Canadian Conference on Medical Education, Vancouver


This conference had about 1,700 participants and in recent years it has increased its credibility as a meeting place to discuss all aspects of medical education.

On the positive side it was productive to discuss the use of the arts, humanities, and social sciences in medical education at the Creating Space symposium. See:

Also, my colleague, Catherine Nicholson, MD Class of 2017, gave a confident, clear and concise presentation of her poster regarding learning about social accountability by medical students. See:

The convenor of the poster session, Dr Marcel D’Eon from Saskatchewan, praised both the poster and the oral presentation which was very encouraging.


On the negative side it was disappointing not to have more interest in a pre-conference workshop on social accountability. See:

The workshop proposal had been peer reviewed but it had to be withdrawn due to less than ten registrants one month before the conference. Many people say fine words about their commitment to the principles and practices of social accountability especially when there are awards or prizes involved but they do not deliver on their fine words as evidenced by the few registrations for this workshop.

I did though have a constructive meeting with colleagues from the Northern Ontario School of Medicine who are justifiably recognised as the leaders in social accountability of medical schools. We hope to offer something appropriate for the Canadian Conference on Medical Education in 2016 which has the theme of “Accountability: from Self to Society”. The irony of this theme for 2016 after the experiences in 2015 is not lost on me.

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About Iain Robbe

I am a medical practitioner (MB, BS, 1980) registered with the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom without a licence to practice. I am now in practice as a Clinical Medical Educationist partly through my links with Memorial University, Newfoundland where I have an appointment as a Clinical Assistant Professor (part-time); and with the Centre for Medical Education, Dundee University where I have an appointment as an Outwith Clinical Tutor (part-time).

Also, I have links with the seven UK veterinary schools particularly for undergraduate and post graduate teaching and research in professionalism, ethics, communications, and using the arts and humanities in veterinary education.

I have a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of London (1985) and a Master’s degree in Medical Education with distinction from the University of Wales (2001).

The guiding principles in my practices are based on andragogy and humanism, and the prime ethical principle of autonomy for the individual and in population health.

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