Introducing Medical Students to Careers in Medical Education: The Student Track at an Annual Medical Education Conference

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Abstract

Few avenues exist to familiarize medical students with careers as clinician–educators, and the clinician–educator career pathway has not been well defined. In this article, the authors describe how they integrated a career-oriented student track into the 2011 Northeast Group on Educational Affairs (NEGEA) annual retreat to introduce students to careers in medical education. Annual education conferences are principal sources of educational scholarship, networking, collaboration, and information sharing; as such, they represent attractive venues for early exposure to the culture of medical education. The authors’ goal in creating the NEGEA conference student track was to excite students about careers in medical education by providing them with an array of opportunities for active involvement in both student-specific and general conference activities.

The authors draw from their experience to provide a guide for recruiting student participants to career-building student tracks. They also offer a guide for developing future student tracks, based on their experience and grounded in social cognitive career theory. Although their focus is on medical education, they believe these guides will be useful for educators planning a conference-based student track in any field.

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