Distinction in Medical Education

The MD with Distinction in Medical Education (DIME) is a longitudinal experience that will provide medical students at the UofL SOM with the unique opportunity to engage in activities focused on developing their skills in multiple teaching modes pertinent to medical education, as well as conducting educational research.


The DIME track will achieve the following goals:

1. Introduce students to core principles in medical education and allow them to apply and develop these skills in multiple teaching formats.

2. Provide students with insight into the structure and functions of academic medicine, with the goal of informing and preparing them for careers in this field.

3. Engage students as active contributors to the educational program in the school of medicine as well as the academic medical community as a whole.

4. Prepare students to be effective physician educators to peers and patients alike.


DIME aims to develop teaching skills that will benefit students in residency programs and foster interest in careers in academic medicine.

Student Outcomes

The DIME track includes sections or experiences in different areas of medical education. Students are required to complete work in each of the following:

  • Principles of Medical Education and Academia
    Students will master the content and principles of medical teaching and learning through assigned readings; comprehension will be assessed by discussion with the mentor as well as a brief written summary paper in MS2.
  • Structure and Function of Academic Medicine
    Students will conduct interviews with UL SOM faculty and administrators at different academic ranks to understand the organization of the academic hierarchy and structure/function of the academic environment.
  • Direct Teaching Activities
    Students are required to engage in at least 15 hours of direct teaching activities (Teaching activities as part of the Medical Students As Teachers elective count toward part of this requirement).
  • Curriculum Content Development
    Students are required to develop new instructional content, representing at least 5 contact hours for the learners involved (“Learners” may include any level of medical student, health science student, resident, or practicing physician).
  • Learner Assessment and Evaluation
    Students are required to develop and use a new assessment tool as part of their teaching activities, including: written quizzes, clinical performance evaluations, SP checklists as part of curriculum content development, or any other form of learner assessment.
  • Scholarship of Medical Education
    Students are required to complete one educational scholarship or research project throughout the longitudinal DIME track.
  • Summative Portfolio
    This portfolio will include written documentation of all track activities.

Students are required to discuss their work on all of these activities with their mentor on an ongoing basis.

Criteria for Selection

Students applying to the DIME track are asked to prepare written answers to the following questions:

  • Describe your teaching philosophy in a few sentences.
  • Articulate any educational research topic or proposal in an area of interest to you.

During the interview, students are assessed on their written and verbal insights into their own skills and interests as teachers, their ability to articulate possible track project ideas, their ability to communicate their ideas clearly, and their insights regarding teaching and academic medicine in general.

Students should be able to formulate, develop, and pursue ideas for research or scholarly work, teaching, and other work with suitable guidance, but with a good deal of personal initiative and independent work. They should be responsible for managing their time for track and academic activities, including meeting regularly with their mentor. Above all, students on the DIME track should have a genuine love of teaching, and should be able to reflect on, and improve, their own skills in teaching in a medical field.

Application Process

Students should submit their application and written statement regarding teaching philosophy and project ideas according to the instructions and schedule from the UME. Applicants are evaluated and the track mentors choose the top applicants to be new students for the DIME track.


M1 Year

  • See DIME track syllabus. Students should identify a mentor, begin meeting regularly, read and discuss assigned readings on teaching methodology, and begin to formulate scholarly project ideas.

M2 Year

  • See DIME track syllabus. Students should continue work on their scholarly project, conduct interviews with various faculty regarding academic medicine as a career, attend curriculum or EPC meetings, and begin to conduct or implement some of their own teaching or assessment activities.

M3 Year

  • See DIME track syllabus. Students should continue curriculum development and teaching activities (complete at least 5 hours of teaching by the end of MS3), and should continue progress on research project with the goal of presenting their work at Research Louisville.

M4 Year

See DIME track syllabus. Students should finalize all readings, meetings, interviews, scholarly projects, teaching and assessment work, and summative portfolio, as well as any conference presentations or other work products by close to the middle of their 4th year.

Faculty & Mentors

Co-Director, Medical Education Distinction TrackProfessor of Anatomy

Adam Patterson, MD, MSc

Co-Director, Medical Education Distinction Track
Associate Program Director, Pediatric Residency Program
Assistant Professor, Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine