By Matthew Brett

Digital technology’s role in health sciences education was at the forefront of discussion last week as McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine welcomed Dr. Jörg Goldhahn from Zurich, Switzerland.

The Medical Director of a new Bachelor in Human Medicine program, at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Dr. Goldhahn is based at the recently created Institute for Translational Medicine and leads a project team operationalizing their new curriculum. He was invited to McGill by Dr. David Eidelman, Vice-Principal (Health Affairs) and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine.

“I was delighted to welcome Dr. Goldhahn to McGill this past week,” said Dr. Eidelman. “Digital technologies are an important part of the Faculty’s strategic planning for the future, as so is innovation in health science education. We need to prepare students to thrive in an increasingly technologically-driven environment. This visit was a great opportunity to share best practices.”

Digital technologies will play an increasingly prominent role in health care for the lifecycle of patients, Dr. Goldhahn said.

“We can either ignore these developments, or we can proactively shape them,” he said. “If we don’t get into this, then we leave it up to the big players only, and they set the parameters.”

Health sciences education is changing as students and teachers make use of virtual and augmented reality, new diagnostic technologies, and rapidly evolving digital platforms and tools.

Dr. Goldhahn met with a range of Faculty leaders to discuss potential educational initiatives using novel technologies like artificial intelligence and bioinformatics. He also presented on the topic of “Digital Medicine – Impact and Consequences for Teaching and Learning” during last week’s Medical Education Rounds co-hosted by the Centre for Medical Education and the Faculty Development Office.

“I was deeply impressed by the thorough approach to all aspects of professionalism in medicine including the interest in new technology that may change the practice of medicine in future,” said Dr. Goldhahn of his visit. “I hope that we can continue this exchange together to prepare the next generation of health professionals for challenges of digital medicine in the future.”

February 22, 2019