June 8, 2015
This year has been one of great growth and achievement for St. Joe’s physicians in the realm of education. Many of our physicians and surgeons are very involved in helping shape the future of community-based and community-relevant medicine, holding impromptu educational sessions and teaching formal courses. Those physicians and surgeons have been recognized by the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine which honours leaders in the field of medical education.
The medical trainees who have studied under Dr. Lau have said he is “an excellent teacher…who provides an enjoyable and rewarding learning opportunity,” “a leader and a model for academic community paediatrics,” and “inclusive, approachable and values the opinions of all members of the interdisciplinary team.” So it comes as no surprise to those students or his peers that Dr. Lau is one of our physicians who has been recognized for teaching excellence.
Dr. Lau was awarded the 2015 Integrated Medical Education Award for Excellence in Community-Based Teaching (Clinic/Office). Teaching, he said, is as much a part of the job as anything else – it’s his way of providing great care to children and families in Toronto’s west end community.
“When I teach a student it will affect other families,” he said. “By being good teachers we’re ensuring our students will apply appropriate skills when they have their own practice, so it’s our way of extending our care to families we may not even see in the future.”
Dr. Shiva Jayaraman, a hepatobiilary and general surgeon at St. Joe’s received a Special Commendation for Excellence in Community-Based Teaching (Community Hospital Setting). Dr. Jayaraman was nominated by senior surgical residents whom he has become a mentor to, working with them to ensure their ongoing success.
“Patients need doctors and surgeons who can operate on real people,” said Jayaraman. “These learning moments that residents have inside and outside the operating room during their time here is crucial and we have to provide a safe environment where they can learn by doing and learn how to improve the patient experience.”
Dr. Amr ElMaraghy is an orthopeadic surgeon who also received a Special Commendation for Sustained Excellence in Community-Based Teaching (Community Hospital Setting). Throughout the years Dr. ElMaraghy has been a champion of medical education, finding new and innovative ways to educate medical trainees. He strives to ensure his trainees have a comfortable learning environment and feel part of the team.
“I believe that the most relevant and lasting surgical education is firmly grounded on the principle of striving for a balance between seeing, doing and reading,” he said. “With this balance, trainees can perfect their own personal technique and ultimately understand the broader clinical context of the knowledge and skills attained.”
Dr. Douglas Wooster won the Colin R. Wolf Award for Long Term Contribution to Continuing Education. A community-based vascular surgeon, he has been influential in the coordination of Toronto Vascular meetings, including the Toronto Endovascular Conference and Vascular Imaging Toronto. One of his priorities is ensuring other faculty members provide the highest quality medical education to trainees: “Innovation in education motivates both the teacher and the learner to think in more effective and efficient ways about the content, process and outcomes of education,” he said. “It is a key component of educational scholarship and should inform all our endeavors.”
Teaching and education is a strategic priority at St. Joe’s
“These awards are a testament to the excellence and quality of education occurring in our community Health Centre,” said Dr. Jerry Maniate, Chief of Medical Education and Scholarship. “The fact that we have a number of nominees from different departments shows the breadth and growing capacity we have for providing medical trainees with a rich, valuable educational experience in a very challenging and complex clinical environment.”
Education is a core part of the job for many St. Joe’s physicians and more than 500 medical trainees rotate through the Health Centre annually, gaining a hands-on experience that is vital to their medical education.
“We are striving to be Canada’s best community teaching Health Centre,” said Dr. Ted Rogovein, Chief of Staff. “Our medical residents and students bring unique perspectives to the St. Joe’s community. Not only are they learning, through hands-on opportunities to make a lasting impact on patients’ lives, they make an immediate and positive contribution to our role as a teaching hospital and our commitment to deliver exceptional experiences. Our students are welcome members of our team.”
Medical students, residents and fellows can spend anywhere from a couple of weeks to several years at St. Joe’s and are exposed to a variety of situations and scenarios.
“At St. Joe’s we have such a diverse population of clients, patients and families who all have very different needs due to ethnic background, socioeconomic status, language issues, and so forth,” said Dr. Lau. “I think that’s very helpful in teaching students how to take care of people – it gives them a bigger picture than just what they can read in a book.”
Education is so important to St. Joe’s that it is part of our vision of advancing the health of our community by being Canada’s best community teaching health centre. Dr. Maniate said our reputation is making St. Joe’s an increasingly more competitive location to get into.
“Many of our trainees comment on how accepted they feel here at St. Joe’s,” he said. “The fact that our physicians and surgeons have been recognized at the University level is reflective of the commitment we as a health centre have made to education and teaching, and we need to continue this work, to continue thinking innovatively of how to make our educational experiences here unique, community-based and community-relevant. That’s what is going to push us into the category of being a leader in community-based health professions education.”