Connect with Aquifer at the IAMSE Conference in Minneapolis

Aquifer is attending the annual International Association of Medical Science Educators in Minneapolis June 15-18.

Stop by our table near the general session ballroom to learn more about the Aquifer Sciences Initiative by chatting with CEO and Founder Leslie Fall, M.D.; Curriculum Integration Specialist Joseph Miller, Ph.D.;  and Academics & Sciences Manager Jaqueline Short, Ph.D.

We’re excited to walk you through how we approach AI, recent improvements to user experiences, and upcoming offerings of an Obstetrics and Gynecology case set and student self-assessment tool PracticeSmart.

Come by to explore ways your peers leverage Aquifer to:

  • Create courses targeting specific learning experiences
  • Leverage Aquifer through all years of health professions education
  • Integrate basic sciences with clinical experiences
  • Improve remediation, feedback, and coaching

Thank you to our Aquifer Educators Consortium Sciences Contributors for their work on the initiative.

Updated WISE-OnCall Oliguria Module Now Available

The WISE Program team is proud to announce the release of the updated WISE-OnCall Oliguria module to reflect the evolving advances in the understanding of the condition and nuances to the approach of diagnosing and treating patients with oliguria. The team created an additional practice case to supplement the existing cases and enhance the preparation of learners for their on-call experiences. Additionally, two sections, Physiology and Management, have been added in an effort to make information more digestible and easier to find.

WISE On-Call Updated Oliguria Module

The module was revised by Dr. Qandeel Soomro, a board-certified nephrologist, as part of our ongoing process to review content consistently and update as needed. If you are interested in collaborating with WISE as a subject expert, please reach out to at wise@nyulangone.org. Rigorous review processes will be conducted for both our WISE-OnCall and WISE-MD (Surgery) modules.

Aquifer to release revamped landing pages March 19

Aquifer is excited to announce the rollout of new Aqueduct landing pages designed to improve user experience and streamline access to expert content, tools and reports.

The new landing pages are a result of Aquifer’s ongoing commitment to improving user satisfaction and student learning.

Key features:

  • Responsiveness. When resizing your browser window, the landing pages will adjust to fit your screen.
  • Improved organization. The updated layout ensures tools and resources are prominently displayed and readily accessible, empowering users to make the most of the platform’s offerings.
  • Clean design. The fresh look greets users with an inviting interface that encourages exploration and interaction.

With a focus on organization, navigation and aesthetic appeal, the landing pages make using the platform easier.

Take a tour 

The redesign does mean the way you move through Aqueduct will change. We created two short videos, one for educators and one for students, to explain. 

For Faculty:

For Students:

The revamped landing pages reaffirm our dedication to providing the best online clinical learning resources for medical and health professions teachers and learners.

Apply to the Calibrate for Neurology Pilot Program

Partner with Aquifer in the pilot program on Calibrate for Neurology and help drive the future of formative assessments. Participants will inform optimizations before this tool rolls out to a larger audience, all while promoting students’ self-directed learning and better understanding cohorts’ needs.

Calibrate Value

Calibrate empowers students to study smarter, not just harder. It identifies subjects in need of targeted review, creates individualized study plans for students, and links directly to relevant cases.

For Educators

Calibrate for Neurology provides a structured way to support accreditation standards. It identifies curricular gaps within and across cohorts—as well as individual students in need of remediation or coaching. It also provides data and insights for coaching sessions.

For Students

Students face competing time demands. Calibrate for Neurology turbocharges their study time by highlighting areas in need of extra review—with a suggested study guide created just for them. This enables self-directed, test-enhanced learning with spaced repetition.

Requirements

  • Programs must either be curricular partners or subscribed to Neurology
  • Programs must agree to respond to feedback surveys
  • It is recommended that students in participating programs:
    • complete an early Calibrate assessment within the first two weeks of the clerkship/course; and
    • complete a late Calibrate assessment (recommended in the last two weeks of the clerkship/course).

Administration Notes

  • Each assessment takes about 30 minutes to complete.
  • Proctoring is not required. Faculty can schedule assessments directly for groups of students in the dashboard, making the assessment available for up to seven days; students complete the assessment on their own time.
  • Students and faculty will have immediate access to results reports after completing assessments.

Note: Application to the Calibrate Pilot program must be submitted by the Aquifer Program Services Administrator (PSA) at your institution. This is the single point of contact at your institution who manages your subscription. If you are unsure who this is, please reach out to exams@aquifer.org.

Aquifer Medical Home to Retire June 30, 2024

Aquifer is committed to providing contemporary teaching in all aspects of healthcare.

Our team of medical educators has determined that Aquifer Medical Home cases no longer represent the complex topics critical to the effective delivery of care within the medical home model.

Therefore, Aquifer Medical Home will retire permanently on June 30, 2024.

Suggested Next Steps:

  • Update your curriculum and syllabus as needed
  • Share this news with students or faculty as appropriate
  • Download any course reports with student log data related to use of this course before June 30, 2024.

Thank you for your support of Aquifer. We remain committed to providing expert, current content and to our mission of delivering the best health care education through collaborative development and research into innovative, high-impact virtual teaching and learning methods.

Visit Aquifer at the 2024 STFM Conference on Medical Student Education

Connect with Aquifer at the 2024 Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) Conference on Medical Student Education.

Stop by our table to test your knowledge, win prizes, and visit with CEO Leslie Fall, MD, Account, Sales Success Manager Daniel Statter, MS, and the Family Medicine Course Board.

We are excited to announce two presentations will focus on ways to leverage Aquifer content in your courses.

How to Easily Make Your Clinical Cases More Inclusive and Representative

  • When: Feb. 9, 3:15-4:45 p.m.
  • Where: Room A602
  • Presented by Becca Cantone, MD, Oregon Health & Science University, Associate Professor of Family Medicine, Aquifer, Associate Editor, and Jordan White, MD, MPH, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Medical Science.

Empowering Students Through Formative Assessment and Coaching (For Students)

  • When: Feb. 10, 1-2 p.m.
  • Where: Rooms L504-L505
  • Presented by: Elizabeth Brown, MD, MPH, IBCLC, University of Rochester, Associate Professor, Aquifer, Adoption & Use Team Lead; Wendy Biggs, MD, Central Michigan University College of Medicine, Professor and Aquifer, Associate Editor; and Amanda Allmon, MD, University of Missouri, Associate Professor.

Come by to explore ways your peers leverage Aquifer to:

  • Focus student learning with Calibrate Formative Assessments
  • Encourage targeted studying with the upcoming PracticeSmart self-assessment question bank
  • Build learners’ core clinical skills with Clinical Excellence and Embedded Curricular Threads
  • Improve remediation, feedback, and coaching

Thank you to our Family Medicine Course Board for their work on Aquifer Family Medicine.

New Aquifer OB/GYN Case Set Publishing July 2024

Aquifer is pleased to share exciting news––the development of an Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) course. This endeavor is part of our ongoing commitment to providing comprehensive curriculum coverage for health professions education.

This initiative is a collaborative effort with national experts in OB/GYN. These experts have joined forces with Aquifer as case authors, contributing their wealth of knowledge and experience to shape a curriculum that reflects the evolving landscape of obstetrics and gynecology.

Dr. Emily Stewart, Aquifer’s Chief Curriculum Officer, sheds light on the decision to create the OB/GYN course. In her words,

“Schools recognize the importance of Aquifer cases as a critical component of health professions education comprehensive curriculum, and educators at these schools are seeking more cases in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Aquifer’s goal is to ensure cases are available in all the core rotations for health professions students to experience.”

Aquifer will release an initial set of OB/GYN cases in July 2024, with more publishing on a rolling basis. The course will culminate with a total of more than 20 cases.

For the 2024-25 academic year, only Curricular Partners will have access to the case set.

