Academic generations

By | December 29, 2012

I’ve just uploaded to my Online Papers page the final version of the study that I did with Ruthann Russo and Stephen Fitzgerald and others, entitled “Improving Physician Clinical Documentation Quality: Evaluating Two Self-Efficacy-Based Training Programs“. I had previously uploaded a semi-final version, but Steve was kind enough to send me the final published version. Steve is a most valued colleague of mine; we first met over 17 years ago, when I was just starting to teach at CSPP-LA and he was a beginning doctoral student; after he finished his degree, we went on to become co-teachers and colleagues at Trident University. I’ve termed myself his “grand-chair”, since the chair of his PhD committee was originally a PhD student of mine at Claremont Graduate School some years earlier, Dr. Jill Nemiro (of Cal Poly Pomona) – also now a valued colleague and dear friend. In academia, these kinds of complicated sibling relationships can proliferate endlessly. I am extremely fortunate to have had the privilege of mentoring a great many extremely fine graduate students, including (at Trident) some whom I never actually met face-to-face but whom I feel that I know as well as anyone. group-2Here’s a picture of Steve, Jill, and I taken a few years back at a Trident faculty retreat. Next to Steve is one of his recently completed PhD students, who had just begun teaching at Trident; behind me, courtesy of Photoshop, is my own enormously valued PhD Chair, Dr. John Romani, of the University of Michigan School of Public Health. So that what we have here is effectively four generations of PhD mentoring. I love this picture! Originally, I was going to write about the research itself, but I think I’ll now save that for its own post tomorrow. It’s an interesting study with several facets, and I both enjoyed working on the project and was able to contribute some unique elements to it. A lot of research work in the behavioral and social sciences is pretty tedious, although at the same time it has to be taken seriously and done well if the final product is to have any validity and application. But sometimes there are breakthrough moments that make it all worth while; this study had a couple of those. I’ve always taken very seriously my obligation as a research teacher and practitioner to pass on to my students both the science and the craft of effective research, both in formal classes and in the trenches of real data collection, analysis, and interpretation. In the Online Papers page I have links to some short essays on research in the PhD context that I prepared several years ago, developing these themes in more detail. I commend them to your attention. I will be developing some further thoughts along these lines in future posts; stay tuned! In the meantime, as this very difficult year draws to a close, let me again express my profound thanks and appreciation for all the wonderful colleagues and students with whom I have been blessed over the years to work and enjoy with! The best thing about the career path I chose has been those walking it with me, rocks, stumbles, and triumphs  and all! Bless you all!