Artificial Intelligence & Medical Education

“The history of medical education reform amply demonstrates that curricular change has been incremental, reactive, and mostly around the margins. Changes that have occurred, such as earlier clinical experiences, more problem-based learning, and clinical skills testing, have not fundamentally altered learning environments and information-retention expectations imposed by medical school curriculum committees, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, and the National Board of Medical Examiners testing program. Given the curricular needs addressed above, changes in 21st-century medical education must be radical, not incremental. The current learning environment, with its excessive information-retention demands, has proven to be toxic and in need of complete overhaul. The speed of technological innovation means that the skills of some faculty members are outdated compared to those of their students. In a recent visit to a medical school by one of the authors, when students were asked if they were ‘being taught in the manner in which they prefer to learn,’ no student said that this was the case.

Accordingly, we advocate new curricula that respond to the challenges of AI while being less detrimental to learners’ mental health. These curricula should emphasize 4 major features:

  1. Knowledge capture, not knowledge retention;
  2. Collaboration with and management of AI applications;
  3. A better understanding of probabilities and how to apply them meaningfully in clinical decision making with patients and families; and
  4. The cultivation of empathy and compassion.

Barriers to such curricular changes are substantial and include long-standing faculty practices and funding streams, university policies and procedures, and a history of incremental reform by regulatory and accreditation bodies. It is our opinion that significant reform cannot take place within the existing regulatory structure. Perhaps changing the accreditation and licensing framework should be foremost among our considerations in reimagining medical education for the 21st century.”

More on Reimagining Medical Education in the Age of AI by Steven A. Wartman, MD, PhD and C. Donald Combs, PhD via AMA Journal of Ethics: Illuminating the Art of Medicine

Proust: On Treating Chronic Illness

“I learned that a death had occurred during the day which distressed me greatly, that of Bergotte. It was known that he had been ill for a long time past. Not, of course, with the illness from which he had suffered originally and which was natural. Nature hardly seems capable of giving us any but quite short illnesses. But medicine has annexed to itself the art of prolonging them. Remedies, the respite that they procure, the relapses that a temporary cessation of them provokes, compose a sham illness to which the patient grows so accustomed that he ends by making it permanent, just as children continue to give way to fits of coughing long after they have been cured of the whooping cough. Then remedies begin to have less effect, the doses are increased, they cease to do any good, but they have begun to do harm thanks to that lasting indisposition. Nature would not have offered them so long a tenure. It is a great miracle that medicine can almost equal nature in forcing a man to remain in bed, to continue on pain of death the use of some drug. From that moment the illness artificially grafted has taken root, has become a secondary but a genuine illness, with this difference only that natural illnesses are cured, but never those which medicine creates, for it knows not the secret of their cure.” ~ Marcel Proust in À la Recherche du Temps Perdu, originally published from 1913-1927

Marcel Proust’s continuous novel À la Recherche du Temps Perdu (REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST) was originally published in eight parts, the titles and dates of which were: I. Du Coté de Chez Swann (1913); II. À l’Ombre des Jeunes Filles en Fleurs (1918), awarded the Prix Goncourt in 1919; III. Le Côté de Guermantes I (1920); IV. Le Côté de Guermantes II, Sodome et Gomorrhe I (1921); V. Sodome et Gomorrhe II (1922); VI. La Prisonnière (1923); VII. Albertine Disparue (1925); VIII. Le Temps Retrouvé (1927).

Community Event



Join us on the afternoon of Saturday, November 30 for the launch of the catalogue that accompanies the group exhibition Li iyá:qtset – We Transform It. This fully illustrated publication features visual art and written essays by some of the most important Indigenous artists, thinkers, writers, and scholars working in Coast Salish territory today.

Free Admission. Learn more here.

Bill 21

“The bill proposes that after April 2022, new doctors in the province will be required to obtain practice permits from the government upon completion of residency training. These permits could restrict new doctors to work only in certain regions and could also limit the type of care they provide, for example, by requiring a specific ratio of community care to hospital services.

‘The language is vague and that’s giving a lot of residents anxiety,’ says Dr. Franco Rizzuti, president of the Professional Association of Resident Physicians of Alberta (PARA).

Medical trainees worry that they could complete a residency in a city and then be forced to work several hours away in a remote location, despite lacking experience in rural environments.”

More on Medical trainees warn practice permits will drive away doctors via CMAJ.

