Write Medicine

Leading from the Middle

April 12, 2021 Alexandra Howson PhD
Write Medicine
Leading from the Middle
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Introduction
Today my guest is Nina Taylor, Vice President of Learning and Education at American Society for Radiation Oncology. I first met Nina Taylor in 2018 at an Alliance Quality and Innovation Summit in Park City, Utah.  She and Andrew Chacko, who was a guest in episode 2 of Write Medicine, were presenters in a session on designing innovative education programs.  Nina talks about her work in continuing education and how she uses active listening, social learning, and a sense of fun to create immersive and accessible education for healthcare clinicians.

Ley Take Aways

* How Nina got started in CME.

* What really goes behind the scenes in building out engaging adult learning materials.

* Nina challenges you to think about your leadership ethos. 

* Nina shares what her experience was like working in several different medical societies and some of the key takeaways she’s learned over the years. 

* When you’re in an association or a society, you’re seen as a peer and medical faculty are happy to help you because everyone is fighting for the same team.

* How does the American Society for Radiation Oncology approach clinician education? 

* Nina shares some of the challenges she faced trying to incorporate virtual technology into her department. 

* What does a dynamic and immersive educational experience look like? Nina shares some examples. 

* Covid is hard for everyone right now. Humans are social creatures and we need connection. 

* Nina believes every meeting should have a virtual component. It just opens the doors to so many people who weren’t able to come before due to financial or geographical restraints. 

* Virtual is here to stay! Education in any form is always a positive. 

* What should practitioners be thinking about when it comes to the future of the CME field? 

* We really have to practice what we preach. Sometimes our learning materials are so dry and dull! 

* What is the Psychiatric Innovation Lab all about? 

* What’s Nina looking forward to in 2021? 

Summary
Nina's experience at an HBCU gave her direct exposure to a dynamic learning environment filled with opportunities to teach and facilitate that she has been able to pull into her professional life and use to support her work with faculty. And her leadership style of leading from the middle is invested in uplifting team members, elevating their skills, and fostering an ecosystem of sharing information and a climate in which team members take ownership of their own work, and not the work that someone else has determined for them. 

The parallel here for me is adult learning. How many programs in CME/CPD really allow learners to take ownership of their own learning? And to what extent does the shift to a virtual learning open a door to that kind of experience?  Nina is clear that it is possible to craft dynamic, immersive, experiences that offer room for learners to curate their own learning in a virtual environment that has a clear esthetic design, rapid interactive activities, and networking opportunities.  She's also clear that in order for the continuing education field to evolve and strengthen its programming there needs to be more diversity among team members; opportunities for those team members in an education organization to bring their ideas to the table; and a mechanism for listening to and considering those ideas. 

Resources
https://www.astro.org/
Astro.org

Connect with Nina: LinkedIn

Podcast Team
Host: Alexandra Howson PhD
Sound Engineer: Suzen Marie
Shownotes: Anna Codina

Alex [0:00 - 2:25]
Welcome to write medicine, a podcast that explores the minds, motivations and practices of people who create content that connects with and educates healthcare professionals. I'm your host Alex Harrison, a former nurse and medical sociologist and an education writer and researcher in health care. Join me to learn from education professionals about resources and tools of the trade and listen to stories about what drives them in the medical education field. If your work involves planning, designing or delivering education to healthcare professionals, this podcast is for you today. My guest is Nina Taylor, vice president of Learning and Education at the American Society for Radiation Oncology. I first met Nina in 2018 at an alliance quality and innovation summit in park city Utah. She and Andrew Chacko who was a guest in episode two of right medicine were presenters in a session on designing in innovative education programs, but my alarm bells started ringing five minutes into the session, which included storytelling games and gasp group improv improv requires an openhearted willingness to lean into vulnerability and submit to the process. I'm a white, middle aged, middle class, northern european woman, reserved, restrained and some might say emotionally closed down. It comes with a cold climate and I don't do improv. But that really was the point of the session. Moving out of your comfort zone is vital to learning games and processes like improv invite us to change our vocabularies and behaviors. They free the mind to explore preconceived ideas and assumptions and foster collaboration. Nina is the consummate collaborator in today's episode. She talks about her work in continuing education and how she uses active listening, social learning and a sense of fun to create immersive and accessible education for clinicians in health care.

