My research contributes to theory building and empirical work exploring the material effects of discourse on learning, particularly as these effects manifest in the performance of expertise and other identity issues. Discourses, such as collaboration, globalization, integration and inter-professionalism, are pervasive in medical education. They manifest formally in institutional mandates and educational objectives, and informally in popular culture and the value systems that academic health care providers, learners and patients bring to their interactions. Discourses are ideas and practices that gain legitimacy and are hard to contest. For example, in certain contexts, claims such as “interprofessional collaboration is good for patient care”, “interdisciplinary approaches produce innovative solutions to important problems” and “globalization benefits everyone because it encourages international cooperation”, come to assume the status of ‘truths’. Imagine the effects on one’s career if they were not perceived to be a “good team player” in a setting where inter-professional collaboration is highly valued and thus taught, assessed, and regulated. It is hard to escape the norming effects of collaboration discourse, even in moments when it was functional and in the best interests of the patient for the health professional to execute his/her work uncooperatively. The daily negotiations of health professionals, as they navigate the norming effects of discourse, are at the crux of my research. This line of inquiry contributes to a nuanced understanding of how social, cultural and organizational practices impact educational mandates. By documenting how certain discourses come to dominate particular contexts, I am able to orient attention on hidden curriculum effects associated with structural and socio-cultural practices. As well, I am able to track tensions generated by misaligned values and priorities. Such evidence is important in the planning and evaluation of the impact of educational interventions.
Workplace learning; compassion in the workplace; education scholarship; faculty development; education leadership
Associate Professor and Director of Medical Education Scholarship
Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Scientist and Strategic Lead International, Wilson Centre for Research in Education, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Academic Educator, Centre for Faculty Development, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Member, AMS Advisory Committee, AMS – Phoenix Project.
Fellow, AMS PHOENIX Project