Eric Carlson, DMD, MD, EdM, Professor and Chair of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, received a master's degree in education from Harvard University.
In April 2015, Dr. Carlson had an epiphany, recognizing that faculty physicians should learn to teach contemporary residents the way residents learn as opposed to forcing residents to learn the way faculty teach, which ultimately leads to practicing physicians with more advanced knowledge and skills. Dr. Carlson said this realization came to light in recognition of his lack of formal training in the theory and practice of pedagogy, despite 28 years of experience in a teaching environment in his specialty. Dr. Carlson then decided to pursue a master's degree in education so that he could learn from renowned educators and perform research in pedagogy while earning a master's degree.
In March 2017, Dr. Carlson received acceptance to the Harvard University Graduate School of Education to enter the class of 2018 in the Specialized Studies Program. This would be an intense one-year program that would be fast-paced and stimulating while addressing the gap that he had recognized in his credentials as an educator in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. The program focused on educational innovation and technology, leadership, and faculty development.
His research took place at a Harvard teaching hospital wherein he had the unique opportunity to provide adaptive leadership training for five members of the faculty in that hospital. This research was performed under the guidance of Harvard University Graduate School of Education faculty member and faculty director of the Specialized Studies Program, Eileen McGowan, EdD, seen with him in the accompanying picture at the May 24, 2018 Harvard commencement exercises.
According to Dr. McGowan, "Eric humbly joined our ranks and became an integral member of the Specialized Studies Program. Personally, I was honored to support Eric’s research. He grew not only in his own knowledge, but he also generously shared those insights and contributed enormously to the pedagogy of his surgical colleagues. The learning from that intensive study and intervention was valued by each participating surgeon and was recognized by the whole team at the study’s conclusion. I have no doubt Eric will bring those insights back to the University of Tennessee and share them through future writing with the medical and surgical world."
Posted August 3, 2018
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