Alex [2:31 - 2:50]
Yeah. Hello and welcome to write medicine. I'm here today with Nina Taylor, who is Vice president of Learning and Education at the American Society for Radiation Oncology and I'm super happy to have the opportunity to have this conversation with her. Welcome, Nina,

Nina [2:51 - 2:53]
thank you for having me. I'm really excited to be here.

Alex [2:54 - 3:01]
I want to ask you to share something about your background and how you find yourself into the CMI CPV world.

Nina [3:02 - 6:02]
Yeah, so everybody has a very interesting kind of superhero origin story of CMI and no different. Um so I actually started out in a research. I was at the United States Department of Agriculture and I loved my time in the lab but it was a little boring and so it was just me, Maybe two people in the lab and my experiments. Um and so I wanted to do something a little more dynamic, but I didn't know what it was. Um and so my nephew actually fell pretty ill and spent a long time at Children's Hospital. And I actually got to interface pretty frequently with his team of gastro neurologist and that's kind of where I, you know, found a G. A. Because I wanted to help the team to kind of figure out what was going on with my favorite little guy, right? And so they had an opening in their education department for a coordinator which is you know, pretty much the first step of really that team member and education. Great, you get a little bit of everything as a coordinator and it was focused in on the annual meeting of the steering committee and that's kind of where I stepped into this world. And it was really because of my nephew, I didn't know anything about cmI. You know, there's no true kind of education around it. I went to school for psychology and Sociology and did some business but there was no formal training that I had and then once I was in A G. A. And kind of learning about adult learning and and putting on meeting's logistics. It just found how big and broad this industry was. Um the collaborators, the the educators and really the brilliant minds both the back of the house in the front of the house um being able to go into an entire city and take it over. It was really attractive as well. And I decided to pursue my Master specifically in education and training and really focused in on adult learning theories and concepts and how to design really creative education. Both live. But also I had a very strong focus on online learning and virtual learning which I didn't realize it would be very important later on huge asset right now. Uh live that I have paid attention in class. Um and so and then you know, it's that financial aspect as well, the corporate support and the marketing. Uh and really the education department actually had mentioned earlier in the meeting, it's one of the few departments that actually branches often to so many other departments within a society. I'm in lockstep with technology, in lockstep with finance and marketing and columns. And so It just was so attractive. It just kept me engaged and yeah, so it's been almost 14 plus years now that I've just been hanging out in CMI.

Alex [6:02 - 6:12]
That's great. I love that story. I did notice that your undergraduate major was psychology and sociology in the sociology major as well. So I always get very excited

Nina [6:12 - 6:13]
the heart.

Alex [6:13 - 6:33]
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So you must be one of the few people I think in our field that actually has a Masters in adult education and learning. Can you talk a little bit about some of the things that are really at the heart of expertise in adult learning?

Nina [6:33 - 8:59]
Yeah, so you have a ton of theory that goes in behind it. Um but I think what was really attractive to me was the strategy and the structure around education, you know, whether it's a particular modeling or really the facilitation of learning, how to essentially make messaging, land and speaking directly to your audience and understanding what that audiences. I remember us going through several classes and just how to write learning objectives, which became something that was just so important in this work. Really smart learning objectives and how to to meet those learning objectives and then later evaluate them and so, you know, outcomes, measurements, data, uh super important when it came to really deciding programs and so in like really all types of programs and really, I think what was really important for me was being as divergent as possible. So taking every lesson that I learned and taking it a step further, right? And making sure that education was fun. I can't remember how many sessions I had set in an undergrad in particular, that were complete snooze fests, right? You just, you know, it was literally deathbed power point, What reading are we doing? Um but none of my Master's classes were like that. Um I went to an hbcu which historically black College University and um we were leading classes, we were leading discussions, we were essentially equating method um in theory to movies that were out at the time, you know, and so it was just very dynamic and I think I was able just to pull from even my experience and then apply that to how physicians learned. And then one of the pillars to the educational program that I was in um was around facilitation. So you had to know how to consult, so we would consult with different organizations, but you also had to learn how to teach, right? And so, but teaching and leading by being in the middle. And so it turns out that that ended up being not only how I would essentially teach and facilitate um in the future, but it ended up being my leadership style. So how I ended up leading teams now, I believe from the middle, because of what I had learned in that master's program.

