Five OUWB faculty members offer insights into teaching Gen Z med students

Hands holding the abbreviation Gen Z

Medical school educators need to know what distinguishes the newest generation of students from their predecessors so that the next wave of physicians receives the best educational experience.

That’s according to five members of Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine’s Department of Foundational Medical Studies who delivered a workshop on the topic last week as part of OUWB’s Medical Education Week.

“Adapting Teaching Strategies for the New iGeneration: Translating Generational Research to the Remote Classroom,” was presented by: Sarah Lerchenfeldt, Pharm.D., assistant professor; Stefanie Attardi, Ph.D., assistant professor; Rebecca Pratt, Ph.D., professor; Kara Sawarynski, Ph.D., associate professor and vice chair of the Department of Foundational Medical Studies; and Tracey Taylor, Ph.D., associate professor and assistant dean for Diversity & Inclusion.

The session was built around two studies published within the last year by the cohort: “Twelve Tips for Interfacing with the New Generation of Medical Students: iGen,” and “Adapting Strategically to Changing Times in Health Professions Education: A Generational Workshop for Educators.”

“We really encourage you to go into learning about iGen with a totally open mind,” said Sawarynski. “They have a distinct set of characteristics that are neither positive or negative, but they are very different than previous generations.”

“Gaining a better understanding of those (characteristics) will help you hopefully work with our students in a more productive manner,” she added.

(Only partial stories are posted here with hopes to provide a brief overview and introduction to my most recent work. The full version of this story may be found on the OUWB website here.)

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