January 17, 2019

The ACGME's Baldwin Seminar Series and the Power of Interaction

Approximately 10 years ago, ACGME leadership got together with scholars to accomplish these goals:

  1. Break down silos within ACGME departments and build an esprit de corp that did not exist internally
  2. Expand thinking by opening minds beyond accreditation
  3. Create exposure to the wide world of medical education and medical professions

ACGME Senior Scholar in Residence, and pioneer of interprofessional medical education, Dr. DeWitt C. Baldwin Jr. proposed a solution: a seminar series focused on interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaboration and education in GME.

Growing up with strong intercultural values and experiences, Dr. Baldwin has carried his belief in the enriching power of diversity and interaction throughout his career. He especially became an advocate of interdisciplinary seminars after attending such discussions early in his career, at which specialists from science and education collaborated and presented together. He found the collaborative, interdisciplinary nature and topics of the seminars so inspiring that he changed his career trajectory from the practice of pediatrics to educating the next generation of physicians.

Dr. Baldwin observed that the kind of engaging interdisciplinary and interprofessional learning that inspired him was lacking for today’s doctors. Therefore, the Baldwin Seminar Series was designed with the goal of developing an educational interchange among colleagues to stimulate intelligent thinking on pertinent topics in GME.

In 2011, the Baldwin Seminar Series began as an opportunity to provide continuing professional development for physician-educators, ACGME staff members, and other GME professionals in furtherance of the ACGME mission. The series was comprised of six didactic seminars throughout the year, held at the ACGME offices in Chicago. In 2012, the ACGME Office of Continuing Medical Education (OCME) was created. It assumed responsibility for content delivery and initiatives for formal education with CME credit, and began to offer CME credit for the Baldwin seminar sessions.

The OCME assembled a planning group to invite diverse leaders and scholars to present. The primary target audience was and continues to be ACGME employees and GME educators from local institutions and organizations at all levels of expertise and scope of practice. Baldwin presentations are offered free of charge to the entire surrounding graduate medical education community and other health professionals and organizations.

Since becoming an accredited provider and taking on responsibility for the Baldwin Seminar Series in 2012, the ACGME will have hosted 34 Baldwin seminars for CME credit by the end of 2018. The first Baldwin Seminar for CME credit had 42 attendees; fast-forward to 2018, and the seminars have grown with 84 attendees at the most recent September session.

The Baldwin Seminar Series has helped the ACGME shine more focus on innovation, excellence, expanded thinking, and fresh perspectives in graduate medical education. The Baldwin Seminar Series is now an opportunity for the entire ACGME staff, not just physician staff members, to engage with the very topics that affect our collective mission. It has also brought people together across disciplines throughout the local GME community for bi-monthly discourse. The ACGME is considering options to broadcast the Baldwin Series as a national GME grand rounds in the future.

The Baldwin Seminar Series has helped ACGME leaders and staff members discover that same enriching power of diversity and interaction that Dr. Baldwin advocated at the series’ inception. The interdisciplinary spirit of the series has seeped into other ACGME initiatives and goals. Speakers have broadened attendees’ knowledge and competence in GME, especially empowering ACGME employees to make stronger decisions in furthering the ACGME mission.

The next seminar in the series takes place next Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 9:30-11:00 a.m. Central, at the ACGME offices in Chicago. Dr. David Sklar will present, “Atlas of Men: An Exploration of Identity, Diversity, Science, and Fiction.” Learn more about that presentation, as well as future dates and speakers, on the Baldwin Seminar Series page, and stay tuned for a recap of sessions here on the ACGME Blog!