• Compassion in an Increasingly Uncaring World

    A big question during my AMS Phoenix Fellowship was to explore if creativity and the humanities can shine some light on how we might increase compassionate caring in our health care system.  I have been encouraged by the scholarly literature that provides evidence to support the importance of the arts and humanities in medical education…


  • The Core of the Issue – Compassionate Care

    I spend many hours every day thinking, writing, and meeting about care. Compassionate care. Equitable care. Person-centred care. Diverse providers of care. Care for diverse populations.  How to teach for compassionate care. What to teach for social justice-oriented care. Whether curriculum can promote reflexive care. How to get faculty members to prioritize person-centred care. How…


  • Weaving Social Pediatrics Curriculum Through Residency Training to Foster Compassionate Care.

    As intrinsic as it may seem to cultivate humanistic skills during residency training, medical education often fails to maintain, and may even suppress, residents’ orientation to empathy and caring. The demands of residency training and its focus on fostering clinical expertise and technical skills sometimes comes at the sacrifice