Alex [8:59 - 9:03]
So I want to dig into that just a little more. What do you mean by leading from the middle?

Nina [9:03 - 10:28]
Yeah, so, you know, I I kind of challenge folks to kind of think about like their leadership ethos and so mine is, I'm firm but there and I think about how to really empower every member on my team, you have to complete by in and the leaders of themselves. And so if there's a big project or a big idea, I don't sit up front in the driver's seat, I rotate the driver's seat, and so I literally become the nucleus that just powers everything that comes out of the and so every person has a piece that they own, a major contribution to the overall project. And I really just turning to supporting cast for their magic. And I think that it helps people did not only feel completely bought into the organization into the idea, but it helps them identify strengths that they didn't know that they have, it helps to challenge them and what it really means to work. They're not widget makers, they're not clock punchers, you know, they're more than that. And then I think it helps to elevate their skill set as well. And so it's great to be the front man, but I felt that it was just more power just to kind of sit in the middle and you know, coach and um really empower people to step out present. You know, take ownership of their work and not always take ownership of other people's work.

Alex [10:28 - 10:33]
Mm That's wonderful. You've worked in several medical societies.

Nina [10:33 - 10:35]
So

Alex [10:35 - 10:45]
I'm curious how your experience of teaching and learning to teach during your master's supports your work with faculty. Can you talk a little bit about them?

Nina [10:45 - 12:17]
Yeah, so I have an amazing team at astro lead both the education as well as the logistics and the learning units. And we have a ton of committees were very member focused and um, I think that we have maybe 11 different committees between steering committees, special interest groups and more. And I think that really every single person on my team manages their own committee so they can, they feel empowered to be, you know, on these calls with folks that are the smartest people you could ever run into and be able to lead and guide, you know, decision making. And so I think that not only with the leadership style, but also the types of projects and the fact that they feel comfortable bringing their own ideas to the table and really understanding the value of active listening and um, you know, being a true collaborative partner. I think when I first started and see me, it was very much that the physicians led everything. So it was like, you know, essentially you do this and go and now it's, it's different, right? They want to hear from us because they know that we have the expertise, right? And so when it comes to adult learning and the technology, especially now, you know, they're looking through the staff more so than ever to make things work. And so I think that's very empowering and I do feel that more folks would benefit to channel their staff in that direction.

Alex [12:18 - 12:53]
Do you think medical specialty societies are unique in that sense that one of the things that I hear sometimes, maybe a little more often from providers that work in a mech, medical education company setting is it's much more challenging to engage faculty because they're not necessarily seen as, as the experts. Sometimes there's a, there's a sense of deferral to the physician faculty that that gets in the way of building effective, meaningful content. Is that something that, that is a little bit different depending on who the providers

