Workshop Abstract

Medical Education Research Roundtables


Lara Hazelton

Presenting on behalf of: Sarah Burm.


By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify factors contributing to an effective online SoTL education program for Clinician Educators.

The Problem:

Clinician Educators, whose careers combine education and clinical practice, are uniquely positioned to make significant contributions to the academic mandate of medical schools. Through their involvement with education leadership, curriculum development, and evaluation, Clinician Educators bridge the gap between frontline teaching and education theory. Having a strong cohort of Clinician Educators at an institution can positively influence the culture of medicine, enhance curriculum development, and lead to innovative forms of teaching and learning.

Dalhousie is among those schools with distinct Clinician Teacher and Clinician Educator career tracks. The Clinician Educator role involves acquiring a deeper awareness of education theory and conducting scholarly activity related to education. As is the case at most medical schools, Clinician Teachers greatly outnumber Clinician Educators, leading to a relative lack of role models, mentors, and support within clinical departments. For this reason, the Faculty of Medicine must play a key role in career development for Clinician Educators, including education and training in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL).

The Gap:

While there have been previous efforts at Dalhousie to provide professional development in SoTL, these have had only modest success. We believe this was in part due to a combination of logistical factors (such as travel for face-to-face sessions) and low acceptability of online platforms at that time. With the CoVID pandemic, there has been increased use of synchronous online learning. Would this translate into increased participation and retention of participants in an online program for developing Clinician Educators? To date, there is a lack of literature that would help us answer this question.

The Innovation:

We conducted a needs assessment of faculty members at Dalhousie Medical School and used the findings to design an online education series on education scholarship and research called “Medical Education Research Roundtables”. To date, the participation has been encouraging, and participant feedback regarding satisfaction has been positive.

Why Others Should Try This:

Our preliminary findings suggest that an online program on SoTL may be a useful approach to supporting and developing Clinician Educators. In our presentation, we will share the results of the needs assessment and an overview of the curriculum.