Explore This Center

Pediatric Education, Innovation and Research Center (PEIRC) focuses on advancing medical education research across the Department of Pediatrics through working with residents, fellows, and faculty to develop, implement, evaluate, and disseminate medical education projects. PEIRC offers individual consultations on medical education scholarship and research projects, mentorship throughout the duration of projects at all stages of development, and workshops for groups interested in expanding their medical education research knowledge and skills.

Our Team

Photo of Ariel Frey-Vogel, MD, MAT

Ariel Frey-Vogel, MD, MAT is the PEIRC founder and director. Dr. Frey-Vogel is a med-peds physician who completed her residency at the MGH Combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency Program. She practices primary care at MGH Everett Family Care and is an Associate Program Director of the MGfC Pediatric Residency Program in addition to her role at PEIRC. She completed a Rabkin Fellowship in Medical Education and an HMS Academy Medical Education Research Fellowship. Her research interests are in graduate medical education and the use of simulation for teaching and assessment in resident education.


Educational Services

We have supported educational scholarship in the Department of Pediatrics since 2017. We can provide one-time consultations or longitudinal mentorship. As broadly trained educators we provide guidance on a wide array of medical education research and scholarship:

  • Curriculum design, implementation and evaluation
  • Survey design and analysis
  • Qualitative research design and analysis
  • Quantitative research design and analysis
  • Grant writing
  • Institutional Review Board materials preparation and submission
  • Poster preparation
  • Manuscript writing

We also offer a variety of workshops on medical education and medical education research topics including:

  • Interactive teaching techniques
  • Evidence-based learning modalities
  • Curriculum design, implementation, and evaluation
  • Survey design
  • No-prep journal clubs
  • Social media in medical education
  • Professional branding and elevator pitches

We are happy to discuss creating a workshop to meet the unique needs of your faculty or learners!

Scholarly Outcomes

Frey-Vogel, Scott-Vernaglia, Carter, and Huang, 2016

Frey-Vogel, Scott-Vernaglia, Carter and Huang utilized a quantitative approach to determine how intern performance in a longitudinal simulation curriculum throughout the academic year correlated to performance at the end of the year and intern placement on the Pediatric Milestones. It was found that performance over the course of the year did not correlate to end of the year performance, suggesting that interns gain competency at different rates and that poor performance early on need not be viewed as a warning of inability to obtain necessary competency by the end of the year. It was also found that performance on end of the year simulations did correlate with placement on the Pediatric Milestones, suggesting that simulation can be used as an additional mechanism of assessing intern performance to help inform Milestone placement (Altmetric attention score 7).

Dzara and Frey-Vogel 2019

Dzara and Frey-Vogel utilized mixed-methodology to conduct a program evaluation of an interactive journal club which allowed pediatric residents to critically engage with medical education research without previous preparation. The innovative journal club helped participants think about how to analyze a paper, use a paper to inform further study questions, and understand medical education research. Qualitative themes indicated that, although improvement was possible, it provided a strong interactive learning experience. Overall, the approach using active learning principles and requiring no advance preparation is proof of concept that faculty's objectives to teach critical literature evaluation and millennial needs for engagement can be simultaneously met (Altmetric attention score 22).

Dzara, Huth, Kesselheim, and Schumacher 2019

Dzara, Huth, Kesselheim, and Schumacher utilized qualitative methods to describe themes in initial milestones-based assessment practices with the goal of informing continued implementation and optimization of milestones-based assessment. They conducted semi-structured interviews with 15 residency program leaders in 6 specialties at 8 academic medical centers between August and December 2016. They explored what was retained, what was added, and what was changed from pre-milestones assessment efforts, as well as examined the perceived impact of the shift to milestones-based assessment. Three themes were identified: (1) program leaders faced challenges to effective implementation; (2) program leaders focused on adaptability and making milestones work in what felt like a less than ideal situation for them; and (3) despite challenges, program leaders see value and utility in their efforts to move to milestones-based assessment. While adaptation to milestones has occurred and benefits are noted, negative impacts and challenges (eg, perceived lack of implementation guidance and faculty development resources) persist. There are important lessons learned (eg, utilizing implementation experiences formatively to improve curricula and assessment) in the transition to milestones-based assessment (Altmetric attention score 26).

Dzara and Kesselheim 2019

Dzara and Kesselheim noted that there was a lack of literature regarding how medical educators could utilize a scholarly approach to developing their elevator pitches. In this Academic Medicine “Last Page,” they detail the the purpose and components of an elevator pitch. They outline key steps for their development, as well as 4 tips for a successful elevator pitch.  Importantly, every medical educator should have a concise 30-second to 1-minute elevator pitch to convey professional focus and aims. When crafted optimally and used appropriately, these concise professional mission statements can foster career opportunities (Altmetric attention score 114).

Reed, Frey-Vogel, and Frost 2019

Reed, Frey-Vogel, and Frost utilized mixed-methodology to determine the current practices and needs of pediatric program directors regarding communication training and assessment in their residency programs. A survey of pediatric program directors from the Association of Pediatric Program Directors demonstrated that while teaching and assessment of communication skills is common in pediatric residency programs, it is inconsistent and variable. Moreover,  there is a need for development of and access to appropriate and useful curricula as well as a practical assessment tool which has been evaluated for validity evidence (Altmetric attention score 5).


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