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning Working Group and Aquifer Radiology Course Board. The Teaching & Learning Group is a unique interdisciplinary team with representatives from each Aquifer course that works to maintain and develop teaching resources, innovative pedagogies, and share approaches and participate in outreach to improve the integration of Aquifer across medical and health professions education. This position is part of the Aquifer Educators Consortium and has a one year period of service with renewable terms. 

This position is open to any educator who meets the following qualifications:

  • Member of AUR and AMSER
  • Experience using Aquifer courses in a direct role as course, clerkship, or curriculum director

The Aquifer Teaching and Learning (T&L) Lead ensures that Educators who use Aquifer in their specified discipline have up-to-date teaching materials and a clear understanding of how to use them to enhance student learning. 

Overall Activities and Responsibilities:

  • Educator Resources:
    • Oversee the review and updating of course-specific teaching materials 
    • Identify and support the development of new educator resources as appropriate
  • Along with the Aquifer Radiology Senior Director, serve as a liaison between your course board and the relevant National Organization to: 
    • Facilitate implementation of engagement approaches at national specialty organization meetings (workshops, presentations, booths, informal social gatherings etc).
  • Participate in Aquifer outreach activities that facilitate educator collaboration beyond traditional specialty silos to enhance medical student education. Activities might include: 
    • Presentations of workshops at regional and national meetings,
    • Podcasts, webinars and workshops about using Aquifer Radiology 
    • Exploratory discussions with faculty and students locally/regionally/nationally.
  • Develop expertise about effective integration of online learning and assessment tools.
  • Participate in Aquifer Course board calls.
  • Participate in T&L working group calls.
  • Participate in T&L integration/engagement projects (as interest and need dictates).
  • Attend the Aquifer annual meeting.

Aquifer’s Responsibilities to Teaching and Learning Leads 

  1. Provide materials, guidance and support for continuous course and educator resource improvement.
  2. Provide support for the Teaching and Learning Working Group Meetings.
  3. Provide support for attendance at the Aquifer Annual Meeting (Wellspring)
  4. Provide support and guidance for continuous course and educator resource improvement processes.
  5. Provide annual a letter acknowledging leadership and scholarly contributions to Aquifer and its mission (if desired).

Term

The period of service is one year, with renewable terms at the discretion of the Aquifer Radiology Senior Director and Aquifer Chief Academic Officer.

Case Editor: Aquifer Radiology 18 – Professionalism in Radiology

The Case Editor position involves a review of Aquifer Radiology Case 18: Professionalism in Radiology. This case offers unique content that helps learners  increase their awareness of the crucial influence their own professionalism exerts within systems of practice. The content prepares learners for skills and attitudes they will need to thrive in fulfilling their future ACGME Professionalism milestones as residents. Case reviews occur as part of Aquifer’s Continuous Case Improvement (CCI) process once every 18-months, in collaboration with the Associate Editor for that case from the Aquifer Radiology Course Board. Essentially, the Case Editor brings up-to-date, high level content expertise, ensures that all references and external links to resources remain relevant, correct, and current. Each online case takes about 45 minutes for students to complete, to give you an idea about the size of the task. This work is very well supported by the Aquifer Radiology Production team.

As a case editor, you would use your extensive experience and training to review virtual patient cases that address specific learning objectives. These scenarios are used in the training of medical students and other health professionals.

Your participation would require:

  • Going through a brief training.
  • Providing feedback on the quality of the case, its authenticity, and other aspects of the experience as you review it, ensuring that the content, clinical reasoning, and pedagogy within the case are current, reflective of standard practice and of the national curriculum objectives, and at the appropriate level for a core clerkship student.
  • Documenting any errors, broken links, or other changes needed.
  • At the completion of your review, discussing your review with an associate editor via a Zoom call or email, and responding to their questions and suggestions..

Aquifer will provide a detailed letter for your educator’s portfolio and recognition of your contribution on our website.

