Northern Constellations 2016
On April 8-9, 2016, NOSM Faculty Members congregated in Thunder Bay for our Fifth Annual Faculty Development Conference. The annual faculty development conference, Northern Constellations, offers the opportunity for delegates to further develop their knowledge and skills as a faculty member at NOSM.
A wide variety of innovative and interactive workshops were held planned to meet individual learning needs. Workshops provided forums to share experiences and challenges along with opportunities to improve specific skills in the areas of teaching and preceptoring, educational and administrative leadership, along with scholarly and research activities.
Friday Night Supper Ceremonies recognised Faculty through the Faculty Peer Awards of Excellence Winners along with Faculty Promotions.
To view the conference program, click here.
A1: Promoting Scholarship in Medical Education
Presenter: David Irby, PhD
Advancing medical education requires innovation and scholarship. An expanded concept of scholarship will be reviewed and initial steps in
formulating a medical education study discussed. Five steps of scholarship and inquiry will be illustrated along with practical tips provided for
1. Identify an area of interest and write a research question.
2. Summarize prior research and find a gap/opportunity.
3. Select a theory or framework to illuminate the work.
4. Choose a research paradigm and method.
5. Select a method of dissemination.
• Distinguish scholarly from scholarship and describe an expanded view of scholarship.
• For each of the five steps of scholarship and inquiry, write a description of a study of interest.
A2: Preparing practice ready specialists
Presenter: Kenneth Harris MD, FRCSC
Competency based training strives to produce physicians who provide high quality, safe, and patient-centered care. Decision making is informed
by best practices taking into account patient circumstances and availability of resources. Educational experiences in large urban centers may not
optimally prepare specialists to practice in all communities. Participants will explore opportunities to better prepare specialists to meet patient
needs in lower density populations. Informed by local experts, discussions will lead to recommendations for improvements to specialist training.
• Describe educational practices currently in place for specialty programs and recommend improvements to training for specialist serving rural/remote/northern communities.
• Identify regulations that inhibit the practice readiness of current graduates.
A3: Creating safer spaces for difficult conversations
Presenters: Kathleen Beatty MSc and James Goertzen MD, MClSc, CCFP
Healthy conversations, even those that involve important issues, intense emotions, and different opinions are grounded when people feel safe
with each other. Early recognition and identifying when conversations are shutting down is an important first step. Creating safe spaces for
conversations includes clarifying intent of discussions and ensuring all viewpoints can be heard. Participants will acquire tools to support safe
conversational spaces in their academic interactions, conversations with students and residents, health-care teams, and personal/professional
• Describe mental maps of healthy and unhealthy conversations.
• Identify and employ strategies for creating safe conversational spaces supporting dialogue about crucial issues.
A5: The problem learner
Presenter: Anne Robinson MD, CCFP
Supervising “problem” learners can be challenging and contribute to preceptor burnout. Although clinicians usually recognize when a problem
arises, they may feel unprepared with the next steps of developing an educational diagnosis and planning an intervention. Applying a structured
approach to identifying the problem can help to address concerns early and provide the preceptor with important information to develop an
• Apply a structured approach to identifying and defining the specific problem(s) that a learner is presenting.
• Create an educational intervention to address the identified learner related problems.
A7: Cultural Competency mentorship training model for preceptors working in Aboriginal/Francophone settings in Aboriginal/
Presenters: Lee Rysdale MEd, RD; Heather Westaway RKin, ACSM ES; and, Denise Raftis MEd, RD
There are over 500 allied health professional preceptors across Northern Ontario. Many have requested culture competency training. New
approaches are needed to meet their diverse learning needs. A framework based on self-reflected attitudes of Australian health professionals,
provides a model of preceptor mentoring which may be a more sustainable strategy for professional development. Participants will explore
attitudinal commonalities and differences with northern Ontario practitioners, feasibility to implement a preceptor mentorship model, and
supports needed for success.
• Describe a training model of preceptor mentorship that addresses cultural awareness including opportunities and challenges for implementation.
• Identify strategies to support health professionals in their role as preceptors.
A10: Responsible conduct of research: Rules of engagement
Presenters: Penny Moody-Corbett PhD; Dave MacLean PhD; and Karen Wallace, BSc
Health-care professionals and researchers have clear obligations to conduct research in a responsible manner. Public financial support for
conducting research has resulted in a greater awareness and concern for the way research is conducted. Participants will review the key aspects
of the responsible conduct of research framework and topics that constitute misconduct. NOSM’s integrity policy will be discussed including
application to relationships with Lakehead and Laurentian Universities.
