A day in the life of a CE: Ivan Bank

By Jamiu Busari (@jobusar)

Ivan Bank
Internist and hematologist
Consultant in Transfusion Medicine, Lange Land Hospital, Zoetermeer
Assistant professor in Medical Education, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden
The Netherlands

Dr. Bank’s introduction to medical education began in 1993. As a senior medical student, he taught communication skills and elements of public health until he began his residency in 1997. It was during this period that he became actively involved as an instructor and examiner for Basic Cardiac Life Support, where he organized courses at the national level. In 2008, he returned to the clinical teaching of undergraduate medical students and medical residents at the Leiden University Medical Center, where he is also responsible for the development and organization of a number of teaching modules.   

No two days alike

Ivan Bank, MD, PHD, spends about 50% of his time on medical education; 40% is dedicated to clinical work, and the final 10% focuses on a mix of clinical and education research.  It remains difficult for him to say how much time he spends on specific management and administrative activities, as many of them are incorporated into his education and clinical tasks. Almost no day is the same.

When asked what he likes best about his role as Clinician Educator, Ivan responds, “I have lots of ideas about how medical education should be and try my best to apply these ideas in my daily encounters, in a way that it aligns with the concepts of modern medical curricula”. Part of this is based on his personal experience as a clinician and also the specific training he has received in medical education. He also acknowledges his parents and grandparents, who were all teachers, claiming a possible genetically driven influence.

The importance of teaching

Dr. Bank credits the fact that he teaches and works with a diversity of individuals, as well as his interactions with young students for keeping him up to date with developments in his field. He states, “teaching should be a part of clinical work, and physicians should realize that students need not only role models but also the ability to combine theory with practice. The triad of practice, research and education, motivates, inspires and helps to keep one up to date and provide new opportunities for one’s career.”

Ivan is of the opinion that every physician should somehow be involved in medical education and also that anyone involved in medical education research should receive the same credits and acknowledgement as their peers doing clinical research. He believes that “teaching is great and should not be seen as an obligation.”

Enjoyment in a diverse portfolio

Dr. Bank greatly enjoys the diversity of his portfolio, and the variety in his work, which he calls stimulating and exciting. He adds, “You have to be in charge of things, on top of the situation all the time. Medicine is in constant motion and the focus of medical education has shifted from knowledge retention to effective information retrieval and the ability to navigate the various sources of information efficiently.’ ‘Change is inevitable,’ he finishes, ‘hence we need to welcome it.’

Bank’s three tips for junior CEs:

  1. Participate more in teaching as it has a direct influence on one’s professional growth and development.
  2. When teaching, it is important that you are also a good role model
  3. To be an effective Clinical Educator, you must be a good clinician.