Nina [12:53 - 14:45]
are? Yeah, I can definitely see that. I spent about seven years and at a Mac and I can definitely see the difference between the relationship we have is a Mac and the relationships that I have in inside of the medical specialty society. And it's really because I feel that it's a member organization as a medical specialty societies. So they kind of see me is like one of them, right? I'm championing their cause is in it versus you know, with the neck that's kind of like you're almost an outsider in a way, right? Like you're helping you're feeding into it, but you're not quite one of us yet, right? Like, you know, I know you, but I don't know you, you know, versus I have physicians in my phones that I can text and call up whenever. And that's from most of all of the associations that I've worked with. You really do become almost friends to family because you have these passions, which is their work. That is your work that turned into this a lot of passion projects. And like, even though I'm in radiation oncology, I still have folks that reach out actually had just worked with since over notes to a psychiatrist on his new initiative because he just valued my feedback because of our previous work that we've done together. And so it's just a kind of an ecosystem of sharing information. And I think that that's something that is very unique medical special society staff that if max never figured it out, you know, it's like good luck to us. Um, but next, I think found out technology before we did right, they figured out lean modeling how to run fast and quick before we did, um, they don't have the bureaucracy like we do, and so there's kind of trade offs on both sides, but I think the close relationship, it's really what keeps me coming back.

Alex [14:45 - 14:48]
That's interesting. So it's a very collegial model

Nina [14:49 - 14:50]
for sure. For sure.

Alex [14:51 - 15:04]
Can you talk a little bit about how your current organization as real approaches clinician education for members? What kind of things are you interested in? Are you really kind of empowered to address?

Nina [15:05 - 17:20]
Yeah. So, um, right now we're in this and I can say that it's pretty clearly because I'm hoping going to set the stage for this, but really generating a lot of original content until working with our committees on um, really identifying the topics based on member surveys and evaluations that are most relevant and interesting to our members similar to a lot of folks, um, things around health equity, diversity and inclusion. Though Astro did not have, you know, representation on the board. I was able to kind of help move that in the right direction. And so we've got more programming coming out around heavy and really kind of uh, expanding tool kits and programming around diversity. Uh, similarly, you know, we're taking a look at virtual learning in a new way. Our annual meeting was of course impacted by Covid. And you know, we had just a different story than a lot of other folks. And a lot of it really came from aggressive planning and a very aggressive proposal and we did a complete immersive virtual experience that looks similar to what people would have come to if they were able to join us in Miami. Um, so from a virtual convention center and all virtual exhibit hall, literally all of the programming that would have happened in Miami and then extension of that continues to live on on virtually. And so, you know, we of course didn't cut any of the red rates. We didn't devalue the education just because we couldn't host it live. You know, virtual is in semi it's just as good. And so our story on the impacts of Covid very different than some other folks because of those decisions. Um and of course the Ai and a RVR big data and dramatics all of that stuff is interesting and so looking at really interesting ways to not only get that information out but people to to continue to collaborate social learning of course will be doing experiments pretty soon and then really practical, hands on things like contouring and using tech tools to be able to do that, the stuff that we focus on quite a bit.

Alex [17:21 - 17:43]
So you mentioned a deep immersive experience in a virtual setting, so, and we're having this conversation in February 2021 where you already equipped as an organization with virtual technology that allowed you to kind of create that immersive experience or did you have to scramble to pull that technology together?

Nina [17:43 - 20:49]
No, we were not. So um, I think that I saw the writing's on the wall when I saw some very large shows that I'm familiar with. Start to crumble in days. You know, they are in showtime. You know, I knew that given our position in the calendar, which was the last week of october and so it was more strategy. Uh, you start to advocate to the board pretty early to pull the plug on Miami that we, I knew just wouldn't be ready to house us and wouldn't be safe, to be quite honest. And the board made the decision to allow me the time, which was approximately six months to turn higher meeting around and my plan was pretty aggressive, I didn't want to cut anything actually added content and it was a complete redesign while also mitigating damages from Miami. So it was a huge undertaking that incorporated organizational preparedness. So it went back to those, you know, key pillars of hrd, those key pillars of the Master's program to establish that organizational change. And really it was halfway through just to kind of keep the team rallied around the idea, stay on plan, stay on message, um and keep going. So it was quickly identifying, you know, the apps that worked, the platforms that worked, you know, getting the relationships starting to leverage them. That's one of the reasons why I think education is so attractive because you have, you should have solid relationships with your technology team and your com's team. So, so when you say, okay guys, I'm ready to do something different, they're ready to line up and go. And I was fortunate enough to have that in a very solid partnerships across the various divisions and so, um, when the plan was laid out, they were ready just to kind of to move and while it was pretty terrifying to move in that way, you know, you can see pretty early on that, okay. We won the ball game. And so it has been brought, I think a new life to Astro to win on that size of a scale really, when, you know, other folks hadn't, you know, traumatic to plan a meeting over a year to year and a half and then have to, you know, for your work away. We even had a little funeral for our meeting. So sad, you know, pitch our work. But we think that was pretty amazing and our members were so happy with it. I think that they were shocked or evaluations. We actually 10 of an increase over the satisfaction of the live meeting from previous years. They were just so us with it. And so we learned so much about virtual learning and you know, we wanted to make it different because by the time we were up we knew that zoom fatigue would be setting in. We had to do something that was more immersive. And so we went more of a dynamic versus a static look and feel. And then of course that training of that faculty which is still ongoing, right? Because we're going to still be in similar waters

