Lawrence Sherman, FACEHP, CHCP
Global Medical Education Futurist and the Funniest Guy in Medical Education
Lawrence Sherman is a global Continuing Medical Education expert with a proven history of designing, developing, implementing and evaluating strategic Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities around the world.
Specialties:Comprehensive dynamic and ongoing needs assessments, mutli-modal, multiple-media CME/CPD activities, educational collaboration, global CME/CPD best practices, CME/CPD joint providership, outcomes measurement and educational impact assessments.
Lawrence also helps educators and others become more effective speakers, presenters, and communicators. His dynamic training workshops encourage people to refine their existing skills as well as incorporate best practices into their lectures and presentations.
He lectures globally on many topics, including:
– Use of humor in medical education
– Incorporating the patient into medical education
– The role of technology and social media in medical education
– Customer service in medicine
Connect with Lawrence Sherman:
TEDxMaastricht – Lawrence Sherman –
“Turning medical education inside out and upside down”
Q1: Have you experienced education gaps between countries in terms of CME and CPD?
Medicine is a profession that requires lifelong learning. Geography doesn’t dictate what needs healthcare professionals have; these needs are dictated by personal circumstances, clinical environment, patient types, and many other factors. In fact, I would hope that healthcare professionals from different geographic regions to have as many different needs as they have common needs.
Healthcare professionals aren’t “classed” but are afforded the opportunity to learn in many formats, including formal didactic (classroom), case-based, simulation, etc. Education gaps are more about what folks in practice are already doing versus what the best practice of what they should be doing. Needs are heterogenous globally, meaning that the assumption that all physicians in the UK will have the same needs but these needs differ from physicians in South Africa. This isn’t fundamentally true in all circumstances.
Assessing educational needs is as much an art as it is a science, and the best medical educators consistently assess the needs of their learners instead of making the assumption that they already know what the learners need. If you ever have the chance to see me teach or lecture, I start many sessions with questions and answers as opposed to ending with it! This way I understand the needs and expectations of the people in the room or online (as a form of self-assessment) and then adjust my presentations accordingly. Take a look at my TEDx talk – I start out by understanding exactly who is in the room. This helped me to guide them through the objectives of my talk.
Q2: What do you think is needed to address medical education globally, especially with technology evolving so rapidly?
Medicine in general evolves, not just medical technology. Healthcare professionals should and must be self-driven and self-directed to find the right education to match their own needs. Medical educators must also help healthcare professionals meet the needs that they have that they may not realize are present; we often say that the learners don’t always know what they don’t know. There is a great deal of educational content available for free on the web. This is a good starting point to help close knowledge, competence and performance gaps but it is not the only answer.
Q3: What is #MedEd and how is that being used in medical education?
If you’re referring to the MedEd hashtag on Twitter and other social media platforms, it is used by medical education professionals and others interested in all topics related to medical education to help identify discussions, resources, and information related to improving the profession of medical education. I apply the hashtag to tweets and posts that I think would be of interest to those searching for the latest and greatest discussions about my chosen profession.
Q4: In your opinion, would standardizing CME across the globe help eradicate many of the issues we face today, for example disease control (eg. Ebola) and innovative medicine?
CME is about how healthcare professionals participate in lifelong learning and not only about the topics. Creating a global framework for how CME and CPD are developed, delivered, and assessed is an area of great interest to me. I wouldn’t want to standardize all CME content, but rather I’d like to see a more standardized approach to how it is done! Ebola is a great example. I wouldn’t expect to use the same CME curriculum for healthcare professionals in Guinea as I would in the US. The core principles would of course be the same, but the specific needs of the learners would be very different.
Also, we need to remove educational isolation – the term that I use when referring to reading different specialties and professions separately. In many cases we expect them to learn separately but then perform as a team. We need to incorporate more team-based teaching and techniques to help improve the quality of care that is provided.