By Matthew Brett and Leigh Dickson

Seeking to advance education across a faculty with over 4,000 academics and more than 8,000 students, residents and fellows across departments and clinical settings is no easy task, but a growing network is seeking to do just that.

This undertaking is part of the Faculty’s broader Project Renaissance strategic planning exercise, which is guiding the Faculty’s education, research and health affairs activities into 2022.

Dr. Annette Majnemer, appointed in 2016 as the first-ever Vice-Dean, Education, has a broad mandate to oversee the Faculty of Medicine’s major teaching programs.

Dr. Majnemer’s ambition is contagious and several initiatives are being implemented to advance the Education Strategic Plan, which was developed following consultations with over 1,000 stakeholders.

Here are some of those initiatives:

1. How to Recognize Good Teaching?

A recognition workgroup has a mandate to shift the culture within the Faculty so that education is valued at the same level as research. Their initiatives include:

  • Discussions are underway on how to evaluate and measure excellence in teaching as part of hiring, promotions and awards.
  • A new Proud to Teach initiative was launched on World Teachers’ Day, October 5, to recognize teaching and mentorship across classrooms, clinical settings and laboratories. You are encouraged to submit exemplary teaching initiatives or “Proud to Teach moments” for potential publication in Med e-News to: brett@mcgillca.
  • The workgroup compiled an inventory of teaching awards across the Faculty to help identify areas where teaching awards could be introduced. A toolkit is also being developed to assist departments that would like to launch teaching awards of their own.

2. Closing the Gap: Knowledge to Action

A knowledge-translation workgroup is identifying barriers and supports that educators and decision-makers experience in bringing educational evidence into teaching practice.

The workgroup is looking into what strategies can help bolster existing supports and overcome barriers in acquiring and applying health sciences education research.

3. How to Build Education Research Capacity?

A capacity building workgroup has a mandate to increase scholarship and skills in educational research by clinicians and educators. The workgroup is also exploring ways to enhance partnerships between researchers and educators.

  • The workgroup is supporting initiatives like the Research Project in Science Teaching and Learning (FSCI 396), an undergraduate course out of the Faculty of Science that is open to students in the basic sciences. In the course, students are partnered with faculty members to work on real-world curriculum and education research questions.

4. Toward a School of Biomedical Sciences?

Dr. Terry Hébert is the Assistant Dean, Biomedical Science Education. He is working with a dynamic group of education champions that have been driving the Education Strategic Plan forward across the basic sciences.

Some of their work to-date:

  • Advocating for a School of Biomedical Sciences as part of Project Renaissance, the Faculty’s strategic plan.
  • Producing a report following a Department Chair Survey, which offers insight into current practices to support departmental educational missions and to promote best curricular and educational practices.
  • Interviewing undergraduate and graduate students as part of an initiative to determine their perceived educational supports, needs and challenges.
  • Education champions are encouraging interdisciplinary educational opportunities for Biomedical Science students through supporting initiatives like the inaugural Rare Disease Interdepartmental Science Case Competition (RISC Competition).
  • Exploring Faculty Development options for teachers to support their teaching roles and ensure they are applying student-centred approaches to learning.

5. Promoting Interprofessional practice in situ

The Office of Interprofessional Education has developed interprofessional education (IPE) opportunities for students in the health professions on campus.

The Office is gathering information to inform next steps in the development of IPE in situ, conducting an environmental scan across Canada of IPE opportunities in clinical settings and completing a scoping review of existing evidence of IPE in situ.

November 12 2019