Mapping the Landscape, Journeying Together: 2018 Symposium

In May of 2018 the Research Institute will host its fourth Mapping the Landscape, Journeying Together (MTL) Symposium in Chicago. The Symposium provides a forum for relationship-building, knowledge and skill development in support of leading and advocating for humanistic healthcare.

The Symposium is attended by MTL grantees across many disciplines (not only medicine and public health but also sociology, psychology and library science) and professional levels (medical and other graduate students are often mentored on MTL projects by more senior team members). This mix of skill levels and theoretical approaches creates high quality discussion and networking amongst participants.

Attendees can look forward to meeting like-minded colleagues, engaging in meaningful conversation and gaining skills and insight that will directly impact the work they do.


Dates: The Symposium will start Sunday, May 20th at 2pm and run through Tuesday, May 22nd at noon. Attendees are encouraged to stay for the entire Symposium and all meals are provided.

Location: The Westin O’Hare in Chicago. A discounted rate of $132 per night is available through March 22. Book a room

Registration: This small event is invitation only for grantees and guests of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Research Institute.  All spots are currently filled but if you are interested in coming, email us to have your name put on a waiting list.

Transportation: There is an airport shuttle from O’Hare to the hotel. If you are bringing a car, email us by April 30 so that we may obtain free parking passes for you.

Meals: All meals are provided during the Symposium. There is also a restaurant in the hotel should you arrive early and a Starbucks in the hotel lobby should you need something extra.

Wellness: There is a park behind the hotel that is lovely for a brisk walk and a fitness center in the hotel. There will be optional morning wellness activities on Monday and Tuesday mornings. We make an effort to provide healthy options for each meal and to give you some downtime during the conference to absorb all the information you’ve taken in.

Attire: Business casual; we want people to be comfortable. There is also an opportunity for morning yoga, so you may want to bring clothes appropriate for that activity.

Hashtag: Use #GoldMTL as the hashtag on social media posts. We will be live tweeting before and during Symposium from @GoldFdtn.

Agenda: You may view a draft of the agenda. Schedules are subject to change. If you have a conflict for the time when you are slotted to give an oral presentation or present a poster, please email us by March 30 so we can make alternate arrangements.

Presentation of Your Work

Grantees from the 2016-2018 cohort will present their work in short dynamic oral presentations.

Oral Presentations Guidelines: Literature Review teams will present on Sunday, May 20th and have 3-5 minutes to speak.  Advocacy and Discovery teams will present on Monday, May 21st and have 5-7 minutes to speak. There will be a hard stop at the end of your allotted time. Here is a suggested format:

  • Start with a story or statement of why this topic is important to YOU.
  • Share only the findings you consider most important and meaningful from your review; think key insights, surprises, gaps, new questions etc.
  • Conclude with an “ask.”  What should we as a community DO with these findings? For example, how can these findings make a difference in health professions education? What steps should be taken NOW to have an impact on policy and practice? Are there ways to link your findings to current events or key healthcare policy issues?

We will be creating one slide for each team with the authors’ names and project title to be displayed behind you while you speak. You may contribute one image (not text) to this slide as a metaphor or to help illustrate a point. Please email us with this image by April 30.

This is a different sort of presentation from that requested at most symposia.  We encourage you to be creative.  It’s ok to be emotionally evocative and/or intellectually provocative!   Delivery is important and we suggest you practice your presentation with friends and colleagues.  For examples see our playlist of some of the best oral presentations from the 2015 Mapping the Landscape Symposium.

Grantees from the 2017-2019 cohort will present their work in a poster session on Sunday or Monday night (view the agenda to see which night your team will present). 

Poster Guidelines: As the default set up, each team will have a 4×4 poster board space to use as they wish.  Teams may choose to display a traditional poster describing their work in progress, or to use the poster board to display their interests and initial findings more creatively (photos, art work, graphic novel, etc.).   If you want a different set up to help you demonstrate your work – e.g. a table to place your laptop, a white board, etc.) please email us by March 30 to let us know what you’re thinking and we will do our best to accommodate you.

