McMaster University’s Teresa Chan is winner of the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC)’s Outstanding Contribution to Faculty Development Award for innovations in medical education.

“I am accepting this award on behalf of that larger team that came before me, as well as all the learners and volunteers,” said Chan, associate dean of continuing professional development at the Faculty of Health Sciences.

“Faculty development at McMaster has always been really strong, but we have always been somewhat humble in noting the great strength that we have.”

Chan is an associate professor of medicine and an emergency physician with Hamilton Health Sciences.

She is co-developer of two board games that simulate real-life medical decision-making.

GridlockED, produced in 2018, puts players in the shoes of hospital emergency room doctors, and TriagED, published last year, is a scenario-based game that puts health sciences learners on the scene of accidents or terrorist attacks.

The idea is to give learners scenario-based training and assess their responses, as part of their training for facing real-life emergencies. For example, in TriagED, players must decide who to save after a major incident, following the decision-making of first responders and emergency doctors.

During the pandemic Chan ran online learning sessions that brought together health sciences learners from 42 countries. She saw it as a way of making McMaster’s extensive faculty development expertise and resources available for free worldwide during the pandemic.

“We brought the world to McMaster,” said Chan. “We had people joining our faculty and sharing wisdom from all over the world, Zooming with us and engaging with some of the local work that we do in Hamilton.”

Chan now has plans for building the medical education of the future, including a ‘metaverse’ virtual hospital with various health sciences and industry partners.

She envisioned this as an online simulation of a working hospital that will enable learners to better understand patients and their needs before they face real-life medical emergencies.

“It can also be a way for us to evaluate our responses and plan for the next pandemic,” said Chan.

“I always like to think about new ways of doing, based on the same science and experiences that we know work, so we can build a 2.0 and 3.0 version. The world gets better when we keep trying to push the envelope.”

She will receive the award at the Canadian Conference on Medical Education this week.

Also to be honoured is McMaster alumnus Glenn Regehr, who will receive the AFMC President’s Award for Exemplary National Leadership in Academic Medicine.

After completing his PhD at McMaster, Regehr joined the University of Toronto as a researcher in health professions education in 1993, co-founding the Wilson Centre for Research in Health Professions Education. He later moved to the University of British Columbia in 2009 to cofound the Centre for Health Education Scholarship.

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