The Department of Family Medicine has been working to deliver excellence in teaching and learning not only for student and residents, but also to academic staff through continuing medical education and faculty development. To this end, for the first time this fall, physicians enrolled as preceptors in the Longitudinal Family Medicine Experience (LFME) course will benefit from an online distanced-blended program of their own, the Preceptor Learning Program (PLP), to help them become better clinical educators.
Largely based on modules created for the purpose of the Faculty Development Curriculum for physicians holding academic appointments in the Department of Family Medicine, the PLP aims to provide LFME preceptors with the tools and resources to help them supervise and educate first year medical students.
“Not all preceptors are necessarily familiar with the notions being taught in the Faculty Development Curriculum, as these resources may not be available to them without already having academic positions,” explains Dr. Tamara Carver, Assistant Professor in Family Medicine and Education Lead of the Family Medicine Innovations in Learning (FMIL) program.
The FMIL and Faculty Development divisions tailored a 5-module online course designed for preceptors, offering insights on the place of the LFME course in the MDCM curriculum, as well as learning sessions on patient safety, the fundamentals of the teacher-learner relationship and giving constructive feedback to students.
“The course provides tools for common difficult areas in teaching, such as creating the optimal learning environment, providing feedback, and establishing the teacher-learner role,” adds Dr. Katia Faustini, LFME Assistant Course Director. “The content offered to preceptors will make them feel more comfortable dealing with these topics and hopefully enhance their interactions with the students.”
Many people from the Department of Family Medicine and the Faculty of Medicine have contributed to the project, including Dr. Goldie Marmor, Undergraduate Program Director in Family Medicine and formerly the LFME Course Director, Dr. Namta Gupta, Assistant Dean, Student Affairs, Undergraduate Medical Education and Dr. Miriam Boillat, Associate Dean, Faculty Development.
Throughout the academic year, all preceptors are paired with two first-year medical students for a period of seven weeks each. Despite the differences in work environments and areas where the preceptors are practicing, all parties hope this course will help garner a stronger sense of belonging to the McGill wider community.
“We not only believe this course will be capable of making preceptors more skilled and confident in their teaching, but we also hope to create a connection between members of the incoming cohort,” concludes Dr. Carver.