Communities of Practice

One of the most effective and fun ways of learning is to interact with others doing the same types of things. As discussed on, the term “community of practice” describes an age-old phenomenon. In a community of practice  participants share a concern or passion for something they do. Participants progress through periodic sharing of ideas, tips, tools, support, etc. There can be different levels of structure and intentionality. We are keen to help launch and foster groupings of self- motivated faculty within the VFMP. Contact us if you would like to join an established group, or consider forming a new one.

Guided Small Group Learning*

We have a set of modules which we make available to small groups of faculty who meet at their own convenience. The modules are designed such that any member of the group can provide the facilitation (yet we can also facilitate the first few meetings if requested). Each module focuses on a core aspect of teaching or assessment, and earns faculty Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits.

Module Topics (click on topic to view objectives)

  • Have an increased understanding of feedback
  • Identify barriers to its delivery
  • Use practical strategies that can promote more effective learning by learners

  • To address how clinical teachers can simultaneously provide effective educational experiences and quality patient care
  • To provide educationally sound and time-efficient strategies and tools that facilitate and enhance teaching moments

  • Consider strategies to encourage adaptive responses by learners when errors do occur
  • Model the importance of recognizing and acknowledging errors
  • Promote ways to reduce risk of errors in the future

  • Help preceptors make an appropriate and timely assessment of the learner’s difficulty, including the learning environment
  • Assist in developing a plan with the learner to facilitate improvement
  • Improve communication with the learner and the educational program, especially when performance is below standard

  • Review characteristics of evaluation and why this process is important
  • Identify difficulties experienced in the evaluation process
  • Provide a framework and strategies to guide effective evaluation of learners

  • Provide strategies for preparing the practice site for a learner’s arrival
  • Highlight the elements of an effective orientation program
  • Outline the development of learning plan that incorporates such issues as program, practice and learner objectives, and details of how learning and teaching will occur during the placement

  • Understand/clarify the past experience /background that IMGs bring to the learning situation and how preceptors can capitalize on this
  • Provide some practical strategies for dealing with language barriers and improving communication skills
  • Help IMGs adapt to the Canadian teaching and learning environment and clarify expectations for IMGs regarding the roles of learner and clinician

  • Reflect on their own interprofessional collaborative behavior and effectively role model this behavior to learners
  • Facilitate learners’ understanding regarding the scope of practice/role of other professionals
  • Identify opportunities to teach collaborative care and to address structural barriers

  • Understand the contextual nature of professional behavior and the pivotal role of clinician teachers in the development of professionalism among their learners
  • Provide educationally appropriate opportunities for learning the principles of professionalism in clinical settings
  • Develop effective strategies for dealing with unprofessional behaviors of learners during a clinical placement

  • Understand the contextual nature of conflict management and the pivotal role of clinical teachers in the development of conflict management strategies among their learners
  • Provide Educationally appropriate opportunities for applying the principles of conflict management in clinical settings
  • Develop effective strategies for dealing with the type of conflict that learners might experience during a clinical placement

 *Modules have been developed and produced by McMaster University’s Program for Faculty Development under the title Practice Based Small Group Education (PBSG-ED).


An Introduction to Narrative Medicine for Teachers and Learners in the VFMP in Four Fun Sessions

Medical schools are increasingly introducing Narrative Medicine programming. Narrative Medicine is the practice of discussing short health care related written works.  It is a fantastic tool for fostering wellness and healthy workplace and learning culture. Our offering allows faculty, residents, and students in the VFMP to come together and get introduced to Narrative Medicine.  In a series of four evening small group sessions, facilitators will lead Narrative Medicine exercised and discussions.

The sessions will focus on the following themes:

  1. Introduction to Close Reading and Reflective Writing
  2. Clinical Encounter
  3. Communication & Collegiality
  4. Professional Identity & Self-Care

More sessions to come. 

If you are interested in attending a future session, please email to be notified when dates are announced.

Physician Wellness Community of Practice

A meeting place for faculty members involved in improving wellness within the Faculty of Medicine.

Please contact us if you are interested in joining this group.


Narrative Medicine Community of Practice

A meeting place for faculty members interesting in developing narrative medicine practices within the Faculty of Medicine.

Please contact us if you are interested in joining this group.