NOSM prof brings visions for medical education research

Dr. Erin Cameron

When most people think of research, they imagine scientists with white coats working in a lab with test tubes. What they don’t imagine is medical education research − but a new faculty member at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine hopes to change this.
“Medical education research is any investigation related to the teaching and learning of medical professionals,” explains Dr. Erin Cameron, an assistant professor of Medical Education and Curriculum Development at NOSM.
“Topics can range from exploring contemporary issues and questions in medical education, to designing and evaluating curricular innovations.”
Since joining NOSM, Cameron has been actively engaging with communities, students, faculty, clinicians, staff, and health-care organizations to learn about the diverse educational needs and approaches at NOSM and within Northern Ontario.
“So much incredible educational research has and is currently being conducted at NOSM − I feel that I am standing on the shoulders of giants,” exclaims Cameron.
“To build on past successes, I have come to see my role as bringing voices together to share ideas, knowledge, and skills in order to continue NOSM’s innovation into the future.”
One of the ways Cameron hopes to bring voices together is through the newly established Medical Education Research Lab in the North (MERLIN).
The goal of MERLIN is to facilitate the sharing of resources and tools to support community-engaged, socially accountable medical education research at NOSM. Cameron’s vision is that MERLIN will create a place and space for medical education research, where researchers can work together, share ideas and concepts and build capacity for medical education scholarship.
“Ultimately, through my role and through MERLIN, I want to support NOSM in addressing contemporary educational issues and questions that arise in programming at the undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing professional development levels” says Cameron.
“I am particularly interested in NOSM’s social accountability mandate and how different aspects of the school are or could be contributing to this mandate.”
Cameron is in the early stages of establishing various collaborative research projects. For example, she is partnering with the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre to explore the impact of an educational intervention aimed at using high-fidelity simulation to support compassionate and patient-centered care.
She is also working with medical learners to understand students’ perceptions of social accountability.
Lastly, together with the curriculum and instructional designers at NOSM, she is creating a “community of practice” for medical education scholarship. The goal of this community is discuss recent advances in medical education, while also identifying ways to support, promote, and initiate medical education scholarship at NOSM.
Prior to joining NOSM, Cameron held a faculty appointment at Memorial University in St. John’s, NL. As an educational scholar, Cameron’s research to date has focused on transformative pedagogies that enhance teaching for diversity and social justice. From studying patient-centered models of care to developing and evaluating educational interventions to support compassionate care, Cameron’s work has attracted the attention of scholars in the field of social justice education.
In addition to her research, she has served as a curriculum consultant, contributed educational perspectives to diverse healthcare research groups, and has established various collaborative networks for bringing together research and practice.
“With my broad research interests, NOSM fits really well with the work that I’ve done and the work that I want to do,” Cameron says. “I’m really excited about being at NOSM and supporting medical education scholarship at NOSM.”
Cameron will attend numerous medical education conferences this year to present her current projects and to promote her vision for a collaborative approach to medical education scholarship.

Filed in: Education, News, Research Tags: , , , , , , ,

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