This profile is part of a series designed to highlight the importance and impact of the hospital’s teaching mission and the work of the MGH Executive Committee on Teaching & Education (ECOTE).

Ann Jampel, PT, MS, education coordinator Physical and Occupational Therapy Services, shares her experiences.

Who do you teach and what do you hope they learn from you?

My primary responsibility is the training and professional development of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy clinical instructors and mentors. Over time, I have come to learn that there is a skill set to serving as a clinical teacher that goes beyond the “science” of learning theory. It involves a dynamic decision-making process where the clinical instructor is engaged in determining what the learner may need to safely and effectively – and ultimately creatively and efficiently – provide the patient with what they need. My role is to help these instructors develop these teaching skills as a parallel process to ongoing decisions about patient care. It has been a privilege to work with staff and see them analyze, practice and evolve their clinical teaching skills.

In the last few years, I have been involved with an interprofessional group from the MGH and the MGH Institute of Health Professions that has developed and implemented an interprofessional model of clinical education on Ellison 8, Bigelow 11 and Ellison 12.

What makes you most proud of your work as an educator?

When I interviewed at MGH more than 30 years ago, the first interview question was: “Our current staff find students a real challenge, even a burden and most don’t enjoy working with them. What will you do to change that?” After talking with them and analyzing a bit of the ‘why” behind this, we put together a training program for clinical instructors to help them meet these challenges. Over time, staff have come to better balance the responsibility and rewards of being a clinical teacher. Today, staff seek me out to inquire about how soon they might be assigned a student.

Tell us about a magical teaching moment.

Recently I was working with an instructor and a student, and prior to seeing the patient, I asked the instructor what they hoped to see this student do during the treatment? The instructor was silent but after a few seconds said, “I know this patient and they will most likely present some behavioral challenges for this student. I think they are ready for this challenge, and I would like to see evidence of her listening to the patient and using the information to guide her decision making.” At the conclusion of the session, the clinical instructor was able to help the student see where this had happened successfully and where additional probing of the patient might have been helpful. It was impressive to see this instructor analyze what the student needed, both from an interpersonal and cognitive perspective, and then focus her feedback to meet this need. The student left the interaction feeling positively about her progress and with things to reflect on for the future.

When patients hear the words “teaching hospital,” what do you think comes to mind? What does it mean to you to work at a teaching hospital?

A patient often chooses to come to an academic teaching hospital for assurance that the individuals providing their care are knowledgeable and experienced in the most current health care practices. I am not sure that they always know that they will meet team members who are in progressive stages of learning. In my experience, the best of a teaching hospital is working with an interprofessional team that is committed to understanding the complex needs of patients and works together to seek creative solutions to meet their goals of care. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

What do you wish everyone knew about education at the MGH?

I wish that all students entering the MGH better understood the impossibility of knowing everything that they will need to manage every aspect of their patients’ care. I have seen more than one student experience an epic sense of “failure” when they don’t meet their own expectations and need to ask for help. Developing a sense of resilience is critical for the development of any clinician. I am humbled on a daily basis with the complexity of the questions that staff are trying to answer to meet their patients’ needs. 

Read more articles from the 06/01/18 Hotline issue.