Summary: Dr Neel Sharma Description: This year I had the grand opportunity of functioning as a visiting faculty member at the Harvard Macy Institute during their programme for educators in health professions. The programme is centred on the delivery of the various facets of teaching, learning and assessment with side sessions designed to guide participants on research methodology and journal paper critique. Sessions involve large group delivery as well as smaller groups led by two facilitators.

Whilst agreeing to facilitate and more importantly surviving the experience, I often felt there is so much I still don’t know. The field of medical education is constantly evolving so whilst the terminology of expert may still be used I wonder how true this is when new innovations are cropping up on a regular basis and we are all trying to absorb them as best we can.
For any trainee out there willing to take the steps to facilitate in education, rest assured. It is perfectly ok to not know every angle. Whilst participants look to you for guidance you can certainly offer your experience and use facilitation exactly as it is meant to be, a platform where ideas are exchanged and discussion is rich. There is no right or wrong. In fact, at times I still often felt very much still the learner but having discussed these concerns with more senior faculty I realised they also felt the same. The programme is a hot bed of knowledge exchange and that is the true value of being part of it.

As a facilitator I was immersed in all the latest updates and was able to witness several different teaching styles which I can adopt in order to create one that suits my comfort and participants. During my time I also delivered a session on the difficulties faced in health professions education on a global scale. Interestingly many Western participants commented that these issues were also something the West faces and often a lot of what is viewed as the gold standard is still problematic in reality.

As I continue on in my journey I urge all trainees to put their feet forward and grab any opportunity possible in the field of education. There is no right time and there is no need to assume that being more senior is when you should act. Trainees have valuable experience and lessons to share which will help to guide the field if our voices are loud enough.