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Tanja Adonizio, MD, associate dean for student affairs and Michelle Schmude, EdD, associate dean for admissions, enrollment management and financial aid at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine recently completed the Harvard Macy Institute scholars program for academic leaders in healthcare in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Harvard Macy Institute is offered by Harvard Medical School.

Admission to the Institute’s Program for Educators in Health Professions is competitive and is granted to attendees submitting a winning project proposal. During the intensive 12-day program, attendees learn strategies and gain insight into “six major themes: teaching and learning; curriculum; evaluation; leadership; educational research; and information technology” and how to successfully implement their proposed plans. The project Drs. Adonizio and Schmude proposed was, “ePortfolio for Professional Development Competency Assessment of Medical Students.”

The Geisinger Commonwealth team developed the ePortfolio project as a means to assess medical students’ competency and growth in the crucial area of professionalism. Widely identified as a core competency required of physicians, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) defines professionalism as “the ability to understand the nature of, and demonstrate professional and ethical behavior in, the act of medical care. This includes the competencies of respect, responsibility and accountability, excellence and scholarship, honor and integrity, altruism, leadership, cultural competency, caring and compassion, and confidentiality.”

Numerous studies have demonstrated that professionalism not only ensures patient safety, but is also key to preventing physician burnout. Unfortunately, measuring and assessing professionalism, which depends so greatly upon subjective findings, is challenging for educators. The ePortfolio project creates a way to do so. Among its many functions, the ePortfolio will collect student’s reflections and provide tools to develop self-directed learning. It will also collect assessments from faculty, peers and advisors. The ePortfolio will also use surveys like the Maslach Burnout Scale — a leading measure of hard-to-define qualities like emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and an individual’s sense of personal accomplishment – to establish a baseline for each student’s attitudes and track variations over time.

“The purpose of ePortfolio is to enable students to assess their own learning and to continually ask themselves what it means to be a doctor,” Dr. Adonizio said. “What we learned at Harvard Macy will greatly improve our plan. The tremendous ideas and feedback we received from the other attendees was almost overwhelming. In addition, listening to other projects helped us identify gaps in our own.”

Dr. Schmude agreed, saying, “The experience was incredibly collaborative and the level of engagement from other leaders in health care was palpable. The other educators in attendance really helped us to hone our ideas regarding the deployment of the ePortfolio in assessing the professionalism competency at Geisinger Commonwealth.”

Drs. Adonizio and Schmude will return to Cambridge for an additional session in May to present a poster of their pilot project. The ePortfolio project is scheduled to be introduced in August to Geisinger Commonwealth’s Class of 2021.


About Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (Geisinger Commonwealth) is a member of the Geisinger family. Geisinger Commonwealth offers a community-based model of medical education with campuses in Danville, Doylestown, Scranton, Sayre and Wilkes-Barre. Geisinger Commonwealth offers Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) degrees. The school’s innovative curriculum, focused on caring for people in the context of their lives and their community, attracts the next generation of physicians and scientists from within its region in northeastern and central Pennsylvania, as well as from across the state and the nation. The school also has over 440 graduate medical students in 24 residency programs and 19 accredited fellowships. Geisinger Commonwealth is committed to non-discrimination in all employment and educational opportunities. For more information, visit, or connect with us on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Twitter.


About Geisinger
One of the nation’s most innovative health services organizations, Geisinger serves more than 1.5 million patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The system includes 13 hospital campuses, a nearly 600,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. Geisinger is known for its focus on caring and innovative programs including the ProvenCare® best-practice approach to maximize quality, safety and value; ProvenHealth Navigator® advanced medical home; Springboard Health® population health program to improve the health of an entire community; ProvenExperience™ to provide refunds to patients unhappy with their care experience; and Geisinger’s MyCode® Community Health Initiative, the largest healthcare system-based precision health project in the world. With more than 215,000 volunteer participants enrolled, MyCode is conducting extensive research and returning medically actionable results to participants. A physician-led organization, with approximately 32,000 employees and more than 1,800 employed physicians, Geisinger leverages an estimated $12.7 billion positive annual impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economies. Repeatedly recognized nationally for integration, quality and service, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to patient care, medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Tanja Adonizio, MD
Tanja Adonizio, MD
Michelle Schmude, EdD, MBA
Michelle Schmude, EdD

For GCSOM media inquiries

Elizabeth Zygmunt
Director of Media and Public Relations
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Office: 570-504-9687
On call: 570-687-9703