Alex [20:49 - 20:57]
for some time. Can you give an example of what a dynamic immersive activity or experience look like?

Nina [20:57 - 22:30]
Yeah. So I modeled the program and the look of it similar to like an ipad game. So really was click action. It looked exactly like I replicated the Miami Convention Center. I replicated our show look. So a lot of it went through design. If you went to the exhibit hall, the booths looked like the boost that they would have had in Miami. So they want to kind of go in and you know, talked to representatives and watch videos and then if they were in sessions, it still had the networking elements to it. You were still able to see faculty and we had really amazing faculty and then we had, you know, the polling, the Q and A. We had the Gamification pieces. So you really wanted exciting. And so you have that visual aesthetic and on top of the interaction and then that ran consecutively on top of having things with their fingertips so they can do it whenever with literally every language conversion you can think of. Um and give them I think room to curate their own experience, something that you wouldn't have been able to do if you were alive with session, you'll miss several. And so we still had everything else that we promised, we still rolled out a brand new app, we rolled out a brand new website to go with this new look of the show. So everything just got accelerated, you know, versus having a very kind of static page or zoom integration. Um we went kind of full immersion,

Alex [22:30 - 22:34]
I'm guessing radiation on colleges are pretty tech savvy,

Nina [22:34 - 23:08]
they are pretty tech savvy. Our members are skew a little bit older so some of them are average age overall is about 51 but the click action just click and play work and because we had so much content it had to be split up over several groups, so it just kind of became, you know, once they figured out how to navigate through the convention center and that, you know, they were a little globes that they could find to rack up points, you know, once they understood it, they really enjoyed it. And so it just modeled essentially a ipad game

Alex [23:09 - 23:14]
and you mentioned you're doing some experimentation around social learning. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Nina [23:15 - 26:19]
Yeah, so for this year we're actually um working on heading back live, there will be having a show in Chicago in october, but also having a virtual element. Um as far as a hybrid meeting element as well. And really one of the things that really amazing thing that came from the annual meeting was just the amount of social media engagement that came from eating it actually outpaced our live by millions of tweets. Um and we thought that it would be the opposite people sessions and like have time to like tweet while they're actually on a virtual session. But it was totally different. Like really interesting and so we wanted to kind of bacon more time um for people to interact with each other and really doing it safely. One of the things that we've learned in some of our conversations with our committees is that um are members miss being with each other, especially after a year of virtual learning and they are like come hell or high water we are showing up to this meeting and so we wanted to make sure that we had both things for CMi but also things not for CMi that engaged in that social kind of aspect. And so we have the things non seeing me that focus on wellness, but also things for seeing me that focus on that skills building. So whether it's leadership or financial toxicity, bringing in things like role playing and debates and really having some hands on learning things, um whether that's board games that are organized or kind of card games, having some sort of fun interaction or intervention inside of a session. Um, and then opportunities to open it up to top. So whether it's through para sharing or large group depression that's facilitated um, just having that opportunity for them to share with each other. During our one of our virtual sessions that we added. Um the session was about covid and the impact on the health care team and we had of course dr Fauci calm but also I'm josh, Patrice Harris. We had representatives from global, but also um state and state territories and our faculty that was moderating it uh just north to new york at the top of Covid. And so, you know, having that major change in the move, but also now being at the epicenter of the pandemic. She was, you know, having a very hard time, right? Like if she recounts her experiences, you will start to tear up. And so it's to me that ability to reconnect with your colleagues and your fears is something that's really important. And so, you know, for folks that are kind of going live or thinking about something hybrid, definitely consider that, you know, that opportunity to figure out some sort of way for them to re engage and kind of interact with each other and to share their experiences because it's been very, very difficult.

