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Health Professions Educator Clinical Scholars

The FAME Health Professions Educator Clinical Scholars (HPECS) program is a two-year certificate program for Northwestern University residents, fellows, and faculty. HPECS prepares educators for excellence in teaching practice through a variety of learning and teaching activities. This self-directed program is open to all Feinberg faculty and trainees with an interest in medical or health professions education.

Why should you consider this course?

Expertise: The FAME Health Professions Educator Clinical Educators program seeks to prepare clinical educators for excellence through participation in various activities including direct observation of your teaching.

Flexible Pace: Students can set their own pace for completion. The entirety of the program can be completed virtually. 

Key Highlights

Develop a Philosophy: Use the knowledge gained through course activities to develop a teaching profile and reflect on your educational philosophy.

Distinguished Speakers: Gain insights from renowned medical educators innovating in education and health professions scholarship.

Program Benefits

  • Develop yourself as a health professions educator
  • Excel as an academic leader, championing innovations in health education standards.

2023-2025 Cohort Application Timeline

Application Opens: July 8, 2024

Application Closes: August 9, 2024

Application Decisions Communicated: Early September 2024

Program Orientation: October 15, 2024


 How to Apply

2024 Application Process and Deadlines

The call for applications will open on July 8th, 2024, and close on August 9th, 2024. When the next admissions cycle is announced, information sessions will also be announced for applicants to ask questions and learn more about the program.


Application Requirements
  • Letter of Support from a Chair or Mentor (faculty) or Program Director (trainees)
  • Statement of Interest - 1 page in length
  • CV

 Program Requirements

During the two academic years of this program, participants will complete the following activities:

Podcast Reflections

Students must listen to and submit five (5) reflections on podcast episodes of the PAPERs (formerly KeyLIME) podcast. Students must also submit five (5) comments on peer reflections.

Educator Development Session Reflections

Students must attend virtually or (when offered) in-person educator development sessions and submit eight (8) reflections of these sessions. Of the attended sessions, at least five (5) must be Feinberg Academy of Medical Educator (FAME) sponsored events. The three remaining sessions may be from departmental grand rounds, conference attendance, etc. Students must also submit 5 comments on peer reflections.

Direct Observational Teaching

Students must participate in four Directly Observed Teaching (DOT) sessions. Students should complete two sessions every twelve months during the program's two-academic-year-period. Two of the sessions should be observed by a mentor, certificate program leader, or other expert in the field. The remaining two can be observed by a peer in the HPECS program. Direct Observational Teaching requests can be made on the FAME website. Observers should use the Teaching Evaluation/Feedback Form. 

Book/Journal Club Participation

All students will read "How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching". Each section of the book will be discussed during quarterly meetings that must be attended in order to receive credit for the reading. Four other medical education books and discussions at quarterly book group discussions are required. Leading a discussion will count as two completed sessions.

Educator Portfolio and Educational Philosophy

Throughout the program, it is recommended for students to use assignments completed to build an educator portfolio and to reflect on the program experience to develop a personal educational philosophy. Faculty should update the educator portfolio section of their Faculty Profile at the end of the program.

Scholarly Project Presentation and Poster Session

 All students will create a final scholarly product. This includes, but is not limited to, peer-reviewed publications, curriculum development materials, educational blogs, and research and quality improvement initiatives. Students will submit a PDF peer reviewed paper, curriculum, or link to a website that addresses an issue in medical education.

Students will present their scholarly product as a poster or presentational format during Medical Education Day or at a RISE (Research Innovation Scholarship in Education) session.

A poster presentation at Spring graduation is mandatory and will occur in mid-May.

Mentoring and Program Session Attendance

Participants will be paired with a mentor from the Feinberg Academy of Medical Educators (FAME) membership. Meeting with mentors should occur bi-annually, though more frequent meetings are encouraged. Mentors and mentees must complete a mentorship agreement. Participants are required to attend quarterly administrative meetings with program leadership.

 HPECS Associate Program Director - Apply Here

HPECS is seeking dedicated Junior Faculty members to serve as Associate Program Director. This role supports the administration and development of our 2-year certificate program for Northwestern University residents, fellows, and faculty.

  • This position is voluntary and does not offer financial compensation.
  • It serves as a valuable stepping stone to future funded roles within our organization, with a historically high turnover rate due to internal promotions.
  • Anticipated workload is primarily concentrated during the on-boarding phase (October/November) and completion phase (May), averaging 0-1 hours per week during the program duration.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Track participants' progress using provided spreadsheets.
  • Compile and maintain records as participants submit required items.
  • Conduct meetings with individuals who miss quarterly sessions and their make-up sessions.
  • Facilitate discussions on missed topics to ensure comprehensive understanding.
  • Identify suitable mentors for program entrants to enhance their learning experience.


  • Lead book discussions on relevant educational topics.
  • Deliver talks during quarterly meetings on subjects such as Curriculum Development and Educational Outcomes.
  • Serve as an expert observer during Direct Observations of trainee teaching sessions.
  • Review educator portfolios submitted annually in May.


  • Current Junior Faculty member
  • Strong organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills
  • Commitment to supporting professional development and educational excellence.

Application Process:

Interested candidates should submit a brief statement of interest outlining their qualifications and motivation for the role along with their CV using this form:


Contact Us

Headshot of Dr. Lucas Bruton 

Lucas Bruton, MD, MEd
Director of the Health Professions Educator Certificate Program
Instructor, Pediatrics (Advanced General Pediatrics and Primary Care

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