#Bill21 #Alberta #ResidencyTraining

On Strings

“Learning to play a musical instrument and playing in an ensemble is very demanding,” said the study’s co-investigator Martin Guhn, an assistant professor in the faculty of medicine’s school of population and public health. “A student has to learn to read music notation, develop eye-hand-mind coordination, develop keen listening skills, develop team skills for playing in an ensemble and develop discipline to practice. All those learning experiences, and more, play a role in enhancing the learner’s cognitive capacities, executive functions, motivation to learn in school, and self-efficacy.”

More on Music students perform better in school than non-musical peers via UBC Faculty of Medicine.

System Dynamics for Health Sciences

There’s a new tuition-free course with EdX on System Dynamics for Health Sciences:

“Effective and meaningful engagement with complex modern medical systems requires an overarching set of tools.

System dynamics is such a tool, allowing health practitioners to model and simulate problems ranging from the molecular level to the entire healthcare system and beyond. This introductory course will teach you the fundamental principles of system dynamics as you learn how to use system dynamics software to explore problems relevant to your field of health. Whether you work in molecular biology, clinical medicine, health policy, or any other health-related field, this course will equip you to investigate the effects of time delays, feedback and system structure. You will learn how to interpret the causes of typical system behaviors such as growth, decay and oscillation in terms of the underlying system properties, and to rapidly develop computer-based models and run simulations to gain insight into the problems in your domain.”

It begins today! Learn more and register here.

Sustainability: A New Mandate in Medical Education

“The trouble is cardiologists will teach about stents and statins. They won’t teach you about sedentary lifestyles and about active transport and particulate pollution and all of these other things because they don’t know it themselves … if it was appearing in every single thing it wouldn’t take long before medical students are going ‘I seem to be hearing exactly the same thing in every subject – everything I’m hearing about the causes of cancer seems to be the same thing as causing lung disease which seems to be the same thing as causing coronary vascular disease and strokes – so why aren’t we doing something about that?”

~ An educator on teachers lack of knowledge on sustainable healthcare
As the international drive for healthcare professionals to embrace sustainability gains momentum, the UK has taken the lead. In the General Medical Council’s document Outcomes for graduates 2018(“Outcomes”), the medical regulator has placed a new obligation on medical education (General Medical Council 2018). Doctors qualifying or registering in the UK will be required to understand and apply the principles of sustainable healthcare to medical practice. Teaching this is the responsibility of medical schools and of doctors who are involved in medical education. Yet sustainability is an emerging concept to many in the medical profession, although the increasingly unsustainable nature of the healthcare system and potential ways to address this may already be familiar.”

More on Fulfilling a new obligation: Teaching and learning of sustainable healthcare in the medical education curriculum (2019) via Tun.

Download the Climate Change Toolkit for Healthcare Professionals here.

#SustainableHealthcare #MedicalEducation

Holiday Journal Club & Food Bank Drive!

Holiday-Family-Journal-390x258Greetings Residents!

Hope you are well! Journal Club is at my place this month! Dr. Iris Liu will be leading our discussion on Adverse Events: Disclosure, Impact, and Prevention.

I’m also collecting non-perishable food items to donate to our Abbotsford Food Bank on behalf of our UBC Family Practice Residency Program. The top 3 items needed are hearty soups, canned meat, and canned vegetables. Donate and I’ll open the door with a smile!

Date: Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Time: 1830-2030

Warm regards,


Foul Odour Returns to Abbotsford Elementary School

King Traditional School in Abbotsford

“‘It’s a smell like I’ve never experienced, and I’ve been around a lot of different farms my entire life,’ said Gaudette. ‘At first, parents thought that it was rotting carcasses — that’s how putrid and horrible the smell was.’

She said people at the school have become nauseous, had headaches, and had respiratory issues due to the odour.

The company, 93 Land Company, declined an interview request from CBC News, but said in a statement it uses the property as a poultry farm and poultry litter storage facility.

Gaudette said it’s the manure that’s creating the foul smell — which she describes as ‘toxic’ — as it’s being stored under an open-air canopy that releases fumes.”

More on Foul odour returns to Abbotsford elementary school (2019) via CBC.

‘It’s a putrid, horrific smell’: Parents cry foul over odour at Abbotsford school (2018) via CBC.

More on farming and our environment:

Petition says pot-grow stench led to ‘Summer of Stink’ in Fraser Valley (2019) via The Abbotsford News.

Farm blamed for sickening stink repeatedly violated environmental orders (2018) via CBC Investigates.

#KnowWhereYourPatientsGoToSchool #AbbotsfordSchoolDistrict #KingTraditionalSchool