Doctors Teaching Doctors

By Kae-Rene Boey (Media & Learning Technologies Assistant, EdTech) and Catherine Choa (Education Operations Coordinator, EdTech) on July 10, 2023

Project Overview

As family doctors and leaders in faculty development, Dr. Meera Anand and Dr. Heather Buckley saw an opportunity to acknowledge their peers’ interest in training medical learners and provide a support network for geographically dispersed family doctors.

The matter is of personal interest to Dr. Anand. “I’m a family doctor myself, so it’s something that’s close to my heart. We see often that family doctors are very distributed in the communities and disconnected from UBC and each other.” The context of family doctors being disconnected prompted a faculty development opportunity that builds a sense of community and provides foundational knowledge and skills to become effective mentors in clinical spaces.

Dr. Anand and Dr. Buckley submitted a proposal to the UBC Faculty of Medicine Strategic Investment Fund and established a core project team to develop a solution. The project team consisted of members from the Vancouver-Fraser Medical Program (VFMP) Faculty Development, Dean’s Office, and Digital Solutions EdTech.

Dr. Meera Anand, Associate, VFMP Faculty Development
Dr. Heather Buckley, Associate Dean of Faculty Development
Shur Lim, Instructional Designer, VFMP Faculty Development
Karah Koleszar, Project Manager, Dean’s Office
Catherine Choa, Project Coordinator, EdTech
Justin Student
Justin Student, Senior Instructional Designer, EdTech

The Project

Initially, the project team thought the best approach was to develop an online course. Through consultation with the project team, a decision was made to facilitate an extensive user engagement process. Through an open dialogue with family doctors, the project team came to better understand the unique needs of community-based family doctors.

The project team worked closely with stakeholders to develop resources that not only supported family doctors to be more effective teachers but also addressed the needs of learners. Through this collaborative approach, the project team ensured that the faculty development training was a culturally relevant experience.

Faculty Development Opportunity

After months of dedicated work, the teaching course, A Day in the Life of a Preceptor, was born. This exciting curriculum involves virtual meetings, self-paced e-learning, and small group case-based learning.

A visual overview of the curriculum which includes virtual meetings, self-paced e-learning, and small group case-based learning.

The pilot, starting with community family doctors in the Vancouver-Fraser region, launched in September 2022. Some participants stated, as recalled by Dr. Anand, that “this gives them passion again in family medicine. The process, especially the small group sessions (that is a big part in this) with the family physicians in their local network, has been their favorite part because they were allowed to discuss teaching and cases that were developed through the course with each other in a fun, informal setting.”

Physicians have been spreading the word to their peers testifying to the success of the new teaching course created for doctors, by doctors. As a result, the Vancouver-Fraser Medical Program has seen an increased interest and sign up for teaching.

Moving forward, Dr. Anand hopes to “make this an ongoing course and expand numbers. We’re also working with a governance structure that already exists to reach more [family practice] members in divisions and cohorts, so that we can expand our offerings. Our hope is to gain an interest in teaching, but also to preserve an interest in teaching!”

A day in the life of a preceptor curriculum on laptop and phone

If you would like to learn more about the course, check out A Day in the Life of a Preceptor website. Special thank you to Shur Lim and VFMP Faculty Development for sharing the visuals!