Alex [26:20 - 26:31]
And if you found that in creating the immersive experience that you did for the annual meeting, did you have to kind of switch up the way that you assessed or evaluated outcomes?

Nina [26:32 - 28:54]
So we don't have to change too much. We definitely added additional questions, you know, and we ended up leveraging like our list Serbs, we wanted to really kind of listening here from what other people have done in previous virtual meetings. So we added additional questions and really what we have learned from it were all the things that worked really well and they liked and then of course the things that didn't work really well which were really around like some of the networking things and the exhibit hall. But when it came to like the learning aspect, we found that virtual learning really was on par with our live learning and we saw that there was a shift and what was important for the year. And so communicating with your patients and collaborating with teams really ended up moving around literally every other benchmark that we had. And so I think the focus we saw shifted for the year. And so that meant that for this year in particular we were looking for different education, both for our live meetings, but to supplement the education that we have seen at the annual meeting. So the data from the annual meeting was really significant and actually really, really interesting. So we'll actually be doing a couple of different reports on it. And then the team had the A 60 MG had accepted um one of their abstracts because one of our first meeting was a specialty refresher meeting was canceled and we converted it in a virtual meeting when we're doing it virtual again with some of the lessons learned. Um, so we're actually doing a longitudinal study on that meeting with some of these changes in virtual learning. So we'll definitely stay tuned for that because we have some information that we've gleaned from virtual learning. But I think the concept of it, I think it just fortifies that folks are still learning in this way more and they're comfortable learning in this way. And it's really about that additional access because there are folks that could not come in a meeting or to any of the live meetings based on finances or where they are there in a resource limited setting. And, and this just opens the door. And really the argument to me was that every meeting should have some sort of virtual component to be quite honest.

Alex [28:54 - 29:23]
Yeah, interesting. I mean, I think a lot of people would agree that it's been increasingly hard for many, many clinicians to, you know, show up live for meetings, although that live connection is clearly a really important aspect of having that sense of collective membership of profession and a professional organization. But virtual virtual is here to stay for all sorts of reasons and we're going to need solid data about what works and what doesn't work.

Nina [29:23 - 30:02]
Yeah, absolutely. And I think that when it works to scream out loud because for so long felt like, um, we were told that, you know, the learning, you know, was kind of stuck part to live learning. And I think that there's a huge place for both. I don't think that there's one that's greater than the other or a virtual learning is only here as a, you know, silver lining to Covid. I think that the silver lining to Covid is the innovation, like the, you know, the launching pad of a lot of, you know, us thinking in a different way, but I do think that education in any form is a positive.

Alex [30:03 - 30:22]
Mhm. Absolutely. You've given so many great examples of what works and what is effective, What are you not seeing in the CMI CPD feel that practitioners really need to be thinking about in order to expand and improve their education game?