These cases, carefully chosen and developed by national experts in obstetrics and gynecology, cover a range of topics vital to a holistic understanding of the subject. Some topics include:

  • Uncomplicated pregnancy and induction of labor
  • Cesarean delivery
  • Postpartum endometritis
  • Chronic hypertension in pregnancy
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Menopause
  • Twin pregnancy following IVF
  • Infertility
  • Diabetes in pregnancy
  • Human Sexuality

If you have questions regarding your Aquifer subscription and if your institution is a Curricular Partner, please send us an email at subscriptions@aquifer.org.

Aquifer Psychiatry: Editor in Chief Call to Action

Make an Impact: Work with Aquifer to Advance Medical Education

Aquifer—a unique non-profit organization dedicated to advancing healthcare education— is recruiting new applications to join our Aquifer Consortium as an associate editor on the Pediatrics board. To achieve Aquifer’s goal of comprehensive curriculum coverage, we are looking for professionals who will enhance cases focused on clinical reasoning in Pediatrics.

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.


Call to Action

To achieve Aquifer’s goal of comprehensive curriculum coverage, we are creating a new course in Psychiatry.

As part of this effort, Aquifer is recruiting Editor(s) in Chief for the development of the Aquifer Psychiatry Course. The Editor(s) in Chief of new Aquifer courses oversees the work of case authors and ensures that the content is accurate, up to date, and appropriate for the intended audience of health professions students. The Editor(s) in Chief collaborates with appropriate Aquifer staff and reports to the Chief Curriculum Officer.


Timeline

This role will start in April 2024, with the new course anticipated to be released in July 2025. The effort itself will require specific time and duties depending on the tasks of the Editor(s) in Chief, as detailed below, though we will adjust the schedule based on availability.

Application Requirements Include:

  • Being actively engaged in MD/DO/NP/PA student education in Psychiatry.
  • Being a subject matter expert related to the case content and able to commit to the timeline.

Editor(s) In Chief Expectations:

  • To work with Aquifer staff to recruit all academic contributors needed to create the curriculum.
  • To assign cases to appropriate contributors.
  • To provide guidance to contributors on the learning objectives that should be addressed in each case.
  • To review drafts of each case and provide feedback to contributors on their work.
  • To ensure that the final version of each case aligns with the learning objectives of the case, including adding and editing content as needed.
  • To ensure that the curriculum as a whole covers the needed range of topics and clinical scenarios.
  • To collaborate with Aquifer staff to create relevant educator resources.
  • To collaborate with Aquifer staff on communications to publicize the content.

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

If you are interested, please email Emily Stewart, MD, Aquifer’s Chief Curriculum Officer, at Emily.Stewart@Aquifer.org to answer your questions.

Call for Participation: Aquifer Pediatrics Associate Editors

Make an Impact: Work with Aquifer to Advance Medical Education

Aquifer—a unique non-profit organization dedicated to advancing healthcare education— is recruiting new applications to join our Aquifer Consortium as an associate editor on the Pediatrics board. To achieve Aquifer’s goal of comprehensive curriculum coverage, we are looking for professionals who will enhance cases focused on clinical reasoning in Pediatrics.

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.


Timeline

This effort will take place from March 2023 through June 2025 with an option for renewal, beginning in July 2026, for the subsequent academic year.

Application Requirements

  • Actively engaged in MD/DO/NP/PA student education in Pediatrics
  • Possess subject matter expertise related to the case content and able to commit to the proposed timeline.

Associate Editor Role

  • Responsible for the review of content to ensure it is accurate, up to date, and realistic and reflects best practices
  • Complete training as needed to participate in content review and other related processes
  • Provide strategic input into the content review process
  • Participate in research and innovation projects
  • Work closely with the Editors-in-Chief and Curriculum Specialists assigned to the Pediatrics Board
  • Attend and participate in monthly Pediatrics course board meetings
  • Attend and participate in the Aquifer Annual Wellspring Meeting (October 16th – 19th, 2024)
  • Serve as an Aquifer ambassador by contributing to scholarship and/or peer-to-peer engagement opportunities related to Aquifer work.
  • Maintain confidentiality about the content as necessary to preserve the full value of discovery for learners entering the case for the first time

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

If you are interested, please apply below! You can also email Jenne Patterson, Aquifer’s Strategic Assistant to the Chief Curriculum Officer, at jenne.patterson@aquifer.org to answer your questions.

  • Accepted file types: pdf, doc, docx, Max. file size: 256 MB.
  • Diversity Statement

    Our organization strongly values diversity and the inclusion of people from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, recognizing that such diversity will enrich our culture and strengthen our ability to fulfill our organization’s mission.
  • EEO Statement

    Aquifer is an equal opportunity employer and makes all employment decisions on the basis of merit, qualifications, and abilities. Aquifer, Inc will recruit, hire, train, and promote in all job titles, including interns, apprentices, and volunteers, without regard to unlawful considerations of race, religion, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition including medical characteristics, marital status or any other classification protected by applicable local, state or federal laws.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Aquifer at AAMC 2023

Join Aquifer at the 2023 AAMC National Meeting

Connect with Aquifer at the 2023 Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) National Meeting in Seattle Nov. 3-7.

Stop by Booth 610 to visit with CEO Leslie Fall, MD; Consortium President Steve Scott, MD, MPH; Chief Curriculum Officer Emily Stewart, MD; Relationship Manager Cate Hancock; and Marketing Manager Emily Hatton.

We are excited to discuss updates to courses, assessments, and the Aqueduct interface.

Come by to explore ways your peers leverage Aquifer to:

  • Focus student learning with Calibrate Formative Assessment
  • Build learners’ core clinical skills with Clinical Excellence and Embedded Curricular Threads
  • Integrate cases and curricula with Academic Support Services
  • Prepare clinicians to spot increasingly prevalent Neurological disorders
  • Improve remediation, feedback, and coaching

About Aquifer

Aquifer is a mission-driven nonprofit dedicated to delivering the best health care education by targeting deep learning. Aquifer is used by a growing number of physician assistant programs, 96% of U.S. allopathic medical schools, 2/3 of U.S. osteopathic medical schools, and nurse practitioner and international programs.

Call for Participation: Aquifer OB/GYN Case Authors

Make an Impact: Work with Aquifer to Advance Medical Education

Aquifer—a unique non-profit organization dedicated to advancing healthcare education— is recruiting case authors. To achieve Aquifer’s goal of comprehensive curriculum coverage, we are creating a new course on OB/GYN. As part of this effort, Aquifer is recruiting case authors who will develop patient cases focused on clinical reasoning in OB/GYN.

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.


Timeline

This effort will take place from December 2023 through February 2024. The effort itself will require specific time and duties depending on the tasks of the authors, as detailed below, though we will adjust the schedule based on the authors’ availability.

Application Requirements

  • being actively engaged in MD/DO/NP/PA student education in OB/GYN.
  • being a subject matter expert related to the case content and able to commit to the timeline.

Case Author Role

  • Case Authors will be tasked with authoring a minimum of one (1) case.
  • Time commitment is expected to be approximately 20 hours per case.
  • Case authorship is scheduled to run from approximately December 2023 through February 2024. Dates of actual writing during these 3-4 months can be adjusted as needed.
  • The case-writing process includes going through a brief training course, attending a one-hour orientation via Zoom, writing an initial draft, responding to edits from one of the editors-in-chief of the course, and returning a final draft.

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

If you are interested, please apply below! You can also email Jenne Patterson, Aquifer’s Strategic Assistant to the Chief Curriculum Officer, at jenne.patterson@aquifer.org to answer your questions.

