MD Program

Contact the Teaching Distinction Track

1216 MERF
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2600
Phone: (319) 335-7691
Fax: (319) 335-8643

  • Teaching Distinction Track

    Interested in the Teaching Distinction Track? 

    Contact Hugh Hansen, Track Director, via email at, or by calling (319) 335-7691.


    The purpose of the Carver College of Medicine Teaching Distinction Track is to prepare and equip Carver College of Medicine students to be effective educators.


    • To prepare students to be productive educators at an academic medical center
    • To prepare our students for involvement and contribution to academic medicine
    • To prepare our students to be effective educators at the community and individual level


    • Develop a learning contract with a mentor that meets the following conditions which can be submitted for review by the Teaching Distinction Track Steering Committee by the conclusion of the M1 academic year.  The learning contract should be student-initiated and focused on the professional goals of the student (i.e. faculty appointment, community outreach, etc.).
    • Successful completion of 60 hours of relevant teaching experience, with no more than 20 hours in a single activity. Activities may include but are not limited to:
      • Tutoring in the basic science courses
      • Co-facilitator for PCL (must attend required orientation)
      • Facilitator for Admissions CBL groups
      • Physical Exam Skills Mentor (must attend required orientation)
      • CBL substitute facilitator
      • Serve as cultural patient for Personal and Professional Development
      • Serve as simulated student for Performance-based Assessment Program or for Objective Structured Teaching Exam (OSTE) for clerkships or residency programs
      • Serve as simulated patient for M1s to practice interviewing skills
      • Develop a focused portion of a course for a unit or region in a basic science course
      • Conduct a review session for a unit or region in a basic science course (including laboratory sessions)
      • Create a case for a course (e.g., Immunology)
      • Serve as student member of Medical Education Committee, Medical Arts and Sciences Committee, Clinical Experiences Committee, or OCRME Advisory Committee
      • Create a practical exam for the IMEI program
      • Writing exam questions
      • Conduct a Journal Club session in the communities
      • Community Educational Program participation —i.e. Tar Wars
    • Involvement in the review, planning and programmatic aspects of education, such as the Medical Education Committee, Medical Arts and Sciences Committee, or Clinical Experiences Committee, or serving on course liaison committees
    • Successfully complete the four-week Teaching Elective offered through the Office of Consultation and Research in Medical Education
    • Three evaluation opportunities with data from direct observation of mentor, student feedback, and self-evaluation
    • Assemble a portfolio to represent this experience and present this portfolio for other Teaching Distinction Track students and invited guests. Portfolio should include:
      • Philosophy of education
      • Curriculum product—something they can use again and take with them (i.e. a lecture, exam questions, etc.)
      • Reflection about goals as a teacher, progress toward those goals as reflected in the portfolio, and future goals as a teacher
      • Feedback/evaluation received from students
      • Other artifacts related to teaching, i.e. study helps for tutoring, mini-lectures
      • Documentation from meetings with mentors and original (revised if appropriate) learning contracts
      Note – All documentation for the portfolio is to be stored in the ICON Locker  
    • Participate in annual review meetings with mentor.

    Program Benefits for Participants

    • Enhance teaching skills in small group or one-on-one teaching
    • Reflect on teaching in a meaningful way that will help prepare for teaching role as a resident
    • Have this experience documented in MSPE and in the graduation program