• Discuss the framework on responsible conduct of research.
• Identify examples of research misconduct and the role of researchers, institutions and the granting agencies (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) in promoting responsible conduct of research.
A11: A case-based and pedagogical approach to teaching new practice guidelines
Presenters: Sheldon Tobe MD, MScCH, FRCPC, FACP, FASH and Tara Baldisera MD, CCFP
A case-based and pedagogical approach will be used to demonstrate strategies for teaching new practice guidelines. Participants will engage in
interactive small group discussions led by a facilitator and guideline expert. The 2016 Canadian Hypertensive Education Program will be used as
an example to provide participants with an opportunity to increase their knowledge and application of evidence based practices. The diagnosis
of hypertension is now recommended to be made using out-of-office measures including home blood pressure and/or ambulatory blood
• Demonstrate strategies for teaching new practice guidelines in a case based small group learning format.
• Apply the Canadian Hypertension Education Program recommendations for the diagnosis and follow-up of hypertension.
B4: Tooling you, your learners, and your patients to address poverty
Presenters: Gary Bloch BA, MD, CCFP and Jack Haggarty MD, FRCPC, and Berit Dool
There is strong and growing evidence that higher social and economic status is associated with better health. Poverty represents a significant and
reversible risk factor for poor health. A simple three-step approach to intervene into individual patients’ poverty will be described. Preceptors and
their learners can acquire competence in addressing poverty issues through the development of relevant clinical skills, a deeper understanding of
the federal and provincial income security systems, and knowledge of relevant resources.
• Describe a simple three-step approach to intervene into individual patients’ poverty.
• Demonstrate a user-friendly web-based resource that can be used to navigate income support systems.
B10: Developing a CEPD event: What’s the process/who can help?
Presenters: David Allen MD, CCFP (EM) and Deborah Smith MD, CCFP
Developing a CEPD event can be a challenging task. Understanding the process of accreditation and utilizing resources available to help in the
design and delivery can make it a little less daunting. Presenters will share their experiences and knowledge in developing CEPD events. Available
support from the NOSM CEPD Portfolio in the planning, obtaining accreditation, and delivering of a CEPD event will be reviewed. Common
roadblocks with possible solutions will be discussed.
• Identify the steps required to obtain accreditation for CEPD events.
• Discuss some of the roadblocks commonly encountered in developing CEPD along with strategies and available resources overcome them.
B11: NOSM’s Health Sciences Library: Accessing available resources and services
Presenter: Sophie Regalado BA, MA, MISt
The Health Sciences Library strives to support NOSM faculty, staff, and learners in their educational, research, and clinical practice activities.
Participants will review access to the library, resources that are available (databases, books, journals, multimedia), services offered through the
library (literature searches, systematic reviews, research and education consultations, interlibrary loan), and more. Participants encouraged to
bring personal computer.
• Access the Health Sciences Library remotely and manage your library account.
• Identify resources and services applicable to your clinical practice, scholarly activity, and/or research interests.
C1: Time efficient clinical teaching
Presenters: David Irby PhD
Time-efficient and effective teaching methods are needed to facilitate learning in the context of busy community and ambulatory care practices.
A variety of innovative teaching strategies will be shared including methods for planning and orienting learners, teaching and demonstrating
with patients, and encouraging learners to reflect on their experience. During the workshop, each strategy will be demonstrated and practiced.
• Describe methods of planning and orienting learners to the clinical setting.
• Demonstrate five micro-skills of the One Minute Preceptor model.
C4: Using an educational strategy to develop and sustain rural and remote communities of practice
Presenters: Bob Miller MD, FCFP and Cheri Bethune MD, MClSc, FCFP
Rural and remote communities struggle to maintain stable medical workforces resulting in staccato health services, unmet health-care needs and
a revolving door of temporary health-care providers. Medical educators can support and nurture health-care services through local engagement
in educational and research initiatives. Building on ‘lessons learned’ in Nunavut and Newfoundland, an “educational focus” as a key strategy to the
creation, growth and sustainability of rural and remote communities of practice will be discussed.
• Explore building an educational focus into established clinical communities of practice.
• Examine the rubrics of educational career development for rural clinicians.