Aquifer OB/GYN Authors Application

  • Accepted file types: pdf, doc, docx, Max. file size: 256 MB.
  • Diversity Statement

    Our organization strongly values diversity and the inclusion of people from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, recognizing that such diversity will enrich our culture and strengthen our ability to fulfill our organization’s mission.
  • EEO Statement

    Aquifer is an equal opportunity employer and makes all employment decisions on the basis of merit, qualifications, and abilities. Aquifer, Inc will recruit, hire, train, and promote in all job titles, including interns, apprentices, and volunteers, without regard to unlawful considerations of race, religion, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition including medical characteristics, marital status or any other classification protected by applicable local, state or federal laws.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Aquifer Roles and Permissions Changes for November 2023

Aquifer roles and permissions are changing to better protect student data and information, resulting in a more efficient and FERPA-compliant administrative experience.

These changes affect users in three existing roles:

  • Course Managers
  • Course Administrators
  • Program Service Administrators

Changes

  • New Roles
    • Lead Course Administrator (released July 1, 2023): The Lead Course Administrator (LCA) role was created to provide targeted access to student data in Aquifer Signature Course Reports, Aquifer Calibrate Formative assessments, and related reports. Up to three LCAs may be assigned per Aquifer Signature Course. On Nov. 13, Program Service Administrators (PSAs) will be assigned the Lead Course Administrator (LCA) role for any Aquifer Signature Courses that do not already have an LCA in place.
    • Custom Course Manager (released October 18, 2023): The Custom Course Manager role was created to provide targeted access to Course Reports associated with Custom Courses. Custom Course managers will be able to manage users and access Course Reports with student data for only the custom courses to which they are assigned.
  • Retired Roles:
    • On Nov. 13, the Course Manager and Course Administrator roles will be retired. Course Managers and Course Administrators previously had access to student data in Course Reports across all Aquifer Signature and Custom Courses. Any users in these roles automatically will be re-assigned as Custom Course Managers.

Program Service Administrators, Curriculum Administrators and Lead Course Administrators will retain their current access to Calibrate, as well as all program, course, and case reports.

The New Roles

Custom Course Managers: 

  • Can create custom courses.
  • Can access Course Reports for their custom courses.
  • Can assign students to their custom course(s).
  • Can manage the assignment of other Custom Course Managers or Teachers to their custom course(s).
  • Cannot access Signature Course student log data or the Calibrate Assessments tab.

Lead Course Administrators:

  • Can access Calibrate Assessments tab, including set up and reporting, for the courses to which they’re assigned.
  • Can access Signature Course Course Reports for the courses to which they’re assigned.
  • Can manage the assignment of other Custom Course Managers or Teachers to their custom course(s).

Aquifer Signature Courses vs. Custom Courses Explained

Aquifer Signature Courses are the pre-packaged courses that come with your subscription. They may include:

  • Aquifer Family Medicine
  • Aquifer Geriatrics
  • Aquifer Internal Medicine
  • Aquifer Neurology 
  • Aquifer Pediatrics
  • Aquifer Radiology
  • Aquifer Clinical Excellence Case Sets 
    • Diagnostic Excellence, High Value Care, Palliative Care, Social Determinants of Health, and Trauma Informed Care
  • Aquifer Integrated Illness Scripts

Aquifer Calibrate Formative Assessments are available and included with subscriptions for Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Radiology. 

Custom Courses are customized sets of cases and/or integrated illness scripts assigned to a specific group of students. Custom courses allow you to: 

  • Fit cases and integrated illness scripts into your curriculum exactly,
  • Create tailored assignments and 
  • View targeted student use reports.

What This Means for Your Institution

Program Service Administrators and/or Curriculum Administrators should review user roles and permissions to ensure all users’ roles offer proper access.

  • Faculty and administrators who need access to Course Reports and/or Calibrate Formative Assessments for Aquifer Signature Courses should be assigned as a Lead Course Administrators.
  • Faculty and administrators who need access to Course Reports for Custom Courses should be assigned as a Custom Course Managers.
  • There is a limit of three Lead Course Administrators per Aquifer Signature Course.

Still have questions?

Contact us and we will be in touch to walk you through the changes.

About Aquifer

Aquifer is a mission-driven nonprofit dedicated to delivering the best health professions education by targeting deep learning. Aquifer is used by 96% of U.S. allopathic medical schools, 66% of U.S. osteopathic medical schools, and a growing number of PA, nurse practitioner, and international programs.

Aquifer at PAEA 2023

Three PAEA Education Forum ’23 presentations to feature Aquifer Educators Consortium members

Connect with Aquifer at the 2023 PA Education Association (PAEA) Education Forum in New Orleans Oct. 11-14, where three presentations will feature Aquifer Educators Consortium members.

“Supercharge Your Curriculum: Showcasing Virtual Cases, Microlearning and Technology Gems,” will be presented by Aquifer PA affinity group members Elisabeth Shell, PhD, PA-C of Baylor University and Darcie Larimore-Arenas, MSPAS, MPH, PA-C, of Touro University California.

Larimore-Arenas also will present “Cognitive Bias: How Do We Rethink How We Think?” and “Community Outreach Through Grant Funded Activities.”

Be sure to stop by Booth 513 to visit with Cynthia Booth Lord, MHS, PA-C, and Cate Hancock, Aquifer Relationship Manager, to learn how Aquifer can support your program with accreditation, coaching, deep student learning, and more.

Come learn about ways your peers leverage Aquifer to:

  • Meet accreditation standards
  • Support the student clinical learning experience
  • Enhance didactics
  • Improve remediation, feedback, and coaching
  • Cover hard-to-teach subjects

Aquifer PA Affinity Group

The Aquifer PA Affinity Group is a dedicated group of PA members of the Aquifer Educators Consortium who bring the voice, interests, and experiences of the PA educators to Aquifer and work to develop educator tools and training materials to support PA programs using Aquifer.

  • Cynthia Booth Lord, MHS, PA-C
  • Craig Baillie, MSPAS., PA-C, Johnson and Wales University
  • Beth Buyea, DHSc, PA-C, Tufts University School of Medicine
  • Kelsey Dougherty, MMSc, PA-C, University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Jennifer Grumet, MD, Chapman University
  • Darcie Larimore-Arenas, MSPAS, MPH, PA-C, Touro University California
  • Sandy Narciso-Owen, MS, MSPAS, PA-C, Sacred Heart University Physician Assistant Studies Program
  • Elisabeth Shell, PhD, MPAS, PA-C, Baylor College of Medicine Physician Assistant Program

About Aquifer

Aquifer is a mission-driven nonprofit dedicated to delivering the best health care education by targeting deep learning. Aquifer is used by a growing number of physician assistant programs, 96% of U.S. allopathic medical schools, 2/3 of U.S. osteopathic medical schools, and nurse practitioner and international programs.

Call for Participation: NP Student Advisory Group

Aquifer-Student-Advisory-Group

NP Students: Join Us to Make an Impact

Aquifer is excited to announce an opportunity to join a national board of NP and DNP students tasked with providing critical feedback on the development of Aquifer’s learning tools.

Aquifer relies on our Student Advisory Groups to bring their voices and insights to help us support learners by developing the best possible tools for clinical learning.

Aquifer—a unique non-profit organization—makes a big impact on medical and health professions education. Used in a growing number of nurse practitioner and physician assistant programs and 92% of U.S. allopathic medical schools—with over 15 million virtual patient cases completed since our founding in 2006—Aquifer is a leader in clinical learning.

Help us build the best possible tools to advance your clinical learning

Aquifer is in the process of developing new assessments, dashboards, interface upgrades, and other learning tools. Student feedback and ideas are needed to ensure that our solutions provide the most value to students.

Selected students will be invited to preview and provide honest, constructive feedback on Aquifer’s new developing learning tools, designed to be used in medical and health professions programs nationwide. Feedback from this group will be used to optimize the technology and content in our tools.

