Education at an Elevation: Our Big Sky Experience
At the amazing #ACC3T conference as an #ACCFIT at #BigSky19. Kicking off the session with a microteaching segment on how to start a #blog. Great feedbacks from @MartyTamMD @noshreza. Well constructed day, couldn't ask for more. Thanks #ACC, #KYACC and #UofL! pic.twitter.com/QlhtOUxkmE— Gaurang Vaidya (@gaurang_md) February 19, 2019
With the support of the ACC Arkansas Chapter and ACC Kentucky Chapter, we were recently given the privilege to attend the 2019 Big Sky Teaching Tomorrow's Teachers (3T) conference. The course is unique because of the intimate setting that lays the foundation for meaningful learning and networking opportunities amongst Fellows in Training (FITs) and faculty mentors.
This four-day boot camp alongside the Big Sky conference was geared towards exploring and cultivating innate qualities required to launch ourselves as successful educators. Broader themes discussed throughout the boot camp included leadership training, establishing a successful mentor/mentee relationship, presentation skills and providing effective feedback.
The training started with an ice breaker over the welcome dinner in which each of us introduced our neighbor. Together, we discovered both the personal and professional nuances about the 18 FITs attending the conference from all over the country.
From there, we were immersed in an engaging experience to discover our merits and potential areas of improvement.
We received great talks by Alpert, Cullen and Tam, who form the backbone of this program. Their efforts were supported by cardiology stalwarts Kim A. Eagle, MD, MACC, and Patrick T. O'Gara, MD, MACC.
Each morning began with a breakfast session with faculty contributors who spoke candidly about their career trajectories, work-life balance, gender-specific hurdles and the art of negotiation.
One of the highlights unique to this conference was the microteaching session. In smaller groups, FITs presented on various interesting and self-chosen topics such as "How to Make a Blogging Website," "How to Plan a Perfect Wedding" or "The Drivers Allowed in the Left-lane!"
It was a fun experience as we collectively stuttered, froze or flailed our arms while being videotaped for our eyes only. The exercise employed public speaking in a controlled environment, and the feedback by the other FITs and mentors of the group provided invaluable insight into our public speaking style.
Amazing 3T Presenter bootcamp for #ACCFIT organized by Drs. Alpert, Cullen and Tam. Fellows taking a 12 point oath for their future presentations. #BigSky19 #3TBigSky #ACC #ACC @mwcullen @MartyTamMD @ACCCardioEd @ACCinTouch @AAgarwalaMD @noshreza @gaurang_md @MHBeasleyMD pic.twitter.com/c66bJAgcCz— Haseeb Qazi (@haseebqazi) February 18, 2019
Each afternoon was engaged in attending the prestigious Big Sky conference with talks from the stalwarts in cardiology. The sessions would begin with each FIT presenting a clinical case with nuances that would be addressed by the faculty mentor subsequently in their talk. In the evening, the presenting FITs would get invaluable feedback from faculty and peers in a cordial and familiar environment.
Each presentation allowed us to observe a variety of skill and style, and the bar was set higher each time. The attendees praised the fearlessness and confidence exhibited by all the fellows while presenting in front of a sizable crowd. We enjoyed this instant fame and felt like the "stars of the conference" as we were recognized in the hotel lobby, ski lifts and restaurants!
We left Big Sky with a renewed understanding of our existing strengths, new set of skills, and community of lifetime friends and collaborators. As we return to our respective chapters with brand new armamentarium, our goal is to disseminate our learnings to our ACC Chapters and fellowship programs.
The ACC Kentucky Chapter featured a description of the conference on their website, while the ACC Arkansas Chapter meeting in May 2019 will feature a talk on FIT learning from the 3T conference.
We came as strangers from different states but left with very close ties to each other. We are proud to be a 3T 2019 alumni.
This article was co-authored by Rimsha Hasan, MD, Fellow in Training (FIT) at the University of Arkansas, and Gaurang Vaidya, MD, FIT at the University of Louisville.