For Rhome Hughes, M.D., teaching is a passion. “I believe the most effective teachers are mentors who are capable of helping students identify their individual strengths and weaknesses by providing constructive pathways for continued development,” said Hughes.
Hughes, an instructional associate professor, joined the Texas A&M University School of Engineering Medicine (EnMed) program in July 2021. During his time with EnMed, he has assumed the role as course director for the hematology and oncology course, and has additionally taught in medical gross anatomy, introduction to disease and medical student grand rounds.
“I am a firm believer that instructional aids must be multidimensional, spanning visual, auditory and kinesthetic techniques,” said Hughes, whose mission it is to engage his students through intentional fervor for the course materials presented. “I want to inspire students and instill a similar enthusiasm for the course work and learning.
“I accepted my current position with the EnMed program because of the innovative approach to medical education,” he said, “It’s not just the concept of blended engineering and medicine, but also the philosophy of a flipped classroom delivery of content. I saw a catalyst for transforming the future of medical education.
Hughes said the most fulfilling aspect of his career to date has centered on teaching. “My teaching assignments extend back to my undergraduate studies when I was a tutor, lab instructor and teacher’s aide,” he said. “Similarly, during my service in the U.S. Air Force, I was appointed as an assistant professor of pathology for the United Services University of Health Sciences. Collectively, it was these experiences that helped me build the foundation for my personal philosophy on classroom pedagogy.”
Challenged by the decision and direction of career paths, Hughes eventually choose medicine since it offered flexibility regarding career options.
“I chose a career in medicine because physicians are not bound to a single career path,” said Hughes. “Physicians have options on how to apply their education and interests to impact the world.”
Hughes has also been a visiting scholar and guest lecturer with other institutions. In his previous position with the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences he served multiple roles as a teacher for a pathology course, a patient-centered learning facilitator, a member of the medical curriculum committee and a subcommittee team leader for the planned redesign of the medical curriculum. He was also an assistant medical examiner for North Dakota and Minnesota. During his three years with the University of North Dakota, Hughes received three Outstanding Block Instructor Awards and two Golden Apple Awards for teaching excellence and the University of North Dakota Portrait Award for outstanding support of medical students. He was recognized along with other pathology colleagues with the presentation of the University of North Dakota Award for Department Excellence in Teaching as well.