If you will be printing a poster, we recommend a 3×4 poster size, and ask that you place the Gold Foundation logo (download here) somewhere on your poster.  Please do not change any of the colors or words in the logo.

Other Activities During the Symposium

Topic Groups: For the first time, we will have people arranged into small groups where members are doing similar work. These groups will meet once per day to facilitate strong connections and possible future collaborations.  Topic group assignments are on page 6 of the agenda All grantees have been assigned to a group. Other Symposium attendees may choose which group they would like to join. If you have not yet been assigned a group or would prefer to be in a different group, please email us by March 30 so we can move you.

Workshop Selection:  For the first time, all of our workshops are being taught my MTL community members! We have 10 different workshops available and attendees will have the opportunity to attend three of them during the Symposium. Please view the workshop descriptions and then fill out this form by March 30 to tell us your first, second, third and fourth choices.

Step Back Consultations:  Pioneered by Dr. Robert Keegan of the Harvard Macy Institute for Physician Educators, the Step Back Consultation a new model for gaining group feedback on a project or study. In this method, the researchers distribute in advance a brief summary of their idea – at any stage of development. At the meeting, they summarize and field clarifying questions. Then, the presenter “steps back” while other attendees discuss the project as if they are co-owners. This conversation tends to be highly engaging, informs the community about relevant concerns and sometimes proffers solutions to issues. The presenter then comments on what they learned and how they might shape their project further.

In past years we have offered Step Back Consultations as one of many workshops. These sessions are consistently cited as one of the most useful features of the Symposium. This year, we will offer facilitated Step Back Consultations in their own time slot with the hope that everyone will participate as either a presenter or a group member.  The project should relate to humanism in some way, but does NOT have to be your Mapping the Landscape project per se. We will do our best to accommodate all interested parties. See example from last year


There are five individuals who have steadfastly supported the MTL initiative from start to finish, shaping both ideals and practices of what to work toward and what kind of community we wish to be. Awards will be given to MTL community members in their honor.

The five awards to be given are:

  • The Arthur Rubenstein Award for Leading with Integrity
  • The Rich Frankel Award for Creating a Loving Community
  • The Fred Hafferty Award for Culture Change
  • The Eric Holmboe Award for Measuring What Matters
  • The Tina Martimianakis Award for Connecting People and Ideas

We are hoping that you will nominate one or more individuals from the MTL community to receive these awards. Nominees may be someone from your own or another team, workshop leaders, symposium attendees – anyone affiliated with MTL who touched you in some way or from whom you have learned something (a list of the 385 people eligible was emailed to you on April 18).

Think broadly about these categories and who you know that fits them; confirm they are on the eligibility list; and then send an email with a nomination (between a paragraph and a page long) by April 30.   

The nomination should be specific to the person’s participation in and contributions to the MTL initiative. In other words, someone should be nominated for leading their MTL team with integrity, or leading an advocacy project in the community with integrity, rather than leading with integrity at their institution in general.


At the end of the Symposium, we will email everyone a reimbursement form. Each team will be reimbursed for travel, lodging, and registration fees up to $1,000 by submitting this form to the Research Institute. Should team expenses exceed $1,000, teams may choose to be reimbursed from their grant, in which case they would submit a reimbursement form to the grant-holding institution.


March 22:

  • Book a room at the Westin O’Hare to get the discounted rate of $132.

March 30:

April 30:

  • If you need parking at the hotel, email us and tell us how many nights you will be there for.
  • 2016-2018 teams: email us one image to be used on the slide behind you while you speak (you do not have to prepare the slide, we just need a jpg of the image).
  • If you are interested in benefiting from a Step Back Consultation on one of your studies or projects, email us a 300 word (or less) description of the project you’d like to present and what you’d be hoping to receive feedback on. The project should relate to humanism in some way, but does NOT have to be your Mapping the Landscape project per se. We will do our best to accommodate all interested parties. See example from last year
  • Nominate an MTL community member for an award by emailing us a nomination between a paragraph and a page long. Details above in the Awards section.