Application Process

The Aquifer Radiology Course Board will welcome your expression of interest. Please write to Aquifer Radiology Senior Director, Dr. Jeff Hogg ([email protected]) with AQUIFER RECRUITMENT in the subject line if you are interested in either of these positions.

We look forward to working with you to better serve the needs of radiology educators and students.

Sincerely, 

The Aquifer Radiology Course Board

  • Jeffery Hogg, MD; Senior Director (West Virginia University)
  • Pauline Germaine, DO; Curriculum Lead (Rowan University)
  • Jennifer Koay White, MD; Associate Editor (West Virginia University)
  • Matthew Miller, MD; Associate Editor (Allegheny Health Network)
  • Melissa Manzer, MD; Associate Editor (University of Nebraska)
  • Siddhartha Gaddamanugu, MD; Assessment Lead (University of Alabama, Birmingham)

Research Letter: Teaching Geriatrics During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Consortium Members Publish “Teaching geriatrics during the COVID-19 pandemic: Aquifer Geriatrics to the rescue”

Aquifer congratulates Ravishankar Ramaswamy, MD, Amit A. Shah, MD, Kathryn M. Denson, MD, Mandi Sehgal, MD, Quratulain Syed, MD, Becky B. Powers, MD, Andrea Wershof Schwartz, MD, MPH, Rosanne M. Leipzig, MD, PhD, and Lauren J. Gleason, MD, MPH on their recent publication of their research letter Teaching geriatrics during the COVID-19 pandemic: Aquifer Geriatrics to the rescuein the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

“When many institutions transitioned to online learning during the height of the pandemic, Aquifer Geriatrics came to the rescue and provided an engaging way to fill the void of in-person teaching.”

The authors investigate how the use of Aquifer Geriatrics grew exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among Nurse Practitioner and Physician’s Assistant programs, and how programs continued to subscribe to Aquifer Geriatrics after the ending of the grant-funding period. Furthermore, the authors note that learner satisfaction grew from pre-pandemic levels, through the grant-funded period, to the subscription-based access period. The full article can be accessed here.


About the American Geriatrics Society

Founded in 1942, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) is a nationwide, not-for-profit society of geriatrics healthcare professionals that has—for more than 75 years—worked to improve the health, independence, and quality of life of older people. Its nearly 6,000 members include geriatricians, geriatric nurses, social workers, family practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, and internists. The Society provides leadership to healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the public by implementing and advocating for programs in patient care, research, professional and public education, and public policy. For more information, visit AmericanGeriatrics.org.

About Aquifer

Aquifer is a unique mission-driven non-profit organization dedicated to delivering the best health care education through collaborative development and research into innovative, high-impact virtual teaching and learning methods. With 15 million virtual patient cases completed since its founding in 2006, Aquifer is the leader in developing clinical learning tools for health professions education.

Call for Participation: Aquifer Osteopathic Task Force

Make an Impact: Work with Aquifer to Advance Medical Education

Aquifer—a unique non-profit organization dedicated to advancing healthcare education—is inviting osteopathic physicians to join the 2021 Osteopathic Task Force. The goal of this Task Force is to amplify the voice, interests, and experiences of osteopathic medical educators to Aquifer, and to participate in the review and development of teaching tools for osteopathic educators using Aquifer courses.

With 15 million virtual patient cases completed since our founding in 2006, Aquifer is the leader in developing clinical learning tools for medical and health professions education. Aquifer needs your help ensuring that our learning tools meet the needs of osteopathic physician educators. 


Our Reach

Working with Aquifer, your work will make a big impact on osteopathic medical education. Aquifer’s trusted, rigorous clinical learning tools are used in 66% of U.S. osteopathic medical schools.


Aquifer Osteopathic Task Force Details

Why: To further develop Aquifer’s teaching and learning resources as a valuable tool for osteopathic medical educators.