Benefits of Participation

Boost your skill set (and resume) by working closely with educators and expert staff for a leading learning tool in health professions education. Group members will evaluate and analyze each learning tool or project, providing meaningful feedback and ideas that will drive the development of nationally used learning tools.

You will be part of a diverse group of NP students, allowing you to make connections with your peers and collaborate with fellow students from across the country.

This is an ideal opportunity for students interested in building skills in education, curriculum development, leadership, technology, and online learning.

A letter of recognition will be provided at the end of the year if all requirements are fulfilled.

Work Commitment

We anticipate the total commitment for a one-year term to be 10-12 hours total.

  • Attend 4 1-hour Zoom sessions for deep discussions and brainstorming around designs and value of new features and learning tools. Meetings will be scheduled on weekday evenings.
  • Complete up to 1 hour of pre-work in advance of each meeting.
    • Previewing a new learning tool or feature via interactive demo, watching a screencast, or reading/viewing background information or presentations.
    • Completing a preliminary survey with your initial feedback.
  • Post-work may be required as follow-up to a meeting to drive our iterative design process. Post work will be no more than 30 min, and will follow the same format as pre-work.
  • Optional working sessions on specific tools and features may be offered, giving group members the opportunity to co-design and/or troubleshoot with the Aquifer team.

Eligibility

We are accepting applications from students who have completed Aquifer cases either as part of their coursework or on their own and meet the following requirements:

  • Nurse Practitioner students in good academic standing.
  • Interest in medical and health professions education.
  • Prepared to give honest, thoughtful feedback in a constructive manner.
  • Able to commit to completing all pre-work assignments and meetings.

Applications close on October 15. Students will be notified of their status on our around October 20. Please contact Megan Hotaling, Aquifer Community Engagement & Events Manager, with any questions.

Call for Participation: PA Student Advisory Group

Aquifer-Student-Advisory-Group

PA Students: Join Us to Make an Impact

Aquifer is excited to announce an opportunity to join a national board of PA students tasked with providing critical feedback on the development of Aquifer’s learning tools.

Aquifer relies on our Student Advisory Groups to bring their voices and insights to help us support learners by developing the best possible tools for clinical learning.

Aquifer—a unique non-profit organization—makes a big impact on medical and health professions education. Used in 100 physician assistant programs, 97% of U.S. allopathic medical schools, and a growing number of osteopathic and nurse practitioner programs—with over 15 million virtual patient cases completed since our founding in 2006—Aquifer is a leader in clinical learning.

Help us build the best possible tools to advance your clinical learning

Aquifer is in the process of developing new assessments, dashboards, interface upgrades, and other learning tools. Student feedback and ideas are needed to ensure that our solutions provide the most value to students.

Selected students will be invited to preview and provide honest, constructive feedback on Aquifer’s new developing learning tools, designed to be used in medical and health professions programs nationwide. Feedback from this group will be used to optimize the technology and content in our tools.

Benefits of Participation

Boost your skill set (and resume) by working closely with educators and expert staff for a leading learning tool in health professions education. Group members will evaluate and analyze each learning tool or project, providing meaningful feedback and ideas that will drive the development of nationally used learning tools

You will be part of a diverse group of PA students, giving you the opportunity to connect with your peers and collaborate with fellow students from across the country.

This is an ideal opportunity for students interested in building skills in education, curriculum development, leadership, technology, and online learning.

A letter of recognition will be provided at the end of the year if all requirements are fulfilled.

Eligibility

We are accepting applications from students who have completed Aquifer cases either as part of their coursework, or have used our cases on their own, and meet the following requirements:

  • PA students in good academic standing.
  • Interest in medical and health professions education.
  • Prepared to give honest, thoughtful feedback in a constructive manner.
  • Able to commit to completing all pre-work assignments and meetings.

Applications close on August 31. Students will be notified of their status on our around September 7. Please contact Megan Hotaling, Aquifer Community Engagement & Events Manager, with any questions.

Call for Participation: 2023 Medical Student Advisory Group

Medical Students: Join Us to Make an Impact

Aquifer is excited to announce an opportunity to join a national board of medical students tasked with providing critical feedback on the development of Aquifer’s learning tools. Following the success of our previous Student Advisory Groups, we are now recruiting a new group of medical students to serve on the 2023 Student Advisory Group.

Aquifer—a unique non-profit organization—makes a big impact on medical and health professions education. Used in 97% of U.S. allopathic medical schools, 66% of U.S. osteopathic programs, and a growing number of physician assistant and nurse practitioner programs—with over 15 million virtual patient cases completed since our founding in 2006—Aquifer is a leader in clinical learning.

Help us build the best possible tools to advance your clinical learning.

Aquifer is in the process of developing new learning and assessment tools and improving our learning platform. Student voices and ideas are needed to ensure that our solutions provide the most value to learners.

Selected students will be invited to preview and provide honest, constructive feedback on Aquifer’s new developing learning tools, designed to be used in medical and health professions programs across the country. Feedback from this group will be used to optimize the design of our tools, inform communications, and develop training resources.

Work Commitment

  • Attend 4 1-hour Zoom sessions (August, October, January, March) for deep discussions and brainstorming around designs and value of new features and learning tools. Meetings will be scheduled on weekday evenings.
  • Complete up to 1 hour of pre-work in advance of each meeting.
    • Previewing a new learning tool or feature via interactive demo, watching a screencast, or reading/viewing background information or presentations.
    • Completing a preliminary survey with your initial feedback.
  • Post-work may be required as follow-up to a meeting to drive our iterative design process. Post work will be no more than 30 min, and will follow the same format as pre-work.
  • Optional working sessions on specific tools and features may be offered, giving group members the opportunity to co-design and/or troubleshoot with the Aquifer team.

A letter of recognition will be provided at the end of the year if all requirements are fulfilled.

Eligibility

We are accepting applications from students who have completed Aquifer cases as any part of their coursework and meet the following requirements:

  • Medical students from MD or DO programs who are in their 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year
  • Interest in medical education and online learning.
  • Prepared to give honest, thoughtful feedback in a constructive manner.
  • Able to commit to completing all pre-work assignments and attending 4 required meetings.
  • Interest in designing new learning tools

Aquifer Calibrate Pilot Testing Complete

Aquifer has wrapped up a seven-month pilot of Aquifer Calibrate, our new formative assessment system for clinical mastery, and is ready to release the system for general use. Based on pilot feedback, the system has been optimized, including improved reports for students, faculty, and coaches, and new student to-do lists to support their embedded learning plans.  Aquifer Calibrate will be included free of charge with all subscriptions to Aquifer Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Radiology beginning July 1, 2023.

About Aquifer Calibrate

Calibrate was developed to meet the needs of our customers by providing formative assessments to students via a stable online platform that will allow students to assess their competence and learning progress and allow faculty to make informed decisions on their curriculum.

These assessments and reports focus on Clinical Learning Calibration to demonstrate whether students, through case learning, are competent and confident in their skills and whether a school’s curriculum and teaching are effective. As a result, Aquifer builds students’ essential knowledge, clinical reasoning, and decision-making skills.

About the Aquifer Calibrate Pilot

Between September 2022 and April 2023 37 health care education programs participated in a pilot program, including

  • 21 MD programs
  • 2 DO programs
  • 8 PA programs and
  • 6 NP programs

There were a total of 1038 individual exam administrations during this time period, including:

  • 730 administrations at MD/DO programs
  • 358 administrations at NP/PA program

A psychometric analysis of the four assessments was conducted, and the exams were found to be statistically reliable and valid. We currently are conducting a comparative analysis of the MD/DO and NP/PA results to determine how best to optimize the assessments for each cohort.

Ultimately, the assessments were found to be valid and accurately measured students’ knowledge and progress over time.

