Sharing stories about medical education in difficult circumstances: Conceptualizing issues, strategies, and solutions

Judy McKimm, Michelle McLean, Trevor J. Gibbs, Ewa Pawlowicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
238 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Global economic forces, political decisions, and natural disasters are only some of the factors that affect contemporary
healthcare education. Given the centrality of health in all settings, the future of healthcare education depends on
how we overcome these difficult circumstances.
Methods: Through a series of collaborative activities involving healthcare educators from around the world and their
attempts to overcome these difficulties, the authors have developed a conceptual model centered around the people
involved, the impact of culture, and organizations and systems.
Results: The model can help to frame discussions and develop strategies about how best we, as a community of health
professionals and educators, collaborate and share wisdom, experiences and resources to assist colleagues who might be
struggling to deliver education. What has clearly emerged from this work is the centrality of leadership and management in
effectively challenging and addressing difficult circumstances.
Conclusions: Contemporary health professions’ education leadership needs to be inclusive, mindful, compassionate and caring;
echoing and role-modeling how we expect our students to be with patients and colleagues. This means being willing
to confront unacceptable behaviors and speak out and challenge authority when needed. It also requires awareness and
understanding of the complex systems in which healthcare education is provided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-90
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Teacher
Issue number1
Early online date28 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2019


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