The Faculty Education Fellowship in Medical Humanism and Professionalism began at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) in 2013. The overarching goal for the Faculty Education Fellowship is to improve faculty teaching effectiveness and role modeling in humanism and professionalism, and to develop faculty committed to promoting humanistic values in teaching and learning environments and to serve as positive influences on the institutional culture in these areas.

Learning environments significantly influence the professional formation of trainees. William Branch, Jr., MD, MACP and colleagues developed a multi-institutional Collaborative Faculty Development Project to train physician education leaders to promote more humanistic teaching,  mitigate the effects of the hidden curriculum, and promote positive learning environments.

Boston Children’s Hospital is one of 10 national sites, and the first pediatric site, to implement curricula for humanism and professionalism for faculty, starting in 2013. The program at Boston Children’s is unique in that we have created an innovative 1-year Faculty Education Fellowship, rather than a course. We have also expanded the curriculum to include: values and skilled communication, appreciative inquiry background and concepts, and additional topics.

The development and implementation of the Faculty Education Fellowship was partially funded by a multi-institutional grant from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation (Dr. William Branch, Jr. as PI).

Elizabeth Rider, MSW, MD (site leader and co-PI) was awarded funding to implement a curriculum in humanism and professionalism for Boston Children’s Hospital faculty. Dr. Rider, Director of Academic Programs for the Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice and a member of the Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Medicine is Director of the Faculty Education Fellowship.

Fellowship Sponsors


The Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice

Co-Sponsors include:

The Office of Faculty Development

The Boston Children's Hospital Academy for Teaching and Educational Innovation and Scholarship

The Office of Graduate Medical Education

Faculty Education Fellows

Faculty Education Fellows: 2015-2016

Faculty Education Fellows: 2013-2014

Program Information

Faculty Education Fellows in Medical Humanism and Professionalism include physicians and dentists affiliated with Boston Children’s Hospital who are interested in teaching and medical education. Fellows meet for 1½-hour faculty development sessions (i.e., small group learning sessions) twice a month for 1 year (24 sessions). Faculty fellows participate in a supportive learning process.

Some level of involvement in teaching residents, fellows, and/or medical students is preferred, though not essential. No project is required.

Curriculum topics include: active role modeling, appreciative inquiry narratives and reflection, highly functioning interprofessional teams, communicating caring attitudes, reflective teaching, feedback/difficult feedback, bedside teaching, boundary transgressions, well-being and renewal, learner-centered skill sessions, and others. We have developed exciting curricula on values and skilled communication using the International Charter for Human Values in Healthcare as a framework.

Benefits to Participants

The Fellowship provides opportunities for the faculty to:

  • Enhance teaching skills and role modeling in topics related to medical humanism and professionalism
  • Increase reflective capacities and the ability to use these in teaching
  • Serve as inspiring teachers and role models, and to promote a humanistic culture across the institution
  • Participate in an ongoing small supportive group of like-minded faculty at Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Enhance their professional development and promotion portfolios
  • Opportunity to meet and interact with faculty from other departments and divisions at Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Participants will become part of a national alumni group of faculty who have participated in several cohorts of this project.
  • “Short track” into membership of The Academy for Innovation in Education at Boston Children's Hospital by participating in the Fellowship and completing an educational project. There is no project requirement for faculty fellows who are already members of the Academy or who do not plan to become Academy members at present.

Research Component: As the curriculum is part of a national multi-site project, fellows participate in evaluation of the curricula by completing several short surveys, reflecting on their learning over the course of the fellowship, and further evaluation of the impact of the curricula.

Faculty Education Fellows in the News

Christy Cummings, MD - received the Boston Children's Hospital Academy
for Innovation in Education Scholar Award. (2015)

Emily Davidson, MD, MPH - received Boston Children's Hospital's
2014 David S. Weiner Award. (May 2014)

Sara Forman, MD - received Boston Children's Hospital
Community Pediatrician Award. (2013)

Daniel S. Kamin, MD – received the 2014 Robert P. Masland, Jr., Award for
Excellence in Teaching at Children’s Hospital Boston (June 2014), and an
Academy Center for Teaching and Learning 2014 Award for Excellence in
Tutoring at HMS. Dr. Kamin also was named a 2014-2015 Morgan-Zinsser
Fellow of the Academy of Medical Education at Harvard Medical School.