Pilot Feedback Tools and Other Outcomes

Feedback on the pilot program was collected in the following ways:

  • Early assessment survey;
  • Late assessment survey;
  • Student advisory groups;
  • Student product interviews
  • Calibrate learning plan coach survey;
  • Calibrate clerkship lead survey; and
  • Feedback that pilot programs provided to peer trainers.

Participants in the pilot were asked to administer the assessment to their students and make coaches available to meet with their students based on the Calibrate results.  Key takeaways from the pilot:

  • Participants found the system easy to use
  • The majority of students met with a coach at least once
  • Students saw value in:
    • Identifying knowledge gaps;
    • Rating confidence and calibrating knowledge and certainty;
    • Access to additional practice questions; and
    • Links directly to Aquifer content.
  • Identified areas for improvement:
    • Students had difficulty understanding the reports.
    • Training materials for coaches on how to use Calibrate results to coach a learner were insufficient.
    • As a result, students thought their conversations with their coach/faculty/residents based on their Calibrate results could have been more impactful.

How We’ve Used This Feedback to Improve Calibrate

The pilot feedback has been incredibly valuable in helping the Aquifer product team redesign the reporting and results workflows for students and administrators, and develop additional tools to support students, coaches, and faculty.  Improvements coming for July 1 include:

  • Redesigned easier to understand and act on learner
  • Embedded Build Your Own Learning Plan tools for students,
  • Improved coaching reports and new support tools for coaches to enhance coaching conversations
  • Optimized faculty reports to help faculty use reports to identify at-risk learners and identify curricular gaps
  • New training and onboarding materials for students and faculty.

For more information, click here to see a video overviewing the changes (view time 4.6min at 1.5x speed). You can also access a clickable tour of new student and coach report views here and the new faculty views here.

Aquifer Calibrate Post July 1

All institutional subscribers to Aquifer Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Radiology, Curricular Partners and Limited Subscribers included, will have access to Aquifer Calibrate automatically included as part of their subscriptions beginning July 1, 2023.

Calibrate access is FERPA-compliant. Once assigned an Aqueduct role with Calibrate access, your faculty and staff will be able to easily schedule exams by logging into Aqueduct, clicking “assessments” from the top menu, assigning students you want to take the exam, and then schedule the assessment. Once submitted, students receive an automated email directing them to login and take the exam.

We are just at the beginning stages of incorporating Aquifer Calibrate into the Aquifer Learning System and will continue to optimize Calibrate going forward, including the following plans, which are already underway:

  • Expanding peer-to-peer training opportunities for coaches
  • Offering actionable next steps from student results in the form of a to-do list
  • Providing opportunities for additional assessment questions for further practice based on student reports
  • Exploring AI-driven optimizations to Calibrate
  • Building Calibrate assessments for additional Aquifer Courses
  • Responding to ongoing faculty and student feedback
  • And much more.

Please feel free to reach out and share any additional feedback you have at any time.  We’d love to hear from you at exams@aquifer.org.

Palliative Care Teaching: Now Integrated in Aquifer Cases

Aquifer is excited to share that we have published embedded curricular threads that weave brief, just-in-time teaching on Palliative Care principles directly into 13 of Aquifer’s core cases. In each of these cases, students are asked to make a clinical decision related to that Palliative Care and that specific case, followed by a detailed answer comment and teaching points — adding less than 2 minutes of learning time and providing additional knowledge in an engaging and interactive way.

Family Medicine 29: 72-year-old male with dementia
Geriatrics 14: 88-year-old female with dementia and feeding issues
Geriatrics 15: 75-year-old male with abdominal pain
Geriatrics 16: 87-year-old male with low back pain
Geriatrics 20: 79-year-old male with severe pain and low health literacy
Geriatrics 21: 70-year-old female with symptomatic end-stage COPD
Geriatrics 27: Advance care planning
Internal Medicine 21: 78-year-old male with fever, lethargy, and anorexia
Internal Medicine 27: 65-year-old male with hypercalcemia
Pediatrics 28: 18-month-old male with developmental delay
Pediatrics 29: Infant male with hypotonia
Radiology 01: 23-year-old male Chest – Infection
Radiology 06: 42-year-old female GI – Hepatobiliary and pancreas

These integrations represent the first of our Clinical Excellence Integrations, which will be available on a range of topics on July 1, 2023, ensuring that health professions students gain knowledge and skills in areas that are essential to becoming excellent clinicians but that are sometimes overlooked in undergraduate medical education.

A set of thirteen Excellence in Palliative Care cases are available for programs who want more in-depth teaching on this important topic, as part of our new Clinical Excellence Case Set.  With access to both the case sets and curricular threads, programs have the trusted tools needed for introducing topics for early learners, revisiting key principles during relevant core clerkships, and building advanced electives.

New Tools for Consistent Teaching of Key Interdisciplinary Clinical Topics

Clinical Excellence Case Sets and Embedded Curricular Threads Coming July 1

Aquifer is excited to share two important initiatives launching July 1, 2023, to provide consistent coverage of key interdisciplinary principles and topics students need to understand to provide excellent patient care. Our Clinical Excellence topics cover important but often overlooked or difficult-to-teach topics that don’t have an obvious place in many programs’ curricula. Students feel this gap and are seeking trusted, consistent content in these areas. With the launch of these new content initiatives, faculty can have confidence that Aquifer covers these themes in clinical context throughout the students’ journey through their rotations.

This new content will enhance and expand Aquifer’s coverage of:

  • Trauma-informed care
  • Palliative care
  • Social determinants of health
  • High value care
  • Diagnostic excellence (reducing medical errors)
  • Telemedicine

Clinical Excellence Case Sets, available for purchase July 1, deliver focused, in-depth teaching on these important topics. The Case Sets expand upon our popular interdisciplinary cases with redesigned and updated content paired with new cases in palliative care and trauma-informed care.

New embedded curricular threads will weave key interdisciplinary principles directly into Aquifer’s core cases, providing just-in-time learning for students and allowing programs to ensure coverage without adding faculty time.

With access to both the case sets and curricular threads, programs have the trusted tools needed for introducing topics for early learners, revisiting key principles during relevant core clerkships, and building advanced electives.

“We’ve heard from students that they want to learn about these topics longitudinally throughout their education, through realistic scenarios that mirror what they will experience in clinic. This feedback has driven our development process, and by pairing the curricular threads and Clinical Excellence Case Sets, we are able to give programs the tools they need to provide this cohesive learning journey.”

— Emily Stewart, MD; Aquifer Chief Curriculum Officer

Clinical Excellence Case Sets

Aquifer’s existing interdisciplinary cases will be updated and redesigned, and new cases will be added to form the Clinical Excellence Case Sets. 52 new or optimized interdisciplinary cases will be included in the Clinical Excellence Case Sets, which will be available on July 1 by subscription for the price of one Aquifer course, including:

  • Excellence in Palliative Care • 13 cases
  • Trauma-Informed Care • 12 cases
  • High Value Care • 13 cases
  • Social Determinants of Health • 3 cases
  • Foundations of Telemedicine • 4 cases
  • Diagnostic Excellence • 7 cases
New Course & Case Structure

The Clinical Excellence Case Sets will follow a new, streamlined course and case structure, delivering shorter, more focused cases. This structure debuted with the launch of Excellence in Palliative Care and has now been adopted across the other courses. Cases take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.

Each case set begins with a principles module, which covers key definitions, epidemiology, explanations of key principles and why they are important for patient care, and a harm statement that makes it explicit what harm can come to the patient if the principle is not incorporated into practice.

