Announcing a new Masters of Medical Sciences in Medical Education Degree at Harvard Medical School

Harvard Medical Schoolby Jennifer Kesselheim, MD EdM — 2013 Gold Professor

The Gold Foundation’s contributions to humanism in medicine are numerous–yet paramount among them are the astounding progress forged in clinician training.  The Gold Foundation has worked tirelessly to integrate and elevate humanism training across the continuum of medical education.  As a Gold Professor, I am honored to work closely with this organization on a research project measuring the outcomes of a new curriculum in humanism and professionalism intended for fellows in pediatric hematology-oncology.  My experience as a Gold Professor project has taught me, yet again, of how crucial it is for medical educators who teach about humanism to also be skilled investigators.

With this realization in mind, I have the pleasure of announcing a new training opportunity.  Harvard Medical School is offering a new Master of Medical Sciences (MMSc) in Medical Education degree.  As the program’s founding director, I am thrilled to announce that we are recruiting our first cohort of students for September 2014!

The concept and design of the new MMSc in Medical Education was developed over an 18-month period by a faculty committee, with representation from across HMS and the HMS-affiliated institutions as well as from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Harvard Macy Institute, and the MGH Institute for Health Professions. While many medical schools in the U.S. and abroad offer one-year master’s degrees in medical education, Harvard’s new program will require two years, blending one year of formal coursework with an additional year of mentored research leading to a publishable master’s thesis.

Specifically, during the first year of the program students will engage in coursework led by renowned Harvard faculty. Students will take courses in both quantitative and qualitative methods along with required courses at the Harvard Macy Institute and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. They will also have the unique opportunity to enroll in courses throughout the Harvard community to fulfill elective requirements. Interested in policy? Take a course at the Harvard Kennedy School. Interested in ethics? Take ethics courses at the Harvard School of Public Health or the Harvard Divinity School. Students will then commence mentored research halfway through the first year and will continue this work during the second year of the program.

This new degree is an ideal fit for medical educators who seek expanded skills not only as teachers but also as leaders and investigators.  The program also provides a fabulous opportunity for those want expertise at the interface between medical education and humanism!

Eligible participants include faculty, medical students, and residents/fellows whose training programs provide protected time for scholarly work.  For trainees interested in medical education as a career focus, this master’s degree would be the perfect way to complete GME research requirements.

We are now accepting applications for matriculation in the fall of 2014.  There are a few spots left in the program – if you are interested please be in touch with us ASAP.  Want more details? Please visit our website or  contact us at

KesselheimThis post was written by Jennifer Kesselheim, MD EdM, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/ Children’s Hospital Cancer Center and in the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.



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