In June 2022, University of Western States (UWS) doctor of chiropractic (DC) students and faculty had the opportunity to present at the annual International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) conference in Denver, Colorado.
Hear from two DC students and Dr. Cortny Williams, basic sciences associate professor, regarding their experience and how it influenced their educational and professional growth.
“As a student training to be a chiropractic physician, a tutor, and a volunteer in both urban and rural medical communities, I have always wanted to help and improve education internationally.
I have previously done research during my undergrad degree, so when I was presented the opportunity of research by Dr. Cortny Williams, it opened the doors to explore and gain understandings of new philosophies and teaching strategies.
I initially began on a project about metacognition over a year ago, and later was introduced into a team-based learning project focused on in-campus and online experiences. This research was accepted as a poster presentation at the IAMSE conference. In addition, I was the recipient of a UWS Seed Funding Grant, making it possible for me to attend the conference.
There were specific dates and times for presentations and I had the fortunate opportunity to present twice. This opportunity allowed me to network with other health care professionals who center their work with an educational approach. Diversity in health professions was a key aspect of the conference this year and I appreciated the opportunity to understand education from various different perspectives.
Focus sessions and plenaries at the conference centered on the topics of leadership skills and knowledge in curriculum development, inspiring me to creatively communicate with patients and other providers.
The experience at the IAMSE conference allowed me to serve as an international voice that can be used to enhance health profession education for current and future students at UWS. I am very thankful for the opportunities provided by Dr. Williams and UWS. This was an unforgettable experience!”
– Ravneet Gill, UWS DC student
“I have always had a passion for helping others, not only as a future DC but as a medical science educator as well. My passion, and the incredible support of Dr. Cortny Williams is what brought me to become involved in a UWS research project last year and ignited my interest to become involved with IAMSE.
I was a recipient of a UWS Seed Funding Grant which supported my attendance to the annual IAMSE conference. This provided an exciting opportunity to disseminate my research regarding metacognition in students as well as attend valuable focus sessions that furthered my leadership skills, knowledge in curriculum development and served as a growth factor in my role as a future educator.
IAMSE accepted my research as a poster presentation that was available for view during the entire conference. Additionally, there was a set time where I presented our research to fellow educators and professionals answering any questions they had. I was able to gather information and work alongside a geographically and professionally diverse group of individuals which broadened my scope and instilled hope to induce change in some areas of UWS curricula to better the student experience.
UWS exemplified their mission, vision and position by encouraging and supporting my success and growth as a student. It was an enriching, exciting experience I will not soon forget, and I feel remarkably lucky to be supported by UWS for both my research and career endeavors.”
– Audrey Thacker, UWS DC student
“I have the honor of engaging in the mission and vision of UWS by mentoring students in education research for the first time in my career.
Ms. Gill and Ms. Thacker inspire and direct me toward becoming a better educator and research scientist. They show me how to better serve the students at UWS. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with these scholars, and to further inspire research endeavors with more students, staff and faculty at UWS.
In 2017, I attended my first IAMSE meeting and received my first true sense of how to hone my skills as an educator and how to perform education research. Five years later, I serve as the faculty development chair at UWS, serve on the IAMSE marketing committee, hold three education related certifications, one certification in education research skills, and have created the community of research practice at UWS. I think you might agree that I fell head-over-heels into a sea of opportunity! I’m thriving, because the UWS community supports these opportunities. ” – Dr. Cortny Williams, basic sciences associate professor