After completing the principles module, students unlock additional application cases that explore realistic case scenarios. Application cases are concise and focus on one area of a patient encounter, and are centered around asking students to make important clinical decisions. Content models evidence-based best practices and communication strategies, exploring the real-world impacts on care and potential harm. At the end of each case, a reflection question asks the students to consider key takeaways, implications for their future practice, or personal wellness. Each application case also includes self-assessment questions that extend the learning to other scenarios.

Embedded Curricular Threads

Excellence in Action: Clinical Excellence Topics

Embedded curricular threads are designed to provide just-in-time learning on key interdisciplinary topics that students need to understand to provide excellent patient acare within our core cases without adding significant time to each case (estimated 2 minutes per case). Eighty cases will include one curricular thread on a single clinical excellence topic and ask students to make a clinical decision related to that topic, followed by a detailed answer comment and teaching points—providing this additional knowledge in an engaging and interactive way.

Sample content:

As of July 1, 2023, we will be launching curricular threads in our Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, Pediatrics, Radiology, and Neurology cases to cover all six clinical excellence topics. By adding this content into our core cases, Aquifer is able to provide a consistent learning experience, teaching about these areas in a way that makes sense to students and as they would be encountered clinically through undifferentiated patients.

Although short and concise, these 80 components will make a big impact across Aquifer’s entire curriculum. Faculty and administrative users will be able to easily search and filter cases with embedded threads in the Content Library. This content will be available to all subscribers.

Ultimate Consistency: The Power of the Curricular Partner Program

80 embedded curricular threads + 52 Clinical Excellence Cases on 6 topics

With full access to all of Aquifer’s content, Curricular Partners (programs that subscribe 5+ Aquifer courses) will have ultimate consistency of coverage, relevant for all levels of learners across all clinical rotations. Faculty and administrators can have confidence their students are receiving high-quality, consistent, up-to-date information on critical topics throughout their education.

Accessing Clinical Excellence Content

Curricular Partners subscribing to all Aquifer content will have full access to all Clinical Excellence Case Sets and all cases that include embedded curricular threads, providing maximum flexibility and consistency.

Limited subscribers who subscribe to select courses only will have access to embedded curricular threads in their subscribed courses, and the option to purchase the Clinical Excellence case set, including access to 25 new (previously unavailable outside the Curricular Partner package) Palliative Care and Trauma-Informed Care cases, in addition to updated High Value Care, Diagnostic Excellence, Social Determinants of Health, and Foundations of Telemedicine case sets. Limited subscribers who do not choose to subscribe to the Clinical Excellence Case Set will no longer have access to High Value Care, Diagnostic Excellence, Social Determinants of Health, and Foundations of Telemedicine cases.

As of July 1, 2023:

Curricular Partners

Subscribe to all Aquifer courses at a discounted rate

Limited Subscribers

Subscribe to 1-4 Aquifer courses

Embedded Curricular Threads Included Included for selected courses 
Clinical Excellence Case Set

  • Excellence in Palliative Care • 13 cases
  • Trauma-Informed Care • 12 cases
  • High Value Care • 13 cases
  • Social Determinants of Health • 3 cases
  • Foundations of Telemedicine • 4 modules
  • Diagnostic Excellence • 7 cases
Included Only if Clinical Excellence Case Set is purchased 
Oral Presentation Skills modules Included

“Our teams of expert medical educators have worked hard to build this content to enhance and extend the learning provided in Aquifer’s growing content library. We are excited to provide these new tools to support programs and faculty in developing the best possible future clinicians,” said Emily Stewart, MD, Aquifer’s Chief Curriculum Officer.

Aquifer Successfully Completes Third-Party Audit of Security Standards

SOC 2 Type 1 Examination Completed for Aquifer’s Teaching & Learning Platform

Aquifer has successfully completed the SOC 2 (System and Organization Controls 2) audit by meeting rigorous security, availability, and confidentiality standards.

The examination conducted by AssurancePoint, LLC found that Aquifer achieved its service commitments and system requirements as measured by the SOC 2 criteria for Security. The examination concluded with an unqualified (clean) opinion, as of October 15, 2022 for the Aqueduct teaching and learning platform.

SOC 2 reports are attestation reports that examine controls at a service organization relevant to the security, availability, and processing integrity and the confidentiality or privacy of the information processed for subscribing programs. SOC 2 reports provide Aquifer’s users with information regarding the design of internal controls relevant to the selected SOC 2 criteria, with the assurance that the information presented has been examined by an independent CPA firm.

“Implementing and maintaining SOC 2 requirements demonstrates Aquifer’s commitment to meeting the most rigorous security, availability, and confidentiality standards in the industry. It verifies that Aquifer’s security controls are in accordance with the AICPA Trust Services Principles and Criteria and that the best practices are built into our way of working, throughout every team – from software development to people operations,” notes Craig Davis, Chief Financial Officer. “Student data security is central to everything that we do.”

“This examination is an important step in showing our users- and their institutions-that we are maintaining best practices and are a trusted partner in their students’ learning journey,” notes Tracy Mullen Cosker, Director of Customer Success. “Advancing the SOC 2 work is one of the many ways Aquifer shows our dedication to our customers.”

Aquifer intends to continually execute and improve upon its internal controls and to provide consistent assurance to its customers via an annual SOC 2 report. Subscribing programs can request a copy of our Type 1 audit report through the Customer Success team.

New Formative Assessments & Legacy Assessment Discontinuation Reminder

Transition to Formative Assessments For Learning

In 2018, driven by our mission of advancing healthcare education and informed by feedback from our users, Aquifer announced our decision to shift our assessment strategy away from summative assessment to focus on high-impact formative assessment to better serve learners. We believe that harnessing assessment and data as proactive learning tools will help students become more competent healthcare providers—not just better test takers.

Announcing Aquifer Calibrate: Available July 1, 2023

We are pleased to announce the launch of Aquifer Calibrate, our transformative assessments for clinical learning mastery.

Aquifer Calibrate formative assessments for family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and radiology, will be included with your subscription to the corresponding Aquifer courses for the 2023-24 subscription year (beginning July 1, 2023).

We are excited about the opportunity to drive self-directed learning by linking our comprehensive peer-reviewed curriculum to robust Calibrate assessments for learning. With detailed student reports that identify knowledge gaps and certainty misalignment, Calibrate will help align faculty and students to inform meaningful feedback, coaching, and structured remediation.

Explore our resources on Calibrate to learn more, or listen to the podcast from Dr. Leslie Fall, Aquifer CEO, on the future of formative assessment here.

Legacy Assessment Impacts

As we transition our assessment strategy, we want to remind all exam users of the pending discontinuation of some of our existing legacy assessments, which were announced in 2018.

  • As scheduled, our legacy multiple-choice exams for Aquifer Pediatrics, Family Medicine, and Radiology will be discontinued as of June 30, 2023.
  • The Aquifer Internal Medicine Clinical Decision-Making Exam will continue to be available and included with your subscription to Aquifer Internal Medicine.

If you are currently using our legacy exams as practice tests or remediation, we are thrilled to bring you Calibrate, which is specifically designed to meet your needs.  We are confident you will be pleased with all the new system has to offer.

For those of you who are currently using our legacy exams for grading purposes, please complete this form to allow us to best support you through this transition. Aquifer’s customer success team will be in touch to provide additional assistance as requested.

Inaugural Aquifer Nurse Practitioner Task Force Announced

Aquifer is pleased to announce the selection of participants for our Nurse Practitioner Task Force. This group will bring the voice, interests, and experiences of nurse practitioner educators to Aquifer, and work to develop educator tools and training materials to support nurse practitioner programs using Aquifer.