C6: How do you teach competency competently? An introduction to Fundamental Teaching Activities
Presenters: Jessica Beaton MD, CCFP and Kim Varty MD, CCFP
Competency-based training shifts time-based rotations to achievement of desired competencies. Preceptors have responsibilities to guide or
“coach” residents through their competency based training. Clinical preceptors face several daily challenges when supervising a learner. The focus
on teaching and assessing clinical tasks is no longer all that is required of preceptors. The Fundamental Teaching Activities Framework helps to
identify your current teaching strengths and highlight new activities to improve your approaches within the Triple C Curriculum.
• Describe the Fundamental Teaching Activities Framework and identify personal competencies for preceptor activities along the framework teaching continuum.
• Acquire strategies to further develop role as a clinical preceptor within the Triple C Curriculum.
C7: Movin’ on up: An introduction to the NOSM faculty promotions process
Presenters: Jack Haggarty MD, FRCPC; David MacLean PhD; and, Anita Arella MA
An orientation to the NOSM Joint and Stipendiary Promotions Policy and review of the promotions process will be provided. The pivotal role that
documentation provided by faculty member applying for promotion will be highlighted. Strategies to streamline the application process will be
discussed. Workshop presenters will recommend ways that applicants can increase their chances for success in seeking promotion at NOSM.
• Describe essential elements of a successful promotion application at each level from Assistant Professor to Professor.
• Define specific requirements for promotion, to determine if one should seek promotion.
C8: Teaching and learning with no one else in the room!
Presenters: Catherine Cervin MD, FCFP, MAEd, Steve Kelly, and Christina Graves HBa, BEd
Faculty often present and facilitate academic sessions where groups of learners are not all present in the same location. This requires use of
distance technologies including teleconference, videoconference, WebEx or Adobe Connect. Familiarity with capabilities and limitations of newer
distance educational technologies is important. Presenters will review important technological features and provide participants with strategies
and hands on experience to optimize use of technology to engage students and residents regardless of physical location.
• Describe the benefits and pitfalls of delivering academic sessions using supportive technologies.
• Discuss effective teaching and learning approaches to engage residents using supportive technologies.
D5: Planning and facilitating successful workshops: Moving from lacklustre to superb
Presenters: James Goertzen MD, MClSc CCFP
Workshops are a common educational activity for delivering faculty development, continuing medical education, undergraduate, and
postgraduate topics. Participants will be guided in deconstructing their less effective workshop experiences (as a participant and/or facilitator)
and then reframing these experiences into potent learning opportunities. Using humor, problem solving, and creative teaching techniques;
participants will systematically build a better approach to planning and facilitating their next workshop.
• Identify 10 common reasons participants become disengaged in workshops.
• Utilize active learning principles within a workshop group of any size.
D6: Developing a comprehensive practice plan for northern academic HSC clinical faculty
Presenters: Stewart Kennedy MD, MHA, CCFP, FCFP; Janice Willett MD, FRCSC; Dave Mutrie MD, CCFP (EM), FCFP; and
Robert Smith MD, FRCS
NOSM clinical physician faculty are not supported by a comprehensive practice plan. Academic funding for teaching and research activities is
insufficient to support HSC departments in comprehensive pursuit of the school’s mission. Practice plans provide financial support for physicians
to engage in academic and clinical activities consistent with the social accountability mandate of improving the health of Northern Ontario. With
physician funding models under review, participants will explore important components of a NOSM Academic Practice Plan.
• Identify funding streams for NOSM clinical teaching and physicians practicing in Northern Ontario.
• Examine funding models to support NOSM’s academic mission with in current provincial fiscal realities.
D10: Physician Assistants 101: The who, the how and the what
Presenters: Maureen Gottesman MD, MEd, CCFP; and Reena Dhatt MD, CCFP, FCFP
Physician Assistants (PA) provide care in a range of health care settings under supervision of a registered physician. Specific duties vary, depending on
PA competencies and supervising physician’s area of practice. The Consortium of PA Education trains PA with a generalist focus; particularly for rural,
remote and underserved communities. As preceptors maybe unfamiliar with PA profession, identifying appropriate clinical expectations for PA learners
is key. Strategies for maximizing the educational experience for preceptors and PA will be discussed.
• Describe the scope of practice of PA and identify opportunities for training PA learners in the clinical setting.
• Identify the expected level of competence of PA learners and practicing PA.
Assistant Dean, CEPD
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