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About the IEE

Graduate students work with faculty in the lab.

Medicine and science are dramatically and rapidly evolving through genomics and epigenetics, evidence-based medicine, health information technology, patient safety and quality, and advances in basic science research. To prepare our physicians and scientists for this future, medical and basic science education must evolve, as well.

Johns Hopkins is a world leader in patient care and scientific research. However, it is our emphasis on the central role of medical and biomedical education — and on the notion that patient care, research, and education must occur together and each reinforce the other — that established Johns Hopkins as a model of excellence throughout the world. Since 2009, the Institute for Excellence in Education (IEE) has been a vibrant and critical part of that model.

The IEE helps our faculty strengthen the school’s educational mission and its national and international leadership. The four pillars of the IEE are:

  • Improving teaching
  • Inspiring and supporting research, scholarship, and innovation in education
  • Valuing and recognizing teaching and education
  • Fostering a community of educators

Through the contributions of time, talent, and resources – generously given by the office of the vice dean for education, donors, and numerous faculty – the IEE is advancing an innovative and responsive educational program for the 21st century and ensuring Johns Hopkins’ leadership role.

Respect, Teamwork, and Civility: Embracing our Educational Mission

  • Respect can be understood as consideration for oneself and of others. Respect includes the consideration of other’s privacy, their physical space, and differing viewpoints and beliefs.

    When mutual respect exists between peers, learners, and educators; support and understanding flourish. This support and understanding is what serves to allow for worthwhile feedback. Without feedback, mistakes can go uncorrected and opportunities for growth can be missed. By focusing on instilling respect into every interaction, we are able to create a foundation for better medicine, research, and learning.

    How to Become a Respect Ambassador

    1. Be a good listener
    2. Check-in with those around you
    3. Give constructive feedback for the purpose of growth
  • Teamwork can be understood as the combined effective and efficient action of a group in pursuit of a goal. Skills essential for good teamwork include active participation, flexibility, and commitment.

    As clinical care becomes more complex and specialized, collaboration and enhanced communication skills are a necessity. The earlier these skills are developed, the better for not only learners, but their future patients and peers as well.

    In the field of research, teamwork can bring complementary knowledge and diverse research methods together in order to produce high-quality solutions to important problems. Balancing breadth and depth, team research creates the opportunity for all members to learn from each other while striving towards a common goal.

    How to Become a Teamwork Ambassador

    1. Be flexible
    2. Encourage others to share their ideas
    3. Be committed to your shared goal
  • Civility requires mutual respect and is manifested through acting with honor and integrity towards one another. Behaving with civility in mind, one is courteous and respectful to all peers, learners, educators, and patients.

    Embracing civility makes for a positive learning and working environment. In a positive environment, people become more engaged and connected to the overarching mission of the institution, which is to improve the health of the community and the world by setting the standard of excellence in medical education, research and clinical care.

    How to Become a Civility Ambassador

    1. Treat all others courteously and with respect; be inclusive regardless of position or background
    2. Hold others accountable
    3. Engage colleagues, trainees, and staff alike

Our Goals - Forging Ahead

Teachers conversing at an IEE teaching camp

Medical and biomedical education is at a crossroads. Financial challenges, restrictions on faculty teaching time, and externally imposed regulations pose a formidable threat to our faculty’s ability to train the next generation of great medical leaders. Today’s patient-centered and complex care requires a different educational approach, with smaller class sizes and more teachers. There have been monumental advances in the biomedical sciences requiring faculty to spend more time mentoring students. And, as the electronic information age fosters new research, new techniques, and vast new ways of understanding the genetics of medicine, our faculty members are both teachers and learners in an ever-evolving health care system.

Much of the strength of Johns Hopkins Medicine comes from our remarkable faculty. The importance of their role cannot be overstated, and the Institute for Excellence in Education (IEE) aims to support, reward, and give value to the educational activities done by all faculty members. We are continuing to develop new and innovative methods to measure and improve teaching and educational programs. Working closely with faculty, we will set new standards in teaching, including methods and systems for peer feedback, coaching and self review. We are also encouraging educational research and scholarship, expanding career development opportunities, and inspiring and supporting innovative teaching techniques that meet the needs of future generations of medical students. We will also continue to strive for development and growth of our “community of educators” which is ever-evolving and becoming much more cohesive over the entire Hopkins enterprise.

For More Information

To get more insight into our goals and future plans please review our outlined strategic plan.


Foundational Principles for Teaching and Education

Medical and biomedical education is the foundation of academic medicine. IEE felt it was important to explicitly state and codify our institution's educational principles. It is our hope that the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Foundational Principles for Teaching and Education defined here will be inspiring to Johns Hopkins leaders, educators and learners, to help align all teaching and educational efforts.

  • Scientific knowledge, inquiry and discovery are the foundation of medical and biomedical education.

  • Educators must emphasize to learners that outstanding discovery and patient care require a total commitment to careful, complete, and comprehensive inquiry and examination.

  • The actions of SOM educators must always model honesty, integrity and kindness; and fair, equitable and respectful treatment of others.

  • Educators must always emphasize to learners that under most circumstances, knowledge of the patient as an individual is necessary to provide the best patient care. In the same vein, biomedical research should, in most circumstances, address fundamental biological processes that have the potential to provide insights into the precise genetic, biological, environmental, and behavioral factors that influence human health and disease.

  • Educators must recognize, respect and support the needs of our diverse student body, faculty, patients and community. Learners must understand their responsibility to the learning process.

  • Every individual should pass on knowledge, skills and attitudes to learners.

  • Educators must demonstrate in their teaching, and in their personal behaviors and actions that a commitment to lifelong learning and self-improvement is critical to being an outstanding scientist and physician.

  • Learners must understand that medicine is a public trust. The trust placed in physicians and scientists by the public mandates that physicians always strive to deliver the highest quality care at the lowest cost, and that scientists in the pursuit of new knowledge always strive to use public support of biomedical research in the most judicious manner possible.

  • Educators teach that the scale and complexity of high quality health care and scientific research require a broad range of ideas, knowledge and perspective. Educators demonstrate deliberate and intentional interaction, knowledge sharing, and collaboration among professionals with different knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

  • All of our actions as physicians and scientists must reflect a commitment to the public and to the health of all members of society. 

Archival photo of operating room

Our Legacy

Toward the end of the 19th century, American medical education was in chaos; most medical schools were little more than trade schools. Medical and biomedical education was forever changed with the opening of The Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1889, followed four years later by the opening of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Johns Hopkins ushered in a new era marked by rigid entrance requirements for medical students, a vastly upgraded curriculum with emphasis on the scientific method, the incorporation of bedside teaching and laboratory research as part of the instruction, and integration of the School of Medicine with the Hospital through joint appointments.

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has stayed true to its mission of educating students and growing future leaders in accordance with the highest standards of excellence. We are a school of medicine, an extraordinary place where state-of-the-art research, learning, discovery, and training ensure that our faculty and students are among the world’s best.

Achieving excellence in education deserves as rigorous an approach as clinical care and research. In 2006, Johns Hopkins Medicine established the Martin D. Abeloff Committee on Educational Values and Rewards. This group examined the strengths and challenges of our educational mission and developed a comprehensive plan. The committee recommended the establishment of the IEE to support the many efforts already undertaken by the school and the faculty, and to burnish our deep and very rich heritage as the leader in medical and biomedical education and in training the next generation of great leader.

Read the executive summary


Contact Us

For more information and to learn what you can do to help Johns Hopkins continually improve its standards and enhance its reputation as a world leader in medical and biomedical education please contact us.

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