After a competitive selection process, we are pleased to welcome the following educators from institutions around the country:

  • Alicia Collins, DNP, FNP-BC, ADM-BC: United States University
  • Elizabeth Espinoza, DNP, CPNP-AC; Oregon Health & Science University
  • Christopher Galloway, DNP, APRN-FPA, FNP-BC; Oak Point University
  • Amy Haeger, FNP; Rush University College of Nursing
  • Danielle Hebert, ANP-BC; UMass Chan Medical School
  • Gloria Huerta, FNP-C, AGNP-C, CNS, NHDP-BC; Loma Linda University School of Nursing
  • Sheba Luke, FNP-C, NEA-BC; University of Texas Medical Branch
  • Sara McCumber, FNP, AGPCNP, GNP,; The College of St. Scholastica
  • Jeanne Moore, FNP, AGPCNP, GNP,; The Catholic University of America
  • Brittany Nelson, PNP-PC; Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
  • Susan Schriefer, PhD, FNP-BC; George Mason University
  • Margaret Venzke, FNP-BC; George Washington University SON
  • Justin Waryold, ANP-C, ACNP-BC, GS-C; Upstate Medical University

The Aquifer Nurse Practitioner Task Force is led by: 

Marcy Ainslie, EdD, APRN, FNP
Asst. Professor, CHHS
University of New Hampshire
Department of Nursing

Important Update to Internal Medicine Case 3

Available for all Aquifer Internal Medicine subscribers

Aquifer is excited to announce that Aquifer Internal Medicine 03 – 54-year-old female with Syncope, has been updated by the Aquifer Internal Medicine Course Board. The updated version of the case is called Aquifer Internal Medicine 03 – Four Patients with Syncope, and is available for all Aquifer Internal Medicine subscribers as of July 1, 2022.

The updated version of this case now follows four different patients instead of one, each of whom has the same concern, but with differing etiologies. By covering four patients with the same concern, the updated case allows students to sharpen their clinical reasoning skills.

Reimagining case 3 as a series of short cases with a common chief complaint like syncope allowed for the delivery of content into bite-size portions, while underscoring the concept of different causes, or differential diagnoses. The rewrite process focused on comparing and contrasting the illness scripts of each cause, allowing for the practice of clinical reasoning, thereby promoting deeper understanding and retention of the teaching points.

Aquifer Announces Inaugural Consortium President

Dr. Stephen Scott, MD, MPH

After an extensive national search, Aquifer is pleased to announce the appointment of long-standing Aquifer Consortium member, Stephen Scott, MD, MPH, as Aquifer’s inaugural Consortium President, effective July 1, 2022.

In this important new position, Steve will serve as a key member of Aquifer’s executive team and lead all aspects of the Aquifer Consortium’s membership and engagement strategy in support of Aquifer’s non-profit mission, vision and values. A highly collaborative, inclusive and thoughtful leader, Steve will leverage his dedication and passion for Aquifer’s mission, and the unique and vital role of its Consortium and academic partnerships, to successfully lead the Consortium through its next phase of growth, innovation and transformation.

Steve has an extraordinary track record of distinguished leadership and service excellence. He has been a core member of Aquifer since 2007 when he became involved in the initial development and launch of the fmCASES course (now Aquifer Family Medicine) as an original case author and fmCASES editorial board member. As Aquifer evolved, Steve served progressively as a teaching and learning lead, Academic Director for Engagement, and most recently as a member of the Aquifer Strategic Leadership Council. During his tenure as Academic Director for Engagement Steve worked with Dr. Katherine Chretien to lead a team of medical students in The Aquifer Student Engagement: Race and Culture project, which led to a presentation at the AAMC Learn, Serve, Lead Conference, publication of a student-led article in Academic Medicine on guidelines for revising teaching cases to address race and culture issues, and the student-led review and development of recommendations to address race and culture in Aquifer cases.

Currently a Professor in the Department of Medical Education and Advisor to the Dean for Accreditation and Clinical Affiliations at the Texas Christian University School of Medicine, Steve has been instrumental in the development of two emerging medical schools. He arrived at Weill Cornell Medicine in Qatar as they were graduating their first class of medical students and served in a variety of roles, including Assistant Dean of Clinical Curriculum and Assistant Dean of Medical Education, working to enhance the curriculum and foster student success, and Associate Dean of Student Affairs where he loved building academic and career advising and mentoring programs to support learners. In 2018 Steve joined the emerging Texas Christian University School of Medicine, a year and a half before they launched their inaugural class. He served as Chairman of the Department of Medical Education, Director of the Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship, and Senior Associate Dean for Educational Affairs and Accreditation, responsible for leading, developing and delivering the medical education program. Steve proudly shares that TCU School of Medicine will be graduating their first class in May of 2023.

A recurring theme throughout Steve’s career is his deeply-rooted passion for supporting the development of empathy, listening and communication skills in learners, and fostering inclusion and diversity. As Consortium President, he is excited for the opportunity to vitalize and amplify the power and beauty of the Aquifer consortium and extended contributor base. In his own words, “Over the past 15 years, Aquifer has connected me with some of the best educators – and people – I know. I continue to be inspired by their brilliance, sense of purpose, and care for learners. While many have designated professional roles as educators, they often take on and give to this work with a dedication that exceeds any formal recognition, fiscal or otherwise. It’s an honor to walk and work alongside them, and I look forward to serving our educators and learners, both within the consortium and beyond, as we seek to make teaching and learning ever more effective, efficient, and accessible.”

Aquifer Announces New Chief Curriculum Officer

After an extensive national search, Aquifer is pleased to introduce Dr. Emily Stewart as Aquifer’s Chief Curriculum Officer. Emily will officially join Aquifer on August 1, 2022.

Emily comes to Aquifer from Thomas Jefferson University where she is currently Associate Professor of Medicine and a practicing hospitalist. A passionate and experienced medical educator, Emily has taken on progressively larger leadership roles in medical education throughout her successful career at Thomas Jefferson. She is currently the Internal Medicine Program Director, leading the educational experience of over 130 residents and four chief residents annually, a position she has held since 2015. At the affiliated Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Emily has served as Internal Medicine Subinternship Director, Course Director for the GATEWAY to Internship course for which she led the development and implementation, and as Co-Clerkship Director for Internal Medicine.

Emily has been named a Top 25 Teacher in the Internal Medicine Residency Program for nine consecutive years. Her accolades include the Hospital Medicine Attending Teaching Award (2017), ACP Pennsylvania Chapter John Derrickson Early Career Physician Service Excellence Award (2016), Dean’s Award for Excellence in Education (2014), and the Department of Medicine “Golden Apple” Teaching Award (2014).

Emily has a strong national presence as a member of the American Medical Association (AMA), American College of Physicians (ACP), Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine (APDIM), Clerkship Directors of Internal Members (CDIM), and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). She is an invited fellow at the ACP and most recently has served on the AAIM Structured Evaluative Letter Task Force, APDIM Council (treasurer), DynaMed Executive Leadership Board, AAIM Education Committee, AAMC CFAS Member Representative for APDIM, and numerous other professional and scientific committees. She is an experienced speaker both nationally and internationally, and has published academically on a wide range of topics including the Core EPAs, clinical reasoning, use of simulation in medical education, the transition to residency process, and the contemporary burdens facing medical educators.

“Emily’s skills and experience will serve her well as Aquifer Chief Curriculum Officer, leading l all aspects of Aquifer’s academic and curriculum strategy, and overseeing all content, assessment, teaching and learning integration, research, and Consortium operations,” said Dr. Leslie Fall, Aquifer Cheif Executive Officer. “We are excited to welcome Emily to the team at Aquifer. She will be a huge asset as we move forward in advancing health professions education.”

New Case on Frailty Coming May 1

Available for all Aquifer Geriatrics subscribers

Aquifer is excited to announce that a new Aquifer Geriatrics case on frailty will be available on May 1, 2022. The new case is divided into three short patient encounters and covers frailty from a variety of angles, directly addressing one of the American Geriatrics Society’s core competencies for medical students.

