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St. Joseph's Health Centre Toronto

Innovative new teaching model supports future doctors

Resident Dr. Ariel Lefkowitz talks to patient Oldrich Zatka in the Vascular Teaching Clinic.

Resident Dr. Ariel Lefkowitz talks to patient Oldrich Zatka in the Vascular Teaching Clinic.

An innovative new model of teaching is giving patients with vascular disease better access to care and helping medical residents with hands-on learning that’s helping develop their careers as doctors. Last year, we opened our Medical Education Teaching Clinic (METC), a space where residents receive one-on-one time with our doctors and see patients as a way to learn about and practice delivering care and receive on-the-spot feedback.

Traditionally, St. Joe’s patients with vascular disease, a class of diseases related to inflammation and weakness of the veins and arteries, would be sent to one of our partner hospitals for consultations and then, if necessary, for surgery. Now, patients with vascular disease can have their initial assessment at St. Joe’s – with the help of vascular surgeons from University Health Network (UHN).

“This initiative focuses on those groups of individuals who don’t otherwise get vascular surgery training in their residency yet are responsible for managing these patients when they go into practice,” said Dr. Jerry Maniate, Chief of Medical Education, Research and Scholarship. “This gives them an opportunity to learn from our UHN vascular surgery colleagues who are amazingly skilled clinicians and committed to supporting new physicians.”

The Vascular Teaching Clinic (VTC) was recently recognized by the Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery — Drs. Douglas Wooster and Jerry Maniate, along with Elizabeth Wooster, won the 2017 John L. Provan Educational Award for their work on the clinic and further analysis of its effectiveness.

“This clinic has been running for over a year now, and it’s providing valuable insight that’s helping inform future clinics here,” said Dr. Maniate. “We want to take the learnings from this and adapt it to each of the teaching clinics that we are running so we can better understand how to engineer the educational experience to optimize learning for our trainees.”

We are also looking to create a similar partnership with neurosurgeons at St. Michael’s Hospital who would spend one day every twoweeks with our residents. While these experiences don’t give our residents all the information they need to be able to do assessments on their own, it helps them understand more about the conditions their patients may be living with. It’s also helping patients learn more about their own health.

“Patients feel like they’re part of the educational process,” said Dr. Maniate. “They’re learning while watching the trainees being taught – because that teaching is happening in the room with the patient, it’s helping them understand what vascular disease actually means.”

This is just one of the ways we’re focusing on embedding teaching and education into our work and supporting the future generation of health-care practitioners in our community. Learn more about our dedication to teaching here.

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