Nina [30:23 - 34:41]
Yeah, so, um one of the things that I talk about part of the um with, I think folks that kind of came up with me is I don't see a lot of, I think youthful leadership, it's usually me, I'm usually represent, I'm usually representing quite a few checkboxes. Right? And so um young african american woman. Right, And so you don't see that. All right. If I look at the alliance or I look at, you know, a ccM me, you know, you're just seeing kind of the same players um, and they're older and you know, they're they're mostly occasion. And so in talking about some of my experiences, those diverse voices aren't always listen to or ideas are taken into consideration for programming or for proposals or even given the chances and they should write in one of my presentations. I always use like the example of Pixar and how the Pixar movies are so great because you know, they filmed the movie and put it out on the screening room and literally everybody, they're able to provide notes, whether you are in marketing or you're the janitor or a parking attendant. Everybody gives notes. And I think that makes stronger programming. I think that makes stronger organizations and I think that that really leads to the next generation of leaders. Um, so I would like to see and see me or I think diversity, but also opportunities given to all types of people and, and really all of those ideas to kind of be, um, be even considered. And then I also think that, you know, bringing to the forefront, that iteration, right? Just because something doesn't work the first time or it doesn't yield the type of financial return that you want to on that first go around, it doesn't mean that you get to pitch it in the trash, You should take it back to the drawing board and figure out why could your partner, could you go after additional streams of revenue? Are there other opportunities that exist to make it a success? And sometimes it takes more than one iteration for something to catch fire if I gave up on a particular project the first time, you know, things like the psychiatry innovation lab wouldn't exist. Um the mental health innovation Zone, which I think is now in its fifth iteration wouldn't exist. And so you can't just give up on those things and you know what challenge folks to kind of, you know, continue to try. Last year was tough, it was very tough out so many people and you know, it's been really endearing is that uh folks have started to open up those communication channels in between medical specialty societies, but also I think it needs to be even more broadened. Um I think max need to talk to us, I think that hospital systems need to talk to, you know, I think there needs to be more cross collaboration in general, I think everybody's suffering in some way, but if you, you know, if you won the day or if you really are hurting and you need to figure something out, there's somebody that knows, and so I do think that that opportunity for more collaboration should exist inside of inside of our halls, you know, and I'd like to see a little more fun, I think that we don't like, and I think everybody says this at some point, we don't necessarily practice what we preach. We have some of the driver education sometimes, and I think it's starting to get jazzed up quite a bit, but if I sit through, like, literally one more ridiculous outcomes, it's like, it's like you need that application for, can it be like more excited? And like, as I put together education for the full physician um where you have the practical application, but there's also skills based items that you need. It's the same thing for CPD professionals, they're still skills based elements that we need, whether it's communication or presentation or leadership. So I do think that we need to focus on a little more on that and that's the end of my soapbox. That's a great soapbox.

Alex [34:41 - 34:49]
What do you think stops that cross collaboration? Because it seems like that's something we've talked about in the industry or the field for quite some time.

Nina [34:49 - 35:43]
Yeah, I think that it's naturally set up Infractions, Right? So there's a list of just for medical specialty societies, right? Is there's a list of for max and granted everybody's thing is different, but there hasn't been that one meeting or that one initiative that people can kind of crawl to or they don't feel safe to go to. If I go to those things, I end up with a bunch of business cards about partnering. Well sometimes I don't wanna partner, sometimes I just want to brainstorm with you, you know, and I should just be able to just sit down at the table and great, you know, and so not everything has to be transactional. Um and I think that that's kind of where we've forgotten about the pillars of relationship building and friendships because it could be transactional much later. So yeah, I think we're just naturally cut up into fractions, but we can definitely work on that. A large, big family.

Alex [35:43 - 35:57]
I think you've really nailed something there in terms of the transactional nature of a lot of relationships. I know we're running out of time. I did want to ask you about the psychiatric innovation lab, what is that? And how does it work?