The case, Aquifer Geriatrics 28, follows three patients, two in the clinic and one in a nursing home. Students are asked to evaluate each patient’s level of frailty and how it affects their care. Key learning points in the case include defining frailty, identifying different stages of frailty, understanding the adverse outcomes among older adults, and incorporating frailty as a predictor of a patient’s long-term prognosis.

The new case was written and peer-reviewed by medical educators on the Aquifer Geriatrics Course Board and is appropriate for all health professions students. As with all Aquifer signature cases, the case on frailty can be added to any custom course and includes student progress reporting. From an Aquifer account, the new case is accessible from the Aquifer Geriatrics signature course and via the searchable Content Library.

Aquifer at AAIM 2022

If you are attending the AAIM/CDIM 2022 Academic Internal Medicine Week in Charlotte, NC from April 10-13, please be sure to connect with us at our booth for updates on our new learning tools and ways to make the most of your Aquifer access. We look forward to seeing you at this year’s meeting.

Join us at Booth #623

Sunday, April 7: 7:00 AM – 3:30 PM; 5:00-6:30 PM (welcome reception)
Monday, April 8: 7:00 AM – 3:30 PM; 5:30-7:00 PM (poster reception)
Tuesday, April 9: 7:00 AM -12:00 PM

Aquifer Calibrate Q&A: Monday, April 11, 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM
With Joseph Wayne, MD; Albany Medical College; Aquifer Internal Medicine Assessment Lead
Learn about our Aquifer Calibrate, our new formative assessment system, designed to provide test-enhanced learning experiences that drive self-directed learning, identify students in need of coaching, and expose curricular gaps.

New Palliative Care Cases Q&A: Sunday, April 10, 1:30 – 2:00 PM
With Susan Merel, MD; University of Washington, Aquifer Palliative Care Leadership Team Academic Lead
Coming July 1, our new Primary Palliative Care cases address critical gaps in palliative care learning.

Scholarship Opportunities Q&A: Monday, April 11, 11:00 – 11:30 AM & Tuesday, April 12, 10:15 – 10:45 AM
With Kirk Bronander, MD; University of Nevada, Reno; Aquifer Internal Medicine Senior Director
Stop by and learn about Aquifer’s scholarship opportunities. With Aquifer, your work will have an impact on a national scale.

Assessment Q&A: Sunday, April 10, 3:00 – 3:30 PM
With Valerie Lang, MD, MHPE; University of Rochester; Aquifer Academic Director for Assessment
Curious about our Internal Medicine Clinical Decision-Making Exam, included with your subscription? Come by to learn more.

New Foundations of Telemedicine Cases Q&A: Monday, April 11, 1:00 – 1:30 PM
With Amit Pahwa, MD; Johns Hopkins Hospital; Editor-in-Chief, Aquifer Foundations of Telemedicine
Explore ways to integrate these new, short telemedicine cases to prepare students for telehealth visits.

What Students are Saying: Monday, April 11, 3:00 – 3:30 PM
With Jen Bierman, MD; Northwestern University; Aquifer Student Engagement Group Co-Lead
Find out how students are effectively using Aquifer cases and tips on leveraging our cases for maximum learning impact.

New Teaching Tools

We are looking forward to sharing updates on our work, including some exciting new learning tools and programs.

  • Integrated Illness Scripts
  • Aquifer’s Curricular Partner Program
    • Take full advantage of the power of our complete content library at a deep discount, and the enhanced benefits and exclusive access to new teaching and learning tools by becoming an Aquifer Curricular Partner.

Congratulations Consortium Members

Aquifer congratulates our Consortium Members on their recent election to leadership positions within AAIM.

The Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM) Governance Committee announced Shobhina G Chheda, MD, MPH, Chair for the FY 2023 Board of Directors. Shobina is the Aquifer Teaching and Learning Lead and Associate Dean for Medical Education at the University of Wisconsin Medical School.

Amit Pahwa, MD, appointed Councilor by Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine (CDIM) Governance. Amit is Assessment/Teaching & Learning Lead at Aquifer and is Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Susan Merel, MD, has been appointed Councilor, by Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine (CDIM) Governance. Susan is the Aquifer Palliative Care Leadership Team Academic Lead, and is Associate Professor of Medicine of Internal Medicine at the University of Washington.

Aquifer Internal Medicine Course Board

  • Senior Director: Kirk Bronander, MD, University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine
  • Assessment Lead: Joseph Wayne, MD, Albany Medical College
  • Curriculum Lead: Jennifer Wright, MD, University of Washington
  • Teaching & Learning Lead: Shobhina Chheda, MD, MPH, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health
  •  Associate Editors for Aquifer Internal Medicine: 
    • Irene Alexandraki, MD, MPH, FACP, Florida State University College of Medicine
    • Amy E. Blatt, MD, University of Rochester Medical Center
    • Lisa Calvo, MD, University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine
    • Monica Edwards, MD, MPH, FACP, Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine
    • Kendall Novoa-Takara, MD, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix
    • Homan H. Wai, MD, FACP, VCU School of Medicine Inova Campus

Aquifer at NONPF 2022

We will be attending the 2022 NONPF 48th Annual Conference in Minneapolis, MN from April 6-10, 2022 to share updates on our developing projects and help you make the most of your subscription. If you are attending the meeting, we hope to see you at our booth.

Join us at Booth #12

Thursday, April 7 from 3:00 – 7:00 PM
Friday, April 8 from 9:45 AM – 2:30 PM
Saturday, April 9 from 9:45 AM – 1:00 PM

Stop by our booth to talk to our staff to get questions answered and learn about the latest news on:

Social Determinants of Health and Foundations of Telemedicine

Our latest free cases teach fundamentals for these essential topics in health professions education

New: Nurse Practitioner Educator Task Force

The new NP Task Force will be accepting applications this summer. The group aims to amplify the voice, interests, and experiences of NP educators to Aquifer and participates in the review and development of teaching tools for your peers.

Integrated Illness Scripts

Explore our new teaching activities to help link basic science and clinical learning at the bedside.

Aquifer’s Curricular Partner Program

Take full advantage of the power of our complete content library at a deep discount, and the enhanced benefits and exclusive access to new teaching and learning tools.

Did You Know?

93% of NP student users would recommend Aquifer to a fellow student

If you aren’t attending NONPF or can’t make the booth hours but would like to catch up to discuss any of your questions, to find a time to connect please email Leah Romano, Relationship Manager for DO, PA, DNP/NP, Residency/Fellowship, International, and other programs.

Aquifer Consortium Members Honored by AAMC

Aquifer congratulates Tracy Fulton, PhD, and Valerie Lang, MD, MHPE, on being named recipients of the prestigious 2021 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). This award, established in 1988 by the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society, is given to faculty members who have distinguished themselves in medical student education. Both of these talented educators are members of the Aquifer Educators Consortium, and their dedication to teaching the next generation of medical professionals is remarkable.

Tracy Fulton, Ph.D.

Dr. Tracy Fulton, Sciences Lead for Aquifer Sciences, is a professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, where she is also the Professional School Director for Biochemistry. She has been awarded this recognition for her work implementing and studying the Pathways of Human Metabolism map, a visual tool for health professions students that promotes deep learning and application of classroom concepts to clinical problems.

Valerie Lang, MD, MHPE

Dr. Valerie Lang, Academic Director of the Aquifer Clinical Decision Making Exam, has been named a recipient of this award for her work in curriculum development and teaching acumen. An Associate Professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Dr. Lang is the Director of Meliora in Medicine, as well as the Director of Faculty Development, Hospital Medicine Division, and the Senior Associate Division Chief, Hospital Medicine.


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.

Vision & Principles Identified for 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 exams@aquifer.org 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.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


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 (jhogg@hsc.wvu.edu) 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