Who: This is an open invitation to all osteopathic educators who use Aquifer courses. The group will be supported by Aquifer staff and led by:

  • Erik Langenau, DO, MS, FAAP, FACOP
    Chief Academic Technology Officer, Dept of Professional Development and Online Learning
    Pediatrician, Dept of Family Medicine
    Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
    Aquifer Teaching & Learning Co-Lead for Osteopathic Education
  • Barbara Capozzi, DO, CNS
    Clinical Dean
    Clinical Education Department
    Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine- Harlem
    Aquifer Teaching & Learning Co-Lead for Osteopathic Education
  • Sherilyn Smith, MD
    Chief Academic Officer, Aquifer
    Professor of Pediatrics
    University of Washington School of Medicine

What: The Aquifer Osteopathic Task Force will:

  • Develop and review faculty materials to support the use of Aquifer cases in the osteopathic curriculum
  • Provide input to Aquifer leadership regarding the priorities and unique needs of osteopathic programs

When: The Task Force will work actively for approximately 6 months, with work starting in late spring 2021. Work will include:

  • Monthly video conference calls
  • Working offline on prioritized projects, with work reviewed by the group on monthly calls

If you are interested in joining or learning more about the Osteopathic Task Force, please complete this short application (by May 14, 2021).  

We look forward to working with you to better serve the needs of osteopathic educators and students.

Jen Bierman, MD Honored by CDIM

Aquifer congratulates Jennifer Bierman, MD, Aquifer Student Engagement Co-Lead, on receiving the Louis N. Pangaro, MD Educational Program Development Award. This award, presented by the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine (CDIM) at their Annual Meeting, recognizes a CDIM member who has contributed to the development of an outstanding educational program. CDIM is a member organization of the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM).

Dr. Jennifer Bierman is receiving this award based on her extensive work integrating interprofessional and online learning related to electronic health records. Her award nomination states that she “successfully led a team to pilot a case in this format and is now creating a library of cases demonstrating different medical specialty and health professions interactions with the electronic health record. Implementation of this project is ongoing but [Dr. Bierman] has created a team who is committed to the dissemination of their findings.”

At the Northwestern University Feinstein School for Medicine, Dr. Bierman serves as Associate Professor of Medicine and Medicine Education and Clerkship Director ECMH (Education Centered Medical Home). A member of CDIM since 2005, Dr. Bierman is a former member of the CDIM Program Planning Committee and has presented multiple plenary and workshop sessions at Alliance conferences. She earned her MD from the University of Minnesota Medical School and completed her residency in internal medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

At Aquifer, Dr. Bierman is Student Engagement Co-Lead, where she works with the Aquifer Student Advisory Group, a group of medical and health professions students that provide essential feedback on Aquifer’s learning tools. She is also a past member of the Aquifer Internal Medicine Course Board and case author. All of us at Aquifer congratulate Dr. Bierman on this important national honor.

 


Aquifer is a thriving, collaborative community of healthcare education leaders deeply committed to driving innovation in teaching and learning. The Aquifer Educators Consortium brings together more than 70 healthcare educators across disciplines to collaborate, innovate, and make advances in health professions education. For educators and healthcare providers, participation in the Consortium offers a unique cross-disciplinary peer community and an exciting opportunity for academic scholarship and advancement.

Aquifer Launching New Social Determinants of Health Cases

Aquifer is pleased to announce the upcoming release of our new Social Determinants of Health Course on July 1, 2021. This course will include an overview module and two virtual patient cases to be available free of charge to all teachers and learners, whether or not they subscribe to Aquifer. We are proud to provide universal access to content focusing on this critically important topic in health care education.

As the leading provider of online health professions education teaching and learning tools, Aquifer is dedicated to ensuring that our educational materials do not perpetuate stereotypes in healthcare and education and that our courses incorporate continuous review and contemporary teaching about social determinants of health. The launch of this new course content is one step in advancing learning explicitly related to these topics in our content library.

