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Sandrijn van Schaik on Being a Macy Faculty Scholar

New York, NY

Sandrijn M. van Schaik, MD, PhD, of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) is part of Macy’s 2012 Scholar Class. As a Macy Faculty Scholar, van Schaik developed guidelines to help health professions students and practicing professionals communicate more effectively with each other around patient care. We sat down with Dr. van Schaik to hear about her time as a Macy Faculty Scholar.

What has being a Macy Faculty Scholar meant to you?

If I had to describe the experience of being a Macy Faculty Scholar in one word, it would be phenomenal. The Macy Faculty Scholars Program opened doors for me to new mentors and colleagues at different institutions; it exposed me to ideas outside of my area of expertise, and really expanded my network in interprofessional education. Without this program, it would have been much more challenging for me to find the dedicated time to complete my research project and build connections with other researchers in the field.

How did being a Macy Faculty Scholar impact your career?
The Macy Faculty Scholars Program has impacted my career in so many ways. I’ve been able to spend time with mentors at the Centre for Health Education Scholarship in Vancouver thanks to Macy. I also had the opportunity to take part in the Enhancing Health Professions Education through Technology Conference that the Macy Foundation put together last spring. That was a real treat for me because the Vice Dean of my institution invited me to co-write and present a paper with her specifically for the meeting. 

More recently, I served on the planning committee for the American Association of Medical Colleges’ second annual Medical Education Meeting. This is another opportunity strongly linked to my time as a Macy Faculty Scholar.

What do you know now as an educator that you didn’t before?
After participating in the Macy Faculty Scholars Program and classes at the Harvard Macy Institute, I gained new appreciation and insight into the complexity of health professional education in the United States and beyond that I don’t think I fully understood before. There are so many people who are promoting innovations in health professions that were completely new to me when I started the Macy Faculty Scholars Program. Macy really allowed me to see the bigger picture and helped me contribute to the bigger picture!

What’s next for your project?
I wrote two papers on my project that were published in Academic Medicine and Medical Education. I don’t typically like to brag, but I am very proud of these two publications and they are testimony to the high standards that we deliver as Macy Faculty Scholars.

I’m also starting some new projects. I will be exploring the role of gender and professional training on team leadership. I can’t disclose too much about this project yet because it incorporates an element of experimental design, but I’m very excited about it! I’m also leading faculty development for our new medical education curriculum at UCSF.

What advice do you have for future Macy Faculty Scholars?
Go to conferences and talk to people. Network, network, network! I think as educators, researchers, and health professionals we do fantastic work at our institutions, but we’re prone to constantly reinventing the wheel. We really need to join forces with people outside of our ordinary networks, connect and do things together, and not get discouraged by all the rules and regulations that are out there.

Learn more about Dr. van Schaik’s work at the University of California San Francisco.

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