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Center for Teaching Excellence

Cultivating Excellence in Medical Education: The RTPforME Program

Teaching in a medical school requires a unique set of skills and an ongoing commitment to excellence. The Reflective Teaching Practices for Medical Educators (RTPforME) program is designed to engage medical school faculty  in a transformative journey of reflective teaching practices. Offered by the Schools of Medicine at the University of South Carolina in collaboration with instructional designers at the Center for Teaching Excellence, the program equips educators with the tools and knowledge to continuously improve their teaching.

The School of Medicine is different from your average school,” said Casey Carroll, an instructional designer at the CTE. “Instruction doesn’t always occur in a traditional lecture hall; courses are often in clinical settings with residents and fellows.

Casey Carroll, Instructional Designer, Center for Teaching Excellence
Casey Carroll

Instructional designers from the CTE curated the program, creating a six-week online program that teaches medical school faculty how to properly reflect on their teaching practices in both classroom and clinical settings. The CTE hosted the first program in 2021.

"We wanted to fill the need,” said Carroll. “There wasn't anything specifically for medical educators that helped them with their style of teaching. So, we created this hybrid-style short course with asynchronous materials, synchronous webinars, and a one-on-one relationship with a program partner."

Mary Rojek, Ph.D., Director of Clinical Faculty Affairs and Development at the USC School of Medicine Greenville, completed her first cohort as a program partner in 2023. The program partners are experienced educators who help participants work through their project, providing guidance, coaching, and resources.

Participants can have different goals and learning needs, but the program is made to adapt to each of those individuals' learning needs. It's an applied program where they complete a project, so much of the learning is on their own,” Rojek said. “The leaders are there to provide support in program sessions and individual one-on-one sessions.

Mary Rojek, Ph.D., Director of Clinical Faculty Affairs and Development at the USC School of Medicine Greenville
Mary Roiek

The program culminates with a final project which calls for participants to analyze their current teaching practices and determine what changes to make in their future courses.

Renee Chosed, Ph.D., Clinical Associate Professor of Biochemistry in the department of Biomedical Sciences at the USC School of Medicine Greenville completed the program during its launch year in 2021.

I think working with the instructional designer was the most important part,” Chosed said. “The second most important part was when we got to hear about everyone else's projects. The last thing we did in the program was a symposium-like event when everyone presented their projects. We got to ask questions and offer feedback, and that was cool.

Renee Chosed, Ph.D., Clinical Associate Professor, Biomedical Sciences at the USC School of Medicine Greenville
Rene Chosed

Renee Connolly, Ph.D., program partner and Director of Learning and Development at Prisma Health, also sees the final teaching project as a highlight.

The finished projects are good ones that are designed to make a difference, designed to fill a need and they’re designed within the parameters that we've exposed them to,” Connolly said.

Renee Connolly, Ph.D., Director of Graduate Medical Education Learning and Development, Prisma Health
Renee Connolly

It’s rare for faculty from both the Columbia and Greenville campuses to be brought together. RTPforME offered a virtual space where faculty from both schools could connect, offer feedback, and discuss what worked in their classrooms.

Chosed’s favorite part of RTPforME was this opportunity to network with her colleagues.

"When you have to come up with creative ways to deliver content in a timely manner, it gets restrictive,” Chosed said. “We needed a way that was going to help students retain information because the content in medical school is super dense. The program helped us when we couldn’t find ways to do something because we could ask others what was working for them."

Participant Zoë Foster, M.D., Program Director at Prisma Health for the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship program, spoke about the feedback she received from students after her project was integrated into her course.

It has helped my students reflect on how they might use some of the information I teach them in their own lives,” Foster said. “I think they appreciated the more involved side. I felt as an instructor that it was more organized and the message I was sharing came across better and easier.

Zoë Foster, M.D., Program Director for the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship, Prisma Health
Zoe Foster

To date more than 50 people have completed the RTPforME program. The Center for Teaching Excellence and the program partners at the Schools of Medicine are excited to expand RTPforME in the coming years.

Connolly, who completed her third year with the program this past summer said,

"As far as RTPforME goes, I'd really love to see more clinical faculty involvement when their time permits. They have such a far reach, they impact so many trainees who then impact patients. There’s so much for them to learn in the program."

If you are a faculty member at the Schools of Medicine and want to learn more about the RTPforMe program, contact Casey Carroll at

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