Associate Dean

Roberto Osuna is a closer. The term “closer”, in this case, refers to a person who has a critical, very specialized, and highly visible position of responsibility on a baseball team. These folks are called upon to come into the game at the most critical juncture, when the outcome is very much in doubt, and are entrusted with ensuring that … Continue reading

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When you wish upon a star Makes no difference who you are Anything your heart desires Will come to you. From: Pinocchio (1940), Walt Disney Pictures. Sung by: Cliff Edwards The idea of allowing students to determine and design their own educational experiences may seem counter-intuitive to many, including students themselves. It’s certainly not easy to implement. However, setting aside … Continue reading

As the father of four sons, I have found that thought-provoking, articulate conversations with 17 year-old males are rare and remarkable occurrences indeed. Nonetheless, I was fortunate enough to have just such an experience this past week. It all began when I came upon an article by Kristin Rushowy that appeared on the front page of the Toronto Star on … Continue reading

The history of career counseling in our medical school divides nicely into three “eras”. Before 2006, students were informally supported through the efforts of faculty mentors, but there was essentially no structured program or standard approach. The next eight years or so can be rightfully dubbed the “Peter O’Neill Era”. Recruited to the role of Director, Career Counseling in July … Continue reading

Anyone who’s struggled through high school or university language courses will have observed, perhaps with exasperation, how young children learn to speak those languages quite effectively without the benefit of formal instruction. Growing children blissfully bypass linguistic theory and grammatical rules, and simply start speaking the language, employing a combination of imitation and trial-and-error to find what sounds and phrases … Continue reading

What do great baseball players and cardiologists have in common? Not much, may be your first reaction. However, as I was preparing some comments on the topic of decision making for our clerkship class recently, I came to recognize some intriguing parallels. Baseball players come basically in two varieties, pitchers and batters. Pitchers are large, powerful people who stand on … Continue reading

We all need people in our lives who are willing to tell us “how it is”. These are special folks, often spouses, relatives or lifelong friends, whose relationship with us is strong enough to allow candid, honest, unvarnished commentary about topics close to the heart. I found myself in a conversation with one such person recently who had the temerity … Continue reading

“One hundred and eighty-five”. That was the answer to my question. The question, that I’d posed somewhat naively to our intrepid assessment coordinator, Amanda Consack, was “how many assessments have the 2015 class undertaken during medical school?” “Do you mean everything?” she asked. “Yes. Everything”, I answered, not wanting to sound wimpy. In her typical fashion, Amanda provided me not … Continue reading

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The first accreditation visit to the Queen’s School of Medicine occurred in October of 1909, and didn’t go particularly well. The reviewer was Abraham Flexner, a rather determined iconoclast and career educator who had been commissioned by the Carnegie Foundation to carry out a review of all North American medical schools. Flexner undertook his charge with a shrewd earnestness that … Continue reading

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In their final few weeks as students, graduating medical classes elect two of their peers for special recognitions. For many years, one member has been designated to represent them and take responsibility for ensuring that their identity as a family of friends and professional colleagues is maintained through the years to come. Being elected Permanent Class President is therefore an … Continue reading

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The Making of a Closer
Published Mon, August 24, 2015

Roberto Osuna is a closer. The term “closer”, in this case, refers to a person who has a critical, very specialized, and highly visible position of responsibility on a baseball team. These folks are called upon to come into the game at the most critical juncture, when the outcome is very much in doubt, and are entrusted with ensuring that … Continue reading

“When you wish upon a star…” Alyssa’s Journey
Published Mon, August 10, 2015

When you wish upon a star Makes no difference who you are Anything your heart desires Will come to you. From: Pinocchio (1940), Walt Disney Pictures. Sung by: Cliff Edwards The idea of allowing students to determine and design their own educational experiences may seem counter-intuitive to many, including students themselves. It’s certainly not easy to implement. However, setting aside … Continue reading

Get to the point with Ask-Tell-Ask feedback
Published Mon, August 3, 2015

By Theresa Suart & Eleni Katsoulas   Giving and receiving feedback effectively is a key part of the UGME curriculum. It’s also key in nearly every workplace, which could explain why there are so many different frameworks and recommendations for feedback “best practices”. Some of these are more effective than others. Have you heard of the feedback sandwich? It’s one … Continue reading

Are we forcing our students to choose between Learning and Success?
Published Mon, July 27, 2015

As the father of four sons, I have found that thought-provoking, articulate conversations with 17 year-old males are rare and remarkable occurrences indeed. Nonetheless, I was fortunate enough to have just such an experience this past week. It all began when I came upon an article by Kristin Rushowy that appeared on the front page of the Toronto Star on … Continue reading

Bringing things into focus: Using focus groups to collect feedback
Published Mon, July 20, 2015

By Theresa Suart & Eleni Katsoulas Amongst the plethora of student feedback we solicit about our courses, you may wonder why we sometimes add in focus groups. What could be added to the more than a dozen questions on course evaluation and faculty feedback surveys? The information we gather in student focus groups doesn’t replace the very valuable narrative feedback … Continue reading