Nina [35:57 - 37:25]
Yeah, so it's a it's kind of like a shark tank where we have these amazing, brilliant individuals with really great ideas on how to improve patient care and mental health. And um they come and they pitch their ideas to panelists uh for prize money or in kind services. Um and it's usually done at the A. P. A annual meeting and we bring together business leaders and um CMos and investors to give them feedback on their idea. Um It turns into a little bit of a hackathon um where their idea, they're able to work on it with folks that are invited in and improve their idea and re pitch for, you know, cash prizes and in cash and services. So it's a really awesome initiative. Dr Nina Vasan has been literally at the ground level of it as well and um it kind of just lives on, which is so awesome to see the products and apps and services that have come out of this really incubator to be quite honest. And so it's got a little cult following and it's just a, it's got really amazing energy, but it's like, it's like the Tv show shark tank. And did you start that? Yeah, it was like the very first oh wow initiative and generated money and and then from there I kind of built the mental health innovation zone and that lives on right,

Alex [37:25 - 37:26]
I love that.

Nina [37:26 - 37:43]
And so it's like even I leave and it still goes, it gets drugs, so now it astro still kind of kicking butt. So yeah, it's been pretty amazing. It's like seeing me is awesome and anything

Alex [37:43 - 37:52]
that we haven't kind of covered that you feel is really important To the CMB CPD Field. What would you like to see happen in 2021 and beyond?

Nina [37:53 - 39:04]
Yeah, I think that uh I think for 2021 Coming out of 2020, um extending yourself some grace, you know, I think last year was very, really difficult. A lot of teams were really ran thin. You know, the kind of unspoken thing happened. Quite a few like layoffs and things like that. It's just been really tough. And I think realizing that we always recover. This is we've had bumpy times before. So I do think that if I had like a final word, you know, we're tougher than this moment and I do think that, um, will continue to be back Covid and we're going to get back to, um, having are huge show and taking over our cities and being able to educate our physicians live virtually whatever you decide. But it's tough. And I think as leaders, especially of teams, you know, to continue to listen and support not only your teams, which are peers who might be struggling as well. So it's just been a wild and crazy ride, but it's one I think worth hanging onto

Alex [39:04 - 39:12]
Nina Taylor leading from the middle taking over the world. Thank you so much for talking to me on the right medicine.

Nina [39:12 - 39:15]
You're so welcome and congratulations on the show and thank you

Alex [39:15 - 39:17]
for me being such a pleasure.

Alex [39:23 - 40:08]
Nina's experience at an HBCU gave her direct exposure to a dynamic learning environment filled with opportunities to teach and facilitate that she's been able to pull into her professional life and used to support her work with faculty and her leadership style of leading from the middle is invested in uplifting team members, elevating their skills and fostering an ecosystem of sharing information, as well as a climate in which team members take ownership of their own work and not the work that someone else has determined for them. The parallel here for me is of course adult learning. How many programs in CMI or CPD continuing education in the health

Nina [40:08 - 40:09]
professions, really

Alex [40:09 - 41:27]
allow learners to take ownership of their own learning and to what extent does the shift to a virtual learning environment, Open a door to that kind of experience? Nina is clear that it is possible to craft dynamic immersive experiences that offer room for learners to curate their own learning in a virtual environment that has a clear aesthetic design, rapid interactive activities and networking opportunities. She is also clear that in order for the continuing education field to evolve and strengthen its programming, there really needs to be more diversity among team members, opportunities for those team members in an education organization to bring their ideas to the table and a mechanism for listening to and considering those ideas. She also talked about strategies for addressing failure, which we explored an episode one with Audrey Tarnaud of Excalibur, Medical Education. So much good stuff. Thank you for listening. If you're enjoying the podcast, consider subscribing or leaving a review until next time I'm your host Alex housing and this is right, Medicine, right?

Alex [41:35 - 41:38]
Yeah, mm.


Nina's start in CME/CPD
What goes on behind the scenes
Nina challenges you to think about your leadership style
Fighting for the same team
The ASTRO approach to continuing education
Challenges Nina faced when trying to incorporate virtual technology into her department
What a dynamic and immersive educational experience looks like
HHumans are social creatures and we need connection
Every meeting should have a virtual component
Thinking about the future of CME and cross-collaboration
Psychiatric Innovation Lab
Concluding thoughts