For our health care system to adapt to the needs of the 21st century and continually advance care, we must imagine, design and implement bold new ways of educating the health care workforce. This is driving force behind The Institute for Education Research (TIER) at UHN.
Introduced in 2016 following the merger of the Michener Institute of Education with the University Health Network (UHN), TIER is one of seven institutes within the UHN Research family. Through the adoption of a unique research model, TIER welcomes researchers and partners from across the health care continuum and the university and college sectors, to provide a fulsome view on health care education. As a hub for experts to come together, incubate ideas and leverage expertise, TIER is shining a light on an under-researched field to develop the future of Canada’s health care professionals.
Leading the world in transforming health care education through experimentation, creativity, and curiosity.
Bridge theoretical and applied research, clinical practice and education to continually probe, think and push forward for better care.
Dr. Brian Hodges, MD, PhD, FRCPCInstitute Director, The Institute for Education ResearchScientist, The Wilson Centre
The Richard and Elizabeth Currie Chair in Health Professions Education ResearchProfessor, Department of Psychiatry, University of TorontoEVP Education, University Health Network
Dr. Brian Hodges is Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Education at the University of Toronto; he holds the Currie Chair in Health Professions Education Research at the Wilson Centre and is Executive-Vice President Education at the University Health Network (Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret, Toronto Rehab Hospitals and the Michener Institute). He is a practicing psychiatrist and teacher. His research focuses on assessment, competence, compassion and the future of the health professions. Dr. Hodges has been recognized with the British Association for Studies in Medical Education Gold Medal (2014), The Association of American Medical Colleges Flexner Award (2015), and the Karolinska Institute Prize for Research in Medical Education (2016).
Dr. Nicole Woods, PhDSenior Director, Education and Research Integration & Scientific Director, The Institute for Education Research@UHNAssociate Director & Education Scientist, The Wilson Centre, UHNAssociate Professor & Education Scientist, Office of Education Scholarship, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto
Dr. Woods’ work examines the role biomedical knowledge in clinical reasoning and value of basic science training in the development of medical expertise. Applying principles of memory and learning to medical education, she has begun to look beyond the problem-solving aspect of diagnosis to the cognitive resources that support clinical reasoning. Her research has found a role for basic science knowledge in creating a conceptual framework for clinical information. By providing explanatory pathways and causal connections between signs and symptoms, basic science knowledge can help students develop a coherent mental representation of a disease category. This type of mental representation plays a critical role in long-term memory, knowledge transfer and solving challenging clinical problems. Building on this basic premise, her research program focuses on 1) the design of instructional methods that integrate clinical knowledge and conceptual models of disease 2) the evaluation of basic science knowledge and 3) understanding the changing role of biomedical knowledge throughout undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing education.
Educating the doctor of the future
#Science in the 6ix:Nicole Woods
Dr. Ann Russell, PhDApplied Research Director, The Institute for Education ResearchSenior Director of Learning, Innovation and Applied Educational Research at the Michener Institute for Education at UHN
Dr. Ann Russell is a cognitive scientist who completed her PhD at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Her clinical background is in the area of neuropsychology and cognitive-behavioural therapy working across the spectrum of health care from primary care to rehabilitation and complex continuing care. While her clinical experience is in the area of individual assessment and treatment of cognition and emotion, her design research focuses on distributed cognition, especially design, implementation and evaluation of interprofessional networks of practice and expertise. Dr. Russell is the Senior Director of Learning, Innovation and Applied Educational Research at the Michener Institute for Education at UHN. Dr. Russell is responsible for advancing the Institute’s simulation, innovation and research strategies and priorities which are guided by the following questions: "What will health professionals be doing in 2040 and beyond? How are we responding to and anticipating change in the professions through innovative programming and partnerships?".
Dr. Kathryn NicholChair
Dr. Kathryn Nichol is the inaugural Chair of The Institute for Education Research Advisory Committee at the Michener Institute for Education. Being the past lead for practice-based research and innovation at both UHN and Sunnybrook hospitals and now leading the rapidly growing research portfolio at VHA Home HealthCare, Dr. Nichol has had a long and very successful history of championing practice-based and applied research in the health professions. Dr. Nichol's full role at VHA is Vice President of Quality, Best Practice, Research and Education and the Chief Nursing Executive. Dr. Nichol is also an Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto where she teaches in the graduate program, supervises students and conducts research on the occupational health and safety of health care professionals. Dr. Nichol is also an investigator with the Centre for Research Expertise in Occupational Disease.
Renate BradleyCommunity Health Representative
Renate Bradley is currently faculty in the Medical Radiation Sciences, Radiation Therapy program at the Michener Institute of Education at UHN, School of Applied Sciences, and a lecturer in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Renate also holds an MMEd from the University of Dundee in Scotland. Renate’s clinical and research interests are in interprofessional education, curriculum development and instructional design.
Lisa Di ProsperoCommunity Health Representative
Lisa is the Director for Practice-Based Research and Innovation & the Education Research Unit at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (SHSC). In 2017, she was appointed the Vice-Chair of the Research Ethics Board at SHSC. Previous to this appointment, she was the Professional Leader and Manager of Education and Research for Radiation Therapy at the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (since 2010). She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology and Associate Member at the Institute of Medical Sciences, School of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto. She received her undergraduate and graduate degree in biology at McMaster University under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Rainbow and graduated from the Toronto-Sunnybrook School of Radiation Therapy in 1996. Throughout her professional career, Lisa has held a number of appointments in both research and education. Previous to joining Sunnybrook, she was a Professor in the undergraduate Medical Radiation Sciences program at the Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences/The University of Toronto (since 2001). She continues to teach at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Lisa has authored and coauthored numerous articles and continues to mentor and coach both intra- and interprofessional colleagues. Lisa was named the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences (JMIRS) in 2013, an international, peer-reviewed journal. Lisa currently serves on committees for both the College of Medical Radiation Technologists of Ontario (CMRTO) and the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT).
Dr. Brian HyndmanEducation Science Representative
Brian Hyndman, MHSc, PhD is a research and evaluation consultant with over 25 years of experience in building the capacity of public health practitioners. This was gained through a variety of roles, including 12 years as an instructor and curriculum developer at the Health Communication Unit, University of Toronto, where he led the creation of the first online health promotion course in Canada. Brian has also designed and taught research methods, population health, planning and evaluation courses at Ryerson University, the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo and the Michener Institute of Education at UHN. In addition, he has held voluntary leadership positions in the public health sector, including President of the Ontario Public Health Association and Citizen Representative on the Toronto Board of Health.
Dr. Marlene ScardamaliaEducation Science Representative
Marlene Scardamalia was awarded the inaugural Presidents' Chair in Education and Knowledge Technologies at OISE/University of Toronto and is cofounder and director of the Institute for Knowledge Innovation and Technology – a worldwide network of innovators working to advance the frontiers of knowledge building in various sectors. "Knowledge Building," a term now widely used in education and knowledge management, originated with research she conducted with Carl Bereiter.
Marlene’s work has led to several honours and awards, including the World Award of Education from the World Cultural Council for "remarkable contributions in the field of social education, revolutionizing schooling by engaging students more directly and productively in creative work based on knowledge and ideas."
Chris StigasPatient Representative
Chris Stigas is the founder and director of HandiHelp.ca, a company that provides products and services to improve accessibility in the home and out in the world. After a spinal cord injury, Chris turned his more than 20 years of experience as an electrician towards adapting and improving the lived environment for people with disabilities, first for himself, and then for others. His first feature product is the HandiCup, a universal cupholder fitting any wheelchair, for people with full or limited hand function. Chris’s company provides customized voice activated smart technology consulting and creative adaptation services from design through to installation. The company also offers consulting services for event planning, and barrier-free design. Chris recently became certified in Accessibility Auditing at George Brown College through the Rick Hansen Foundation. Chris sits on the AODA Council as a patient partner through UHN, and on the Advisory Committee of the Toronto Transit Commission and is a popular keynote speaker.
Dr. Nicole Woods, PhDSenior Director, Education and Research Integration & Scientific Director, The Institute for Education ResearchAssociate Director & Education Scientist, The Wilson Centre, UHNAssociate Professor & Education Scientist, Office of Education Scholarship, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto