ABSTRACT: Inspiring innovation in medical education
Traditionally, changes to medical education come from the top down, an approach that potentially misses important contributions from medical students, residents, faculty and staff. In order to provide an avenue for them to bring forward their ideas for educational improvements, the University of Minnesota Medical School sponsored the “What’s the Bright Idea?” contest. Through the contest, we sought to foster a culture of innovation and collaboration among faculty, staff and students. The contest included five phases: launch, idea submission, online voting, follow-up and implementation. Seventy-six ideas were submitted, and 902 people participated in the online voting. When asked in a follow-up survey whether the submitter would have developed their idea without the contest, 27% of respondents answered “no” and 18% answered “maybe.” Three-fourths stated the contest stimulated networking and collaboration. Four of the recommendations are now being implemented.