Call for Submissions

Elements of a Successful Workshop

  • An ideal workshop includes content that is highly applicable to most programs. Many successful workshops, however, are either possibly applicable to a wide variety of training programs or clearly very highly applicable to a smaller number of programs.

  • The most successful workshops allow for interaction between the presenter(s) and the audience as well as sometimes also interaction among audience members. Some workshops break up the audience into smaller groups (i.e., breakout groups) for interactive activities.

  • Many successful workshops present innovations in enhancing the work of academic internal medicine, reveal novel approaches to common challenges, or focus on “hot button” issues that are newly recognized or evolving issues.

  • The most successful workshops are excellent presentations that provide the audience with specific “deliverables” (for example, an annotated bibliography, specific curricular tools, and worksheets) that allow attendees to easily replicate curricula or enact programmatic change. 

Top 10 Guidelines for Workshop Submissions

  1. Workshop topics should be relevant to current concerns/needs of the membership. Workshop topics can include, but are not limited to…
    • Teaching skills, teaching methods, faculty development, professional development, QI / Patient Safety, health advocacy, novel curricula, novel educational venues, educational innovations, evaluation and feedback, medical education research.

  2. Be clear about what you are trying to do.
    • Why is the workshop important?
    • What can attendees expect to learn?
    • What are the actual deliverables that attendees will receive (hand-outs, take-homes, etc.)?

  3. Identify if the workshop is designed to be:
    • Mostly a small group lecture format with questions allowed.
    • A highly interactive workshop to illustrate the use of a novel tool.
    • A simulation of a faculty development exercise that can be replicated at one’s home institution.

  4. Workshops should provide the opportunity for audience participation.
    • Participation may be enhanced through breakout groups, large group discussion, individual worksheets, periodic Q&A, etc. One size need not fit all.
    • Use small group exercise if it fits with your workshop design….don’t force it.

  5. Leave ample time at the end of the workshop for questions.
    • Most workshop sessions are 60 or 90 minutes in length. Depending on the length of your session, make sure ample time is reserved for questions, speaker transition, etc.
    • Be realistic about how much you are trying to fit into the session.
    • There will often be more discussion than you may anticipate.

  6. Limit workshop presenters as necessary to streamline the workshop.
    • Two to three presenters are usually a good fit for most sessions.
    • Multi-institutional or multi-disciplinary groups can enhance generalizability, but is not a “must.”

  7. Anticipate where discussions can be taken off topic and plan ways to keep the group on task.
    • Control of session is key. Keep the presentation moving so as to present the complete story.
    • Moderate discussion so that all have the ability to query as well as share.
    • Feel free to call on people for input, but be sure to spread the participation around.

  8. Keep background information/slides to a minimum.
    • Discussion helps expand content of your workshop in a direction most relevant to the attendees.

  9. Make sure the title of your workshop reflects the actual content & format of the workshop.

  10. The most highly-rated workshops provide concrete “take-home” material.
    • These are materials which attendees can adapt or otherwise use at their home programs.
    • These can be paper-based, electronic, web-based, worksheets completed at the session, curriculum samples, bibliographies, etc.
    • Consider collecting email addresses for follow-up delivery of materials.
    • Be sure to get your presentation to the AAIM staff on time—the most eager participants will have reviewed it in advance or printed it to take notes.