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Applied medical education for the teacher and trainer   

About the course

As a medical educator, you use what you know to help your students develop into successful professionals. The path is not always smooth and easy. You work in complex systems that are sometimes beyond your control. You try to collaborate with partners and colleagues as you implement learning environments and experiences. You adapt to the unique and changing needs of patients, students, and preceptors. You assess knowledge and skills and provide feedback to improve performance. All of these challenges depend on your knowledge and skills, but they also depend on your ability to apply those skills to make decisions and take action in constantly changing, complex situations.

In this course, you apply what you learn to turn these and your other challenges into opportunities. You will be guided through Adaptive Action Experiments where you use your new skills and knowledge to find innovative solutions to the problems you face today and prepare for problems you cannot predict in the future.  

The course is delievered over 8 weeks and has 4 modules:

  • Working at the edge of uncertainty
  • Working better together
  • Finding the fix that fits
  • Making the good better
‚ÄčThe content for each module is structured to highlight challenges associated with translating specific skills from the ESME foundation course into practice, and encourages participants to work on overcoming these. Participation in ESME / ESMEonline is not a prerequisite although those looking for a foundational course in teaching skills should consider studying this first.

Course Tutors

Stewart Mennin Consulting Associate of the Human Systems Dynamics Institute Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA Stewart Mennin, PhD, will lead the program. He is an expert in health professions education and applications of human systems dynamics to leadership and health care workforce development. He is a recipient of the AMEE 2017 Lifetime Achievement in Medical Education Award.
Stewart Mennin - Consulting Associate of the Human Systems Dynamics Institute
Mary Nations Consulting Associate of the Human Systems Dynamics Institute Mary Nations will serve as Course tutor and administrator. She is a certified Human Systems Dynamics Professional who serves as a Consulting Associate. She uses HSD in her own practice and in her role as a teacher and coach as she supports HSD learners around the world.
Mary Nations - Consulting Associate of the Human Systems Dynamics Institute


The ESME Skills in Action course helps you to apply in practice what you have learned in other courses.  

  • Make decisions in complex, unpredictable environments
  • Collaborate and coordinate across disciplinary, social, and organisational boundaries
  • Balance flexibility for individualised teaching and patient care with system-wide consistency
  • Assess performance for accountability and sustainability 


The course is delivered via the innovative Real Web Platform and includes:

  • Five live streaming Zoom webinars 
  • Synchronous and asynchronous discussions
  • Individual work on your own Sticky Issues
  • Collaborative teamwork
  • Critical discussion and analysis of selected readings

A bibliography and reading materials will be provided.

A taster of the theoretical content covered in the course is available via a series of free online blogs and webinars which can be accessed here. Those who sign up to the course will have the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of these concepts while receiving personalised support and feedback to design, conduct and evaluate a series of four Adaptive Action Experiments in your own context

Who can benefit

This highly successful course has been offered since 2012.  It has been adapted over time to respond to new challenges as they emerge.  The current version is based on decades of experience in medical education.  It also integrates the theory and practice of human systems dynamics (HSD) to reflect state-of-the-art, complexity-informed theory and practice.

The ESME Skills in Action course guides you through practical application of the skills you learned in ESME Essential Skills in Medical Education, as well as concepts and skills from complexity science and human dynamics.

It will benefit you if you must make decisions in unpredictable environments, and work across disciplinary, social and organisational boundaries.

Certificates in AMEE-ESME and Human Systems Dynamics provide evidence of your commitment to overcome the greatest challenges you face as a medical eductaor.  

Course content

Module 1:  Working at the edge of uncertainty

  • Be resilient and innovative in challenging environments 
  • See patterns in uncertainty, understand and take informed action
  • Build capacity to adapt in times of unpredictable change
  • Apply these methods to build adaptive capacity for your students and colleagues
ESME Skills in Action: Planner and Facilitator
  1. Course organiser
  2. Curriculum planner
  3. Mentor
  4. Learning facilitator

Module 2Working better together

  • Establish successful inter-professional practice teams
  • Collaborate across organisational and personal boundaries
  • Transform systems of health across communities
  • Apply your learning to collaborative educational designs and practices 
ESME Skills in Action: Role Model
  1. On-the-job role model
  2. Teaching role model
Module 3:  Finding the fix that fits
  • Adapt to find solutions that are both efficient and effective
  • Balance consistency with one-on-one customisation 
  • Design policies, processes, practices that meet local needs and resources
  • Expand your options for instructional design, delivery, and engagement
ESME Skills in Action: Information Provider and Resource Developer
  1. Lecturer in the classroom
  2. Teacher in the clinical setting
  3. Developer of study guides
  4. Creator of other learning resources

Module 4: Making the good better

  • Explore multiple approaches to leading assessment and evaluation 
  • Use evaluation processes to inform learning and quality improvement
  • Base assessment processes on principles of practice to integrate learning & performance
  • Help your students assess and improve their own performance
ESME Skills in Action: Examiner
  1. Examiner of students 
  2. Evaluator of curricula

Participants who satisfactorily complete the course work will receive two certificates: an AMEE-ESME Skills in Action Certificate in Medical Education and a Human Systems Dynamics Practitioner certificate, recognizing your ability to engage in Adaptive Action.

Registration and Fees

Fees include access to interactive ZOOM webinar presentations, participation in an online forum facilitated by Professor Stewart Mennin, course resource materials, assessment of course work and individual feedback.

  • Standard Fee (includes membership of AMEE including access to MedEdWorld for one year) £545
  • Fee for AMEE members £475
  • Participants from countries less well resourced £285

*Registration is not currently open for this course.  Future dates to be announced. 

ESME Skills in Action Online Terms and Conditions


2021 dates to be announced

We look forward to welcoming you to this course and will work with you to ensure you enjoy the experience and get maximum benefit from participating.

If you require any additional information, please contact us at [email protected] and we will be pleased to assist you.

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