Office for Scholarship in Learning and Education Research

Award presented by Drs. Haidet and Papp on October 21, 2014

OSLER Senior Scholar

Presented to Carol F. Whitfield, B.S., M.S., Ph.D.

The Senior Scholar in the Office for Scholarship in Learning and Education Research is awarded to Dr. Whitfield who has made, and continues to make, numerous contributions to medical education in the course of her distinguished career.  She worked tirelessly to introduce teaching methods that actively engage medical students into PSU's medical curriculum.  She held many leadership roles and for close to a decade, served as Associate Dean for Pre-clerkship Education.  She distinguished herself as an excellent educator and won numerous teaching awards.  Dr. Whitfield's scholarly contributions relate to investigating the effects of active learning methods on student achievement and clinical reasoning.  She is a charter member of the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) and served on its Board of Directors for several years.  She is currently engaged in several projects pertaining to assessment, critical thinking, and clinical reasoning.

OSLER Workshops

Enrollment for workshops is now available. Space is limited so enroll early! All workshops are free of charge and are held at the Penn State College of Medicine.

Publishing Your Teaching Innovations

Presented by: Klara K. Papp, Ph.D., Co-Director, OSLER
Getting innovative work in medical education published is important. This workshop is for faculty interested in publishing educational innovations in peer-reviewed literature. We will discuss key criteria for writing up a manuscript of your innovation and for increasing the likelihood of getting it accepted for publication.

Dates offered:

Watch for additional workshops coming in 2015 presented by visiting professors.

Have a topic you would like to see a workshop on? Email your suggestions to: edresearch@hmc.psu.edu.

OSLER's Mission

The mission of the Office for Scholarship in Learning and Education Research (OSLER) is to enhance Penn State College of Medicine's capacity to perform cutting-edge educational research, inform institutional decision making on educational matters and further the field of health-sciences education.


To fulfill our mission, OSLER participates in the following activities:

  •  Engaging in cutting-edge educational research by publishing in peer-reviewed journals, presenting research findings at state and national conferences, presenting information about educational innovations at Penn State Hershey Medical Center at regional, national, and international conferences.
  • Supporting faculty educational scholarship by providing data from our IRB approved data registry. Stakeholders including faculty, staff, and medical or physician assistant students may complete an application and conduct a research study particularly as it pertains to evaluating the outcomes of our educational innovations. 
  • Providing consultation to members of the faculty, staff, and students on research design, data analysis, and manuscript preparation.


Dr. Papp, Dr. Kalet, Dr. Haidet

Dear Colleagues,

Thanks so much to those who attended and participated in the kickoff celebration for the Office of Scholarship in Learning and Education Research (OSLER) at the Penn State College of Medicine. We were delighted by the robust turnout and the thoughtful dialogue during Dr. Adina Kalet's (@AKaletMD) three talks. Dr. Kalet expressed to us how impressed she was with the engagement and sophistication of the audience at Penn State.

We encourage you to bookmark our website (www.med.psu.edu/OSLER) and watch for upcoming developments and resources to help your efforts to pursue scholarly work in education. In the upcoming months, we will be starting up several initiatives for educators and scholars:

  • A workshop series on commonly-requested topics about scholarship in education
  • A PSU education data registry to facilitate data retrieval and management for projects using Penn State College of Medicine data
  • Readings and links of interest for education scholars
  • One-on-one consultations

We are very excited to be a part of the PSU community interested in scholarship in education, and we look forward to participating in the great work that goes on in our institution.


Paul Haidet, M.D., M.P.H.
Director of Medical Education Research

Klara K. Papp, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Assessment and Program Evaluation


The Office of Scholarship in Learning and Education Research (OSLER)
held its Inaugural Celebration on April 17, 2014

More than fifty faculty and staff members of Penn State Hershey College of Medicine and Hershey Medical Center attended and participated in conversations on important topics with a well-renowned medical education researcher, Dr. Adina L. Kalet, (@AKaletMD) professor of medicine and surgery from New York University.

Dr. Kalet states that "in this unsettling and exciting time of rapid change in the U.S. health care system, medical education researchers, if well positioned and prepared, may have an opportunity to redraw the map of medical training to meet modern realities while preserving the core values of our profession." Kalet AL.  The State of Medical Education Research.  Virtual Mentor 2007; 9: 285-9.

Topics of discussion included Dr. Kalet's insights on the State of Medical Education Research, Key Ingredients for Success in Medical Education Research, what OSLER can offer and how a data registry can help.  Insights into remediation practices and effectiveness were also shared.

Contact Information

Penn State College of Medicine
Office of Medical Education, H123
500 University Drive
Hershey, PA 17033

717-531-0003, ext. 280809 – Office
717-531-4786 – Fax

To contact OLSER, email: edresearch@hmc.psu.edu




Paul Haidet, M.D., M.P.H.
Director of Medical Education Research

Paul M. Haidet, M.D., M.P.H., is a graduate of Penn State, where he earned his BS and MD degrees and completed his internship and residency in internal medicine. He left Penn State in 1995 to pursue fellowship training in general internal medicine and a master's degree in public health at the Harvard School of Public Health. After that, he spent 11 years on the faculty of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, before returning to Penn State in 2009 as a professor in the departments of Medicine, Humanities, and Public Health Sciences. Dr. Haidet has published widely on a variety of topics related to education and teaching, communication, and the humanistic care of patients, and he has won a number of regional, national, and international awards for his work. He is a past president of the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare, and has served on the editorial board of the journal Medical Education.

717-531-0003, ext. 285218





Klara K. Papp, Ph.D
Associate Dean for Assessment and Program Evaluation

Klara K. Papp, Ph.D., earned her degree in educational psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She joins Penn State College of Medicine after serving as the Associate Dean for Assessment at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Dr. Papp is a deputy editor for the Journal of General Internal Medicine and guest editor for its 2013 Education issue. She served on the National Council of the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine (CDIM) and chaired its research committee. She is a recipient of the CDIM's Charles H. Griffith, III, Educational Research Award. Dr. Papp is a leader in competency-based assessment design that includes both qualitative and quantitative assessments of learner performance. In her work she collaborates with course and clerkship faculty to guide the preparation of test questions and to ensure fairness in scoring them. In addition, she provides expertise in the design of methods to collect curriculum feedback and inform improvements that occur in real time and from year-to-year.

717-531-0003, ext. 281249





Carol F. Whitfield, B.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Senior Scholar, OSLER

Carol F. Whitfield, Ph.D., the inaugural Senior Scholar in OSLER, received her Ph.D. degree at George Washington University School of Medicine in physiology and biochemistry.  She was drawn into medical education early in her distinguished career, first as the Director of the Physiology Course, and Director of the Multidisciplinary Labs. She participated in several task forces charged with engaging medical students more actively in learning and introducing innovative educational methods into the curriculum.  Dr. Whitfield, with colleagues, designed and implemented the new PBL track at PSUCOM, leading to the first hybrid curriculum in medical education. She had many leadership roles and for close to a decade, served as Associate Dean for Pre-clerkship Education and distinguished herself as an excellent educator winning numerous teaching awards.  She provided leadership in the redesign of the curriculum implemented in August 2013.

On the national scene, Dr. Whitfield's numerous contributions relate to investigating the effects of active learning methods in medical education on student achievement and clinical reasoning.  She is a charter member of the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) and served on the Board of Directors for several years. She is a reviewer for Academic Medicine and other medical education journals.








Renee D. Seibel
OSLER Administrative Support Coordinator and Medical Student Research Coordinator

Renee earned her BS degree in Business with a concentration in Accounting from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY.  She joined the Department of Medical Education at Penn State College of Medicine in 2011 in a part-time role in the Registrar's Office.  She also participated in the Standardized Patient Program portraying a wide variety of patients during simulated patient encounters with medical students, nurses, Anesthesiologists, physicians, fellows and residents.  She assumed full-time responsibilities as Administrative Support Coordinator for the Office for Scholarship in Learning and Research (OSLER) and the Medical Student Research Program (MSR).  In addition, Renee involves herself in the education of others by performing in skits as part of the Kienle Drama Group in the Humanities Department. 

717-531-0003, ext. 280809






Opportunities for Disseminating Educational Scholarship:

Meetings and Conferences

Click here to view a list of associations with educational meetings or conferences 

Peer Review Publications

Click here to view a list of Journals and links to information about authorship 

MedEd Portal

Click here to view a 2 page document about the MedEd Portal


Useful Harrell Library Links for Medical Education Research:

• Preparing for Your Project

• Searching the Medical Education Literature

• Selecting Research Methods


Please watch for OSLER offerings such as:

  • Links to submit requests for an OSLER consultation
  • Additional links to useful documents, helpful websites, research papers etc.
  • Information on the Penn State University education data registry

In the meantime, please feel free to contact us to schedule a consultation or request information.

Email: edresearch@hmc.psu.edu
Phone: 717-531-0003, ext. 280809




Awards were presented by Drs. Haidet and Papp on October 21, 2014


The Penn State College of Medicine Scholarship in Education Award is designed to recognize scholarly contributions to education by Penn State University College of Medicine faculty during the preceding year.  To receive this award, faculty submit a written synopsis of a scholarly teaching activity. Each synopsis is peer reviewed by an internal committee as well as three national education experts external to Penn State. The Scholarship in Education Award therefore represents an important external validation of each recipient's scholarly contributions to education.


2015 SIE Award Application Information:

DEADLINE for submission: July 13, 2015 by 11:50 PM

Click here to download the 2015 SIE Award Application

Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions



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