Message from the Chair - February 2019

Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2019

January was our CaRMS blitz!  With over 500 interviews, faculty and residents came together across the entire Department to welcome potential candidates to our program.  This is truly a team effort and I thank everyone - staff, residents and faculty - for their enthusiasm and commitment.  While this demanding process is not yet over, the many talents in our Department continue to impress me. 

With this in mind, I have been reflecting on our learning environment and our goal to be the best Department of Family Medicine.  How do we get there?  This week I listened to two online offerings that have inspired me to think about how I can keep learning.  The first was a webinar by Prof. Clare Morris from the UK, Designing Faculty Development Programmes, with the goal to illustrate how teaching, learning and assessment methods can align to offer meaningful professional learning for healthcare educators.  Ideas that stood out for me were our conceptions of learning: as acquisition, as participation and as expansion.  We are familiar with acquisition of knowledge in the many venues such as premedical studies and many CPD offerings, as well as the reading we do.  Our communities of practice help us learn from one another and as groups.  The final concept, perhaps less often used, might include inviting an expert to help an individual by peer observation of the practice, or a consultant assisting with a change in the learning culture in a workplace.  

The College of Family Physician’s framework for Faculty Development, The Fundamental Teaching Activities (FTA) Framework

A model for diverse Faculty Development activities, taken from the CFPC

The College of Family Physician’s framework for Faculty Development called The Fundamental Teaching Activities (FTA) Framework outlines many of the Faculty Development activities presented in the webinar that we use individually, and which Dr. Eric Wooltorton considers in setting goals for our own Faculty Development program. We continue to develop as teachers throughout our careers, beginning with the RATS course in residency.

The second reflection came from a TedX talk the Dean circulated in preparation for a faculty leadership retreat, How to get better at the things you care about. I was inspired to think about our learning organization.  How does each one of us continually get better at what we do?  Committing to life-long learning, setting goals and reflecting on our performance to improve are fundamental to our organization.  I encourage you to view the talk and let me know what you think. 

This month we will be celebrating the promotions of Dr. Kevin Pottie to Full Professor, as well as Dr. Simone Dahrouge, Dr. Frank Knoefel and Dr. Yoni Freedhoff to Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa.  This recognition of their academic achievements is an honour for all of us in Family Medicine.  Congratulations!

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