As of our July 1, 2021 launch, the Aquifer Social Determinants of Health includes three modules:

  • Overview module with general information on social determinants of health and definitions
  • Two virtual patient cases illustrating the impact of language and poverty as social determinants of health. Although both cases cover pediatric patients, the topics and communication skills taught are applicable to patients of all ages. 

Programs with a current Aquifer subscription will also have access to an accompanying educator guide with learning objectives and a new active learning module, providing a ready-to-use optional classroom activity to be used in conjunction with the cases. Subscribers will also be able to view student progress reporting and add the new cases to a custom course. This course, like all Aquifer content, is evidence-based, peer-reviewed, and will be continuously updated.

From Culture in Healthcare to Social Determinants of Health

Aquifer’s previous Culture in Healthcare course was retired on October 22, 2020, in order to thoroughly update the content and teaching about bias, health inequities, and healthcare outcomes. The Aquifer Social Determinants of Health Course builds on reframed versions of two former Culture in Healthcare cases. Cases have been revised to remove language and content related to cultural competency, and thoroughly reviewed to eliminate bias and stereotyping. The shorter, reformatted cases do retain the reflective components that were a part of the original Culture in Health cases.

Programs that requested special access to Aquifer Culture in Healthcare to complete their coursework have access to the archived course through June 30, 2021. As of July 1, the new Social Determinants of Health course will be available as a contemporary replacement for all teachers and learners. If you are currently using Aquifer Culture in Healthcare, please be sure to download any case completion reports that you need for those cases prior to June 30. For more details, view our side-by-side learning objectives comparison for Aquifer Culture in Healthcare and Social Determinants of health.

Commitment to Equity & Inclusion

Following a thorough review of all existing Aquifer cases according to our peer-reviewed and published criteria, our cases continue to be regularly reviewed based on these principles by teams of medical educators, with an eye toward optimizing this process to further ensure that current best practices are consistently integrated across our course library.

Aquifer looks forward to advancing this work and continuing to support faculty and students with contemporary, inclusive teaching resources.

Aquifer Palliative Care Team Seeks Stakeholder Input

The Aquifer Palliative Care Leadership Team is moving forward with the work to create new curricular content about palliative care with the support of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.

Right now, this interdisciplinary team of experts from across the fields of medicine, nursing, and social work are actively working on creating a palliative care curriculum for all health professions students. The next step will be creating a new Aquifer course.

Invitation for Feedback: Faculty & Program Leadership

In order to advance this work, the team is seeking feedback from a range of stakeholders that will inform the direction of the work on this project.

At this stage, they are seeking feedback from all medical school and health professions educators in the following roles:

  • Teaching faculty
  • Course or clerkship directors
  • Deans
  • Program Directors

Input from these educators will guide the work of forming the curriculum, learning objectives, and instructional approach for the new content.

Survey

All educators in any of the roles listed above are invited to take 5-10 minutes to complete the Palliative Care in Medical & Health Professions Education survey. The survey will be open from February 23 to March 3.

Focus Groups

The Aquifer Palliative Care Leadership Team will hold several focus group discussions about palliative care in medical and health professions education. The feedback from these discussions will augment the survey data to help inform the project work.

Focus Groups are currently full.

Aquifer Palliative Care Leadership Team

Academic Lead: Mandi Sehgal, MD; Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine/Cleveland Clinic

Aquifer Lead: Sherilyn Smith, MD; Aquifer, University of Washington

Team Members:

  • Brynn Bowman, MPA; Center to Advance Palliative Care
  • Karen Bullock, PhD, LCSW, APHSW-C; North Carolina State University
  • Rebecca Edwards, DNP, APRN, ACNP, AOCNP, ACHPN; University of Alabama
  • Susan Merel, MD; University of Washington
  • Kristen Schaefer, MD, FAAPM; Care Dimensions
  • Barbara Reville, DNP, ANP-BC, ACHPN; Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care
  • Paul Tatum, MD; University of Texas at Austin-Dell Medical School