Pediatrician Credits Visiting Scholars Program for Connections and Support that Helped Him Launch Program of Research

On June 21, 2021

“The Visiting Scholars Program is a tremendous opportunity, and I am grateful that ABMS uses its position and relationships to make this life-changing experience happen for researchers.”

Daniel J. Schumacher, MD, PhD, MEd
American Board of Pediatrics
Specialty: Pediatrics
Subspecialty: Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Breaking new ground is nothing new to board certified pediatrician and researcher Daniel J. Schumacher, MD, PhD, MEd.

Among his many “firsts,” Dr. Schumacher was his hospital’s first recipient of the prestigious and competitive Macy Faculty Scholar Award from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation. He is also one of a select number of Americans who are members of the International Competency-based Medical Education Collaborators. It seems fitting that Dr. Schumacher was part of the inaugural class of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Visiting Scholars Program in 2014–2015.

“The Visiting Scholars Program was exciting and provided a wonderful opportunity for me to connect with like-minded scholars on a national level, develop a professional community and network and learn from them,” said Dr. Schumacher. “The program gave me the opportunity I needed to pursue a research project on self-assessment that could have a positive impact on pediatricians and their patients.”

Dr. Schumacher’s Visiting Scholars research project, Embracing Educational Theory to Improve Care: Development of Part II and IV MOC Activities for Lifelong Learning and Practice Improvement, focused on American Board of Pediatrics (ABPeds) diplomates who did not feel like they had sufficient training or involvement in leading quality improvement (QI) efforts either for themselves, their group, or their practice.

The result of his project was an engaging seven-part series of educational modules that featured animated diplomates. These online modules were designed to address Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment, Part II of the ABMS Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. The modules explain QI principles and guide participants through QI steps such as gathering baseline data, developing an aim statement, and conducting plan-do-study-act cycles. They also elaborate on how to identify a gap in knowledge, use educational principles to address the gap, and create an intervention to fill the gap. By replicating the steps shown in the modules for an improvement project relevant to their own clinical environment, participants can have a completed application for a self-directed Improvement in Medical Practice (MOC Part IV) activity to submit.

“The Visiting Scholars Program was the first in a line of grant support from ABMS, ABPeds, and others that has allowed me to develop, fund, and sustain my program of research,” said Schumacher. He has continued his active relationship with ABPeds, leading their research on implementing entrustable professional activities (EPAs) nationally within graduate medical education. He is the inaugural chair of the board’s new Competency-based Medical Education (CBME) Committee and has served on its Education and Training Committee. Dr. Schumacher also has been a member of ABPeds’ Subspecialty Certification and Training Committee, as well as their Future of Testing Conference.

Dr. Schumacher has authored or co-authored more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed publications on such diverse topics such as: longitudinal assessment of residents using EPAs; time-variable, competency-based medical education and professional identity formation in the context of COVID-19; and the importance of contribution and attribution in assessing educational outcomes.

“I spend about 80 percent of my time doing medical education research, which is exactly what I want to be doing right now,” said Dr. Schumacher. “As a researcher, I have the time and space to think deeply about how medical education could be better designed and implemented and work on exploring ways we can do that.”


The 2014–2015 Class of Visiting Scholars
Back row from left: John C. Moorhead, MD, (Chair, ABMS Board of Directors); Sheldon Horowitz, MD; Iahn Gonsenhauser, MD; Daniel Schumacher, MD, MeD; front row from left: Stephanie Yi, MD, MS; Michelle Lin, MD, MPH; Valerie Parisi, MD; Lois Margaret Nora, MD, JD, MBA (ABMS President and CEO)


“The Visiting Scholars Program gave me the opportunity to meet and learn from national thought leaders in medicine who are influencing policy and education,” he added. “The chance to have policy discussions with these leaders, including ABMS staff, was easily the highlight of the Visiting Scholar engagement programs for me.”

What’s next? The focus of Dr. Schumacher’s current research is in CBME. Specifically, he studies patient-focused approaches to physician performance assessment. These factors include EPAs and resident-sensitive quality measures, which he developed as part of his doctoral studies. His latest research, the “Crosswalk Study,” will begin in the 2021-22 academic year and will examine linking the EPAs and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Milestones to streamline assessments for programs. Schumacher says, “The goal of my research is to ensure that training and educational outcomes prepare physicians to achieve the outcomes that patients need.”

Dr. Schumacher received his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health; a master’s degree in education from University of Cincinnati; and his PhD from the Maastricht University School of Health Professions Education in the Netherlands. Dr. Schumacher has received many honors, including Cincinnati Children’s Educational Achievement Award, Academic Medicine‘s Excellence in Reviewing Award, and multiple top reviewer awards from the Journal of Graduate Medical Education.

Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, Dr. Schumacher is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

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