Yuan-Chi Lin, MD, MPH – co-authored a recently published book:
Yuan-Chi Lin, MD, MPH and Eric Shen-Zen Hsu, eds.
Acupuncture for Pain Management. Springer: New York, 2014.
Dr. Lin also directed an HMS CME course on Effective Pediatric Pain
Management and End of Life Care.
Children’s Medical Staff Organization
members were invited to attend as guests. (March 2014)

Dennis Rosen, MD – authored the recently published book
Vital Conversations: Improving Communication between
Doctors and Patients
, Columbia University Press, September 2014.

Arnold Sansevere, MD – received the Boston Children's Hospital Department
of Neurology Faculty Development Fellowship, an award of the Eleanor and Miles
Shore 50th Anniversary Fellowship Program for Scholars in Medicine at Harvard
Medical School. (2015)

Participating National Institutions

The following institutions are currently (2015+) participating in this multi-site national project:

  • Boston Children’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School
  • Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • Pennsylvania State Hershey Medical Center
  • Stanford University School of Medicine
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Medicine
  • University of Virginia School of Medicine
  • Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
  • Yale School of Medicine

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events - The Faculty Fellows Humanism Series 

Cultivating Humanism: Nurturing a Culture for Safe, Compassionate Healthcare - The Faculty Fellows Humanism Series

The Faculty Fellows Humanism Series is designed to nurture values and to foster caring humanistic organizational cultures and learning environments. An overall theme is promoting well-being, enhancing resilience, and decreasing burnout. We hope to develop a critical number of faculty members, administrators, staff and trainees committed to humanistic values and to demonstrating these in learning and clinical care settings across the institution.

The Faculty Fellows Humanism Series will provide formal and informal learning events, activities, and resources to teach broad aspects of humanism and humanistic values across the organization. The series is presented by the Faculty Education and Leadership Fellowships:

Faculty Fellowship for Leaders in Collaborative and Humanistic Interprofessional Education

Finding the Right Balance When Giving Bad News: Providing Information, Dealing with Emotions, and Designing an Action Plan

Our first event was an interactive seminar on October 27, 2016, presented by Orit Karnieli-Miller, PhD, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Medical Education, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University. ‘Giving bad news’ interactions in medicine are significant and challenging––for patients, family members, physicians and team members. The manner of communication is critical. Dr. Karnieli-Miller shared her work on deepening our understanding of the nature of giving bad news encounters and classifying the different types of interactions within them. For more information on this past event, please see the flyer.

Healthcare at the Crossroads: Maintaining Values, Meaning, and Resilience in Today’s Healthcare Environment

“There is nothing to replace the human interaction.”

We have before us a “tremendous opportunity to change culture

by relating to each other as human beings.”

--William Branch, Jr, MD, MACP

This lively event served as the formal launch of the Faculty Fellows Humanism Series–Cultivating Humanism: Nurturing a Culture for Safe, Compassionate Healthcare. Participants included the Boston Children’s Hospital community, Faculty Fellows, Harvard Medical School faculty, graduate students and others.

Dr. Branch presented findings from our national multi-site research study on promoters and barriers to humanistic practice, organizational culture, burnout, and resilience. We learned about stages of professional identity formation, ethics embedded in clinical practice, and the approaching crisis in the organizational culture of humanistic teaching and practice in today’s healthcare environment.

Learn more in Dr. Rider’s blog post, Learning from the Master: Fostering Humanistic Learning Environments and Reducing Burnout

Stay tuned for upcoming events.

