What are the McGill DOM Grants for Scholarship in Medical Education?

Published: 9 March 2023

These grants are available to DOM faculty and trainees through a selection process to support research and innovation projects in medical education. Below are some examples of projects funded by this initiative. Any contributions/gifts to the Department of Medicine Grants for Scholarship in Medical Education fully go to our researchers. 

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The Deteriorating Patient Smartphone App: Designing Virtual Nightmares On-Call to Harness Emotions for Learning

Jeffrey Wiseman, MD, MEd, FRCPC

This DOM Grant was used to fund a Software engineer to prepare the DPapp for large-scale online practice and debriefing with the following goals:

  • Simplify the DPApp graphic user interface and case builder to make it easier for learners to use the online software on smartphones and faster for clinical educators to create new cases.
  • Create a cloud-based system to house the cases and store learners’ performance data
  • Create a procedure for downloading learners’ performance data into an excel spreadsheet that can be read by online tutors in order to debrief learners and used by educational researchers to explore relationships between learners’ performances and emotions.
  • Test the new system with a small number of ERRAD course volunteers.

This project will lead to a scalable blended or totally online simulation that could contribute to:

  • The education of hundreds to thousands of learners nationally and globally
  • Research on how learners’ emotions impact clinical reasoning
  • The creation of a Serious Game

Progress to Date: The first 3 goals of this project have been completed. We aim to accomplish the 4th goal after the 2023 ERRAD course that has been scheduled for April 26 and 27, 2023.

Service, education, and professional identity formation in residency training: a qualitative study

Penny Toliopoulos, MD, MSc, FRCPC

Ning-Zi Sun, MD, MHPE, FRCPC

Linda Snell, MD, MHPE, FRCPC, MACP

Our study explores internal medicine residents’ perceptions of service and education and how these differ at different stages of their training. We are conducting semi-structured interviews with internal medicine residents to better understand residents’ perception of service, and will use this information to improve the residency experience for our learners.

Following medical school, residents spend three years in an internal medicine residency program and then, 2-3 additional years in a subspecialty residency program. During this period, residents learn while working or providing ‘service’ as a physician, under the supervision of faculty physicians. There is a growing perception that service (work) activities may compromise resident education despite general agreement that work experience is central to residents’ learning and professional growth. The perception of what residents consider ‘education’ and what is considered ‘service’ varies, and little is known about what influences these perceptions.

Montreal Derm FilEZ: Validation of an Interactive Online Dermatology Educational Platform for Dermatology Residents

Elena Netchiporouk, MD, MSc, FRCPC

Sarah Moussa, RN, M.D, C.M Candidate

Lydia Ouchene, PGY-2, M.D, C.M.

Thanks to the educational grant received, we will be able to validate the efficacy and appreciation of MDF among Canadian dermatology residents' using a randomized education trial and qualitative survey to access their appreciation of the website and its features. We estimate the validation project to be completed by the end of summer 2023 and the website to launch concurrently during the summer 2023. We thank the donors for their generous support of educational initiatives to the McGill community and in particular, to the department of medicine.

There are over 3,000 different skin disorders ranging from benign lesions (eg. seborrheic keratoses) or inflammatory dermatoses (eg. atopic dermatitis, psoriasis) to malignancies (eg. melanoma). Every Canadian will be afflicted by a skin disease at some point of their life. For example, it is estimated that skin cancer will affect at least 1 Canadian out of 4. As the population ages, the burden of chronic diseases such as skin cancer and inflammatory dermatoses are expected to increase even further. Unfortunately, there are fewer than 3 dermatologists per 100,000 people in Quebec. Dermatology has the worst wait lists of all specialties with >80,000 patients awaiting to be seen by a dermatologist. Hence, there is an urgent need to educate and empower the primary care providers (eg. family physicians, nurse practitioners, pharmacists) as well as future generations of dermatologists to manage skin diseases today and in the future. To respond to this unmet need, we created Montreal Derm FilEZ (MDF). MDF provides a no-cost interactive comprehensive dermatology learning tool containing hundreds of learning modules on each dermatology topic (from skin care to specific diseases to surgical techniques) and includes over 6,000 open-ended style questions to instill competency managing all known skin diseases for medical professionals. Furthermore, some sections are tailored to prepare dermatology residents across the country to pass their royal college of dermatology examination.

Teaching Whole Person Care: Does it enhance our students’ healing skills?

Tom Hutchinson, MB, FRCP(C)
Professor, Department of Medicine,
Director, McGill Programs in Whole Person Care, Sciences, McGill University Faculty of Medicine and Health

The purpose of this study is to demonstrate that a course on Mindful Medical Practice that is taught to medical students at McGill University immediately prior to their intense clinical experience of clerkship teaches them skills and ways of being that will help them relate to their patients in a way that helps them heal. The particular attributes that we hope that our students will learn as a result of our teaching are: compassion (the ability to relate helpfully and with kindness to a patient who is suffering); resilience (the ability to cope effectively with stress); and mindful clinical congruence (non-judgemental presence to self, the patient, and the clinical context). The study will be carried out over a 6-month period where 3 groups of students participate in the course in successive 2-month blocks. Since the choice of which students participate in different 2 month blocks is determined by the Faculty based primarily on the alphabetic order of their names the comparisons between different groups of students should be free of major biases. Measurements of compassion, response to stress, and mindful clinical congruence will be taken at the beginning of the 6-month period and each 2 months thereafter allowing us to see the effect of the course (before and after), compare the change in those who have taken and not yet taken the course, and to see any decays in the effects seen as we follow students over the 6 month period. The results should give a clear answer about the impact of our teaching.
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