A passion for innovation in teaching future physicians is the driving force behind the work of Laurel Gorman, associate professor of pharmacology and medical education at the UCF College of Medicine.
Her work was recently highlighted by the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE), which recognized her as the featured member of the month in their February newsletter distributed internationally to all its members.
The IAMSE is a professional development society that brings together a diverse set of medical educators, researchers and medical professionals, to promote excellence and innovation in medical education.
Gorman, who directs the preclinical pharmacology curriculum and two-year organ systems modules at the medical school, has been an IAMSE member since 2011. She has taken on numerous roles with the organization, including serving on programming committees for international IAMSE meetings, leading and developing medical education workshops and moderating interactive sessions on topics including curriculum development and drug addiction education.
“Being featured by the IAMSE reassures me that I am making an impact in medical education, contributing on both a national and international level,” says Gorman, a pharmacologist by training. “Our common goal is to improve medical education and so the fact that they have highlighted my contributions is very rewarding.”
A founding faculty member who joined the College of Medicine in 2009, Gorman is a leader in designing and directing an innovative and integrated pharmacology curriculum. Her collaborative medical education research has focused on studying innovative learning methods, like using high fidelity medical simulations with life-like computerized mannequins, interactive games, and innovative digital resources. She has also done collaborative research projects on how medical students learn critical pharmacology topics such as prescribing opioids, drug addiction and geriatric therapeutics.
“It has been very rewarding to be able to come to a new school and be able to grow while making an impact in medical education.” — Laurel Gorman, associate professor of pharmacology and medical education
“I came to UCF in 2009 to help start a new medical school with a focus utilizing innovations in teaching and curriculum integration,” Gorman says. “That really is my passion, so it has been very rewarding to be able to come to a new school and be able to grow while making an impact in medical education.”
She said being an IAMSE member provides a forum for exciting collaborations.
“The IAMSE provides a space where I can exchange ideas with other passionate and innovative medical educators,” she says. “I always feel like I have an opportunity to grow and be challenged as well as bring new ideas and insights back. It also provides an opportunity to share all the things we’re doing at UCF with other members.”
Gorman completed a Ph.D. in pharmacology and therapeutics, with a neuropharmacology focus, from Louisiana State University School of Medicine. She completed a National Institute of Drug Abuse fellowship at Weill Cornell Medical College, and a neuropathic pain fellowship at the University Of Miami School Of Medicine. She has received several teaching awards from the College of Medicine as well as national innovative teaching awards from the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET, 2012 and 2016) and awards for medical education research presentations at meetings of ASPET (2019), IAMSE (2018), the Southern Group on Educational Affairs of the AAMC (2016), and the International Meeting on Simulations in Healthcare (2015).