It was great to work on fellowship at the MUSC Writing Center in Summer 2007. The Medical University of South Carolina contains six colleges and offers programs in medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, and the allied health professions, as well as courses toward a Ph.D. degree in the basic sciences. The Writing Center is part of the medical university’s Center for Academic Excellence. Faculty in the CAE assist students with writing assignments, test taking skills, study skills, etc. CAE staff also work with clinical and basic science faculty on manuscripts for publication and with some clinical departments on ways to improve learning outcomes, e.g., through greater student reliance on small group collaborations. As a temporary instructor in the Writing Center, I had a chance to see, and to some extent, participate in many of those activities. I especially enjoyed working with students on writing assignments and participating in faculty discussions about research, education and communication in the health professions.
It also was possible to do some preliminary research for a dissertation in medical rhetorics, visual communication, and information design. I attended anatomy classes, radiology lectures, and radiology reading sessions as possible and talked with MUSC faculty about visualizations in clinical education. I am interested in learning more about how students in the biomedical sciences learn to think spatially and multi-dimensionally about anatomical and cellular phenomena as a preparation for diagnostic thinking – and how digital media can support such teaching and learning. I am grateful for the opportunity to work at the MUSC Writing Center in Summer 2007 and to reside in Charleston, a very special city, with its wonderful art galleries and museums, architecture, music, places to dine, bridges, coastline views, and above all, hospitality and friendship.
~ John Dinolfo