Clinical Scholar Innovation Grants Program: Fellows Report on Progress and Milestones

Over 20 outstanding young medical professionals have served as CMB Clinical Fellows and Consortium Clinical Fellows since 2015, and they have played important roles in coordinating the work of the China Consortium of Elite Teaching Hospitals. In 2021, CMB initiated the merit-based Clinical Scholar Innovation Grants Program to further support the academic productivity and professional development of these Fellows. In its first round, the Clinical Scholar Innovation Grants Program provided support for the projects of six Fellows, giving them an opportunity to develop and implement a research project, lead a project team, and expand their professional networks.

Fellows reported on the progress of their projects during a September 23 videoconference with CMB staff and some of the Fellows’ mentors. The project reports highlighted several common themes:that Fellows have identified areas of medical education that can benefit from closer study, innovative new approaches, and cross-border collaboration; that Fellows are strengthening their leadership skills through project implementation and building a project team; and that Fellows are clear-eyed about the challenges they are encountering and potential ways to respond to them. Also evident was a spirit of camaraderie between Fellows and their U.S-based mentors, as Fellows described how mentors have helped them sharpen the focus of their projects and offered encouragement and feedback as the projects got underway.

Through their projects, Fellows are exploring a broad range of topics: surgical skills training, e-learning for dermatology, oral health and dental care during pregnancy, competency-based assessment for medical students, pediatric anesthesia fellowship training, and telemedicine technology for pregnancy care in difficult-to-reach areas. Fellows have structured their projects to introduce innovative approaches, whether in terms of competency-driven teaching systems, facilitating doctors’ and patients’ acceptance of new technologies, interdisciplinary curricula, or raising public awareness of health risks and appropriate treatments.

CMB President Barbara Stoll congratulated Fellows on their dedication and commitment to improving education and health and on the progress they have made to date. “Our fellows are an outstanding group of individuals,” she said. “Each one of them is an emerging leader for China, and each of their projects has the potential for great impact.” She encouraged them to continue to build their relationships with their mentors, as well as to look for opportunities to serve as mentors themselves.

Further details on Fellows and their projects can be found below:

Chao GUO, Peking Union Medical College Hospital (PUMCH)
CMB Clinical Education Fellow, 2016-2017
Project: Development of surgical skills training system based on hierarchical progressive training
U.S. Mentor: Elliot Chaikof, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, and Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering

CMB Clinical Education Fellow, 2017-2018
Project: Development of an internationally shared dermatology E-learning platform
U.S. Mentor: Christopher K. Bichakjian, University of Michigan Medical School

CMB Clinical Education Fellow, 2018-2019
Project: Promoting oral health and dental care during pregnancy in China: a mixed methods study for knowledge translation
U.S. Mentor: Ana Neumann, School of Dentistry, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston 

CMB Clinical Education Fellow, 2020-2021
Project: Development & validation of entrustable professional activities (EPAs) for pediatric anesthesia fellowship training in China
U.S. Mentor: Yandong Jiang, McGovern Medical School, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Consortium Clinical Education Fellows, 2016-2022
Project: Towards competency-based assessment for medical students in China: an exploration to identify and implement competencies, milestones and EPAs for undergraduate medical students
U.S. Mentor: Gordon Churchward, Emory University School of Medicine

Haitian CHEN, First Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University
Consortium Clinical Education Fellow, 2018-2021
Exploration on application of new telemedicine technology for pregnancy care in underdeveloped areas of China and its role in improving competencies of primary care providers: a pilot study in Guangdong Province
U.S. Mentor: Suchitra Chandrasekaran, Emory University School of Medicine