By Holly Gerzina
Greetings, ASPE members, from your 2010-2012 Member Liaison (ML). I would like to take the opportunity to tell you about my scholarly project, how it will benefit ASPE, and how it will benefit you!
I entered the SP Educator profession over 15 years ago as a part-time SP recruiter/trainer and have been fortunate over the years to be associated with and mentored by many incredible SP educators and leaders in the field. My involvement with this community of dedicated Standardized Patient Educators has lead to a desire for professional growth. These formalized pursuits have provided me the opportunity to further contribute to our field and profession. I’m excited as your ML, to be able to continue to engage in a meaningful and scholarly contribution to ASPE!
As an SP Educator and a researcher of education, health, and human services, I’m interested in contributing to the knowledge of how we enhance our individual and organizational resilience despite the inevitable factors of growth and change. Resilience in the material sciences refers to “the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress.” With respect to human development, it is “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change” (www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/resilience). How often do you, as an SP Educator, feel like a “strained body” under “compressive stress?” How easily do you adjust to change, and why? Based on focus group discussions, this description is an apt metaphor for our daily lives as SP Educators; changes and growth—stress and opportunity.
We as in many professions have strained funding, limited human resources, expanding programs, and increased demands. We also have great individual and collective talent and an opportunity to transform health professions education! I believe that exploring resiliency as individual SP Educators and as members of ASPE will provide information to enhance professional growth and satisfaction at both the individual and organizational level.
How will this project benefit ASPE?
My proposal to explore these aspects of our field has been approved by the ASPE board and, as a result, I will be distributing a survey in the coming months to the membership. This survey will explore what individual and organizational factors best predict resiliency. Consistent with our organizational mission and guiding principles, the results of this survey will assist ASPE in identifying how to support our individual members in achieving the professional growth, satisfaction, and well-being necessary to continue to provide excellent service and education to the health professions.
I look forward to updating you as the project continues to progress.