“In this modern age of medical education innovation and reform, it is crucial to train our young physicians to be future leaders in active learning methodologies, so that they will be competent at engaging learners of all levels.”

Patricia Kao, MD, MS, director of WUTPP
Patricia Kao, MD, MS
Patricia Kao, MD, MS, director of WUTPP

The Washington University Teaching Physician Pathway (WUTPP), headed by Patricia Kao, MD, MS, associate professor, Division of Nephrology, provides renal fellows who are interested in medical education with opportunities for in-depth training experience as clinician educators.

The mission of WUTPP is to prepare trainees with the knowledge, skills, experience, and mentorship necessary to develop as competent and inspired clinician-educators, and as future leaders in medical education,” says Kao, who developed the two-year program in 2016 with the support of the Division of Medical Education.

WUTPP is the first structured teaching physician pathway here at Washington University, and was initially developed for internal medicine residents.  Due to the success of the program, it was expanded to include tracks for sub-specialty fellows in 2019..

WUTPP offers two clinical educator tracks:

Certificate Program

This one-year program focuses on providing a strong foundation in curriculum design, education theory, pedagogy and presentation skills. The track is incorporated into the fellow’s specialty training program and does not require extending the training period.

Medical Education Fellowship

This two-year program leads to a master’s in Health Professions Education (MHPE) through a collaboration with the University of Missouri Kansas City. Completion of the MHPE adds an extra, non-ACGME year to a trainee’s existing sub-specialty fellowship.

Kao is a recipient of the prestigious Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Teaching Fellowship (2017) and an Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM) Innovation Grant (2018-2019), both of which helped expand and refine the WUTPP curriculum.

Through WUTPP, Kao also developed a Medical Education Fellowship, which launched in July 2018 with its first fellow. This is a two-year fellowship for physicians who wish to obtain a masters in Health Professions Education (MHPE) while pursuing formal and mentored training in medical education scholarship, pedagogy, curriculum design, and leadership.

The WUTPP program is one of several educational opportunities provided by the Department of Medicine to help trainees discover new approaches and new ways of thinking. Check out the other educational opportunities here.

The WUTPP program has adapted to a virtual
environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.