Below is a selection of several submitted theses from graduated students of the MSc. HSEd program. Additional submitted thesis from other students of the HSEd program and other McMaster graduate programs can be found at MacSphere.
Recipient of the 2017 McMaster University Department of Medicine Internal Career Award-AFP Clinician Educator Award
Recipient of a 2016-2017 FitzGerald Academy Teaching Award
An examination of Eyal & Hurst’s (2008) framework for promoting retention in resource-poor settings through locally-relevant training: A case study for the University of Guyana Surgical Training Program
Background: Eyal and Hurst proposed that locally relevant medical education can offset the prevalence of physician “brain drain” in resource-poor regions of the world, and presented a framework of the ethical and pragmatic benefits and concerns posed by these initiatives. The present study explored the framework’s utility through a case study of the University of Guyana Diploma in Surgery (UGDS) program
Methods: The framework’s utility was evaluated using a case study design that included review and analysis of documents and semi-structured interviews with graduates, trainees, faculty members, and policy makers associated with the UGDS program. Data were analyzed from constructivist and interpretivist perspectives, and compared against the benefits and concerns described by Eyal and Hurst.
Results: The framework is a useful template for capturing the breadth of experience of locally relevant training in the Guyanese setting. However, the results suggest that delineating the framework factors as either beneficial or concerning may constrict its applicability. The case study design also provided specific insights about the UGDS program, which indicate that the Program has promoted the retention of graduates and a sustainable culture of postgraduate medical education in Guyana. Conclusion: It is suggested that the framework be modified so as to represent the benefits and concerns of locally relevant training along a continuum of advantage. These approaches may help us understand retention within a resource-poor country, but also within particularly remote areas and public health care systems generally.
Anita Acai, Sydney A. McQueen, Victoria McKinnon & Ranil R. Sonnadara. (2017) Using art for the development of teamwork and communication skills among health professionals: a literature review, Arts & Health, 9:1, 60-72, DOI: 10.1080/17533015.2016.1182565
A literature review on observational learning for medical motor skills and anesthesia teaching
Motor skill practice is very important to improve performance of medical procedures and could be enhanced by observational practice. Observational learning could be particularly important in the medical field considering that patients’ safety prevails over students’ training. The mechanism of observational learning is based on the mirror neuron system, originally discovered in the monkey pre-motor cortex. Today we know that humans have a similar system, and its role is to understand and reproduce the observed actions of others. Many studies conclude that humans are able to plan and to make movements based on visual information by mapping a representation of observed actions, especially when the motor system is committed to do it. Moreover most researchers considered observational learning effective for complex skills, such as medical procedures. Additionally, observational learning could play a relevant role during anesthesia training since the learner works in pairs most of the time (dyad practice). Some teaching approaches should be taken into consideration: an implicit engagement of the observer motor system is required, immediate feedback seems to have an important effect, and a combination of observational and physical practice could be better than physical practice alone. In an environment where effectiveness and efficacy are essential, observational learning seems to fit well.
Cordovani, L. & Cordovani, D. Adv in Health Sci Educ (2016) 21: 1113. doi:10.1007/s10459-015-9646-5.
Examining the barriers to meaningful assessment and feedback in medical training
Background: Recent reports from both accreditation bodies in North America highlight problems with current assessment practices in postgraduate medical training. Previous work has shown that educators might be reluctant to report poor performance or fail underperforming trainees. This study explores the barriers perceived by medical educators to providing more meaningful assessment and feedback to trainees.
Methods: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 22 physician educators. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Three researchers analyzed the transcripts using a grounded theory approach.
Results: Participants expressed a reluctance to provide poor assessments or feedback to trainees. Fifty-five percent of the participants reported passing trainees who could have benefited from additional training. Our data revealed a number of barriers which may account for these findings. Implementing more frequent formative assessments could help educators more effectively evaluate trainees and provide feedback, although a shift in the culture of medicine may be required.
Conclusions: It is imperative that the barriers to effective assessment and feedback identified in this study be addressed to improve postgraduate medical training and enhance patient care.
Sydney A. McQueen, Bradley Petrisor, Mohit Bhandari, Christine Fahim, Victoria McKinnon & Ranil R. Sonnadara. (2016) Examining the barriers to meaningful assessment and feedback in medical training, Am J Surg. 211(2):464-75. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2015.10.002.