Faculty Education Fellowship: Special Events

Visiting Professor for the Faculty Education Fellowship

William T. Branch, Jr., MD, MACP, FACH, The Carter Smith, Sr. Professor of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, was a visiting professor for the Faculty Fellowship in March 2014.  Dr. Branch’s Medical Grand Rounds presentation was titled “The Road to Professionalism: A Life-Long Journey.”

Faculty Education Fellowship - Applications

Thank you for your interest in the Faculty Education Fellowship in Medical Humanism and Professionalism: Fostering Tomorrow’s Leaders.

We will post future application opportunities on this website. In 2018 we are offering the 2018 Faculty Fellowship for Leaders in Humanistic Interprofessional Education. We encourage you to learn more about this Faculty Fellowship here.


Contact Information

Application Process:  For general inquiries, please contact Natalie Wingate, Administrative Associate at natalie.wingate@childrens.harvard.edu, or 617-355-5021.

Fellowship:  For questions about the content of the fellowship or the fellowship itself, please contact: Elizabeth A. Rider, MSW, MD, Fellowship Director, at elizabeth.rider@childrens.harvard.edu


Fellowship Director and Site Leader:

Elizabeth A. Rider, MSW, LICSW, MD
Director of Academic Programs, Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice
Director, Faculty Education Fellowship in Medical Humanism and Professionalism
Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Medicine
Boston Children’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School
Vice President, Partnerships & Networking, and Carlton Horbelt Senior Fellow, National Academies of Practice
Associate Editor, Patient Education and Counseling
Founding Member, International Research Centre for Communication in Healthcare

Session co-facilitator:

Deborah D. Navedo, PhD, CPNP, FNAP
Deborah D. Navedo, PhD, CPNP, FNAP

Deborah D. Navedo, PhD, CPNP, FNAP
Director, Health Professions Education Program
Center for Interprofessional Studies and Innovation (CIPSI)
MGH Institute of Health Professions

Selected References and Resources

Branch WT, Chou CL, Farber NJ, Hatem D, Keenan C, Makoul G, Quinn M, Salazar W, Sillman J, Stuber M, Wilkerson LA, Mathew G, Fost M. Faculty development to enhance humanistic teaching and role modeling: A collaborative study at eight institutions. J Gen Intern Med 2014. [Epub ahead of print 20 June 2014]. DOI: 10.1007/s11606-014-2927-5.

Branch WT Jr, Frankel R, Gracey CF, Haidet PM, Weissmann PF, Cantey P, Mitchell GA, Inui TS. A good clinician and a caring person: longitudinal faculty development and the enhancement of the human dimensions of care. Acad Med. 2009 Jan;84(1):117-25.

Gracey CF, Haidet P, Branch WT, Weissmann P, Kern DE, Mitchell G, Frankel R, Inui T. Precepting humanism: Strategies for fostering the human dimensions of care in ambulatory settings. Acad Med 2005;80:21–8.

Higgins S, Bernstein L, Manning K, Schneider J, Kho A, Brownfield E, Branch WT Jr. Through the looking glass: how reflective learning influences the development of young faculty members. Teach Learn Med. 2011;23:238-43.

Miller, S.Z. and Schmidt, H.J. The habit of humanism: a framework for making humanistic care a reflexive clinical skill. Acad Med. 1999; 74: 800–803. DOI: 10.1097/00001888-199907000-00014

Rider EA, Keefer CH. Communication skills competencies: definitions and a teaching toolbox. Med Educ 2006;40:624-9.

Rider EA, Kurtz S, Slade D, Longmaid III HE, Ho M-J, Pun Kwok Hung J, Eggins S, Branch Jr WT. The International Charter for Human Values in Healthcare: An interprofessional global collaboration to enhance values and communication in healthcare. Patient Educ Couns 2014;96:273-280. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2014.06.017.

Rider, E.A. and Nawotniak, R.H. A Practical Guide to Teaching And Assessing the ACGME Core Competencies. 2nd ed. HCPro, Marblehead, MA; 2010 (394 pages)