Healthcare professionals seeking to upgrade their skills mid-career have a formidable ally in Teresa Chan.
As the incoming associate dean of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) at McMaster University’s Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS), Chan’s mission is to offer clinicians or faculty the feedback and resources they need to advance their careers.
“I dream of a day when a person or team could come to our office and we can help create a plan for them to grow, where our superstar researchers can have their expertise archived for anyone to access. We can connect McMaster to the world and link our people to all the resources they need,” said Chan, who will begin her new role on July 1.
“The challenge now is being able to improve health care provision. One of the big pillars of healthcare improvement is education, which can change hearts and minds to help people develop.”
Launched last year, CPD includes the Continuing Health Sciences Education Program, the Program for Faculty Development, and the Learning Technologies Lab. It aims to advance health sciences education by offering professional development opportunities for both faculty members and healthcare professionals.
“It is about systems, teams and collectively wanting to do more and be more. Equipping people with the right resources can help prevent ‘imposter syndrome’,” said Chan.
Chan is an associate professor of medicine, and an emergency physician with Hamilton Health Sciences, who first joined McMaster as a faculty member in 2013.
She previously served as assistant dean of faculty development at the FHS, focusing on integrating social media and Web 2.0 technologies for faculty development.
Chan’s research focuses on health professional education, which has included developing a board game for the emergency department called GridlockED, to help trainees better understand clinical workflow in a hospital’s busiest area.
“The most rewarding experience I’ve had to date is helping to transform our residency program by using workplace-based assessment to flip the culture to constant feedback and improvement,” said Chan.
“We now have a cadre of junior faculty who are hungry for feedback and eager to help each other out.”
Last month Chan was named a McMaster’s 2021 University Scholar, the university’s top award for mid-career researchers who are considered global leaders.
Recognition for her work as a teacher, mentor and journal reviewer has included the 2020 Ian Stiell Researcher of the Year Award, the 2021 Early Career Medical Educator Champions award, the 2019 Meridith Marks award from the Canadian Association of Medical Educators and the 2017 Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada’s Young Educator’s award.
“Dr. Chan is an exceptional individual who has demonstrated a flair for innovative ideas to move CPD forward and meld it into a cohesive unit, making it accessible for all,” said Paul O’Byrne, dean and vice-president of the Faculty of Health Sciences.
“She has an enthusiasm for lifelong learning and has been involved in education and curriculum development at the local, provincial and national levels.”