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Better care for kids is ultimate goal: new AAP senior vice president of Education :

January 3, 2019

Hilary M. Haftel, M.D., M.H.P.E., FAAP, always had a passion for education. Growing up with a teacher mother and an editor father, she was raised to be a lifelong learner.

The first doctor in the Haftel family has kept her roots in education, teaching and research to improve learning for pediatricians. She was eager to take on the role of AAP senior vice president of Education last August.

“If you’re happy at your work, that is going to translate into better care for your patients and more job satisfaction for you,” she said. “I want the AAP to be the educational home for all pediatricians. If they want to learn something, they should be able to come here and get what they need, have it documented and logged regardless of the format.”

It’s a big undertaking to meet educational needs, requirements and learning styles of 67,000 members. Dr. Haftel thinks the AAP is the perfect fit for the role.

“That same rigor of medical research is being applied to lifelong learning,” she said. “The ability to do that and measure progress is something that I can bring to our organization.”

Dr. Haftel trained in internal medicine-pediatrics in New York and completed a combined pediatric and adult rheumatology fellowship in Michigan.

She has studied the impact of the resident duty hours enacted in 1984 on new doctors’ decision-making and autonomy. She’s also investigated how gaps in knowledge caused a slump in career satisfaction when middle-aged and senior pediatricians shifted from solo practice to employees in large units.

For 27 years, Dr. Haftel held leadership roles at the University of Michigan, including as director of residency, faculty, education and fellowship and as an adult and pediatric rheumatologist. At the University of Michigan, she also built the system that incorporated the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education duty hours regulations for pediatrics.

Dr. Haftel is passionate about finding ways to provide meaningful education that meets the diverse needs of learners within the AAP. She believes this will lead to increased job satisfaction.

“That’s one of our educational challenges. How to empower everyone regardless of the organizational structure in which they work so that everyone is satisfied with their job and contributions they make. They don’t need to know everything. They need to know how to get to everything and understand how to structure their own learning and organize their resources in order to provide the best care,” she said.

The AAP educational home is working on harnessing new digital platforms while continuing to provide quality print and live format resources that members can apply to practice and share within their learning community, she said.

Members also can serve as valuable resources of education. Dr. Haftel encourages members to get more involved, especially those who share her passion for education and mentoring.

“Membership participation is critical. We want to make sure we’re delivering what the members want and what they need.”

Similarly, AAP Education will provide expertise in educational research to all areas of the AAP and support expanded quality improvement education via offerings at the Itasca, Ill., headquarters, online and in-office observations.

After the National Conference & Exhibition, she received positive feedback from attendees about active learning, small group, big didactics and hands-on sessions. The AAP will continue to use popular audience response systems and is looking into how to offer recorded post-conference content, she said.

As the AAP’s largest live event, she thinks the National Conference is an ideal venue for new members to “sample the menu,” meet with seasoned pediatricians and earn a large portion of their Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part 2 credit.

When the time comes for members to claim credit, the AAP provides the tools to track and submit claims for activities with the American Board of Pediatrics. In the future, the AAP tools will link chapter and state tracking requirements.

“The CME and MOC credit provide the documentation that it happened. [But] the ultimate goal is better care and health of children,” said Dr. Haftel. “Our job is to promote lifelong learning. That’s why we’re here. Anything we can provide as education to practitioners goes to that goal of improving child health.”

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