Master Teacher Program

Mission Statement:

To develop and support a group of educators that will inspire students to discover, to think, to achieve and to care.

Background:

The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary developed the Master Teacher Program in 2007 to meet the increasing need for clinician educators with the rapid growth of the medical school.  The program has been highly successful in recruiting and retaining clinician educators with proven excellence in teaching, and allowing them to commit and protect a significant amount of their time to undergraduate teaching. Master Teachers become members of a community of educators with ongoing professional development to further enhance their skills, and opportunities to mentor other educators.

Description of program:

Master Teachers are physicians who have a demonstrated track record of providing excellence in education. After receiving further training in educational techniques through the Teaching Excellence in Medicine Education Program, Master Teachers are subsequently integrated into their teaching roles within the undergraduate medical curriculum. There they take on a wide variety of teaching roles ranging from didactic sessions to small group case based learning to clinical skills training. Each year there are 30-35 active master teachers.

In the first contract year, the Master Teacher appointment is associated with a 0.2 position with the University of Calgary, and as such requires the contribution of approximately one day (8 hours) per week to educational activities. Over the course of one year, 340 hours must be completed. A great degree of flexibility is permitted in order to facilitate ongoing clinical responsibilities. For example, the eight hours can be divided over the course of a week or extra hours can be done one week if clinical commitments prevent teaching the following week. In subsequent years, Master Teachers may take on a smaller teaching commitment.

In general, there are two types of small group sessions. The first are those associated with the systems-based courses in the first two years. These sessions typically have 10-12 students per group and are used to reinforce concepts introduced during lectures through case-based interactive discussions. For each small group session a Preceptor’s Guide has been prepared that contains learning objectives, a description of the case and answers to each of the questions that are to be covered during the session. Small group sessions for Global Health, Healthy Populations, Ethics and well Physician courses also have 10 – 12 students and preceptor guides to direct discussion are also provided.

The second type of small group session typically consists of 5 students; these include Communication skills, Physical Examination and Clinical Correlation sessions. During these sessions, preceptors will have an opportunity to interact with students in a longitudinal fashion over the entire first two years of the curriculum.

The expectation is that a Master Teacher will be able to facilitate a small group session in any of the courses throughout the 3 year curriculum when given adequate preparation time. While it is impossible for any single Master Teacher to be a content expert in all of these areas, the Master Teacher concept is based upon the premise that no matter the subject area, an outstanding teacher will have the skills necessary to facilitate the student’s learning in these sessions.

Summary

The Master Teacher Program is an exciting initiative with the mandate to recruit, retain and enrich those educators who strive to inspire our students to excel. By recognizing the important role that these educators play in the development of future generations of physicians, the University of Calgary will continue to be an innovative leader in the realm of medical education for years to come.

Master Teacher Program

Location and Mailing address

Office of Undergraduate Medical Education
Rm G717, Health Sciences Centre
3330 Hospital Drive NW
Calgary, AB T2N 4N1

Contact us

Melinda Davis
Director, Master Teacher Program
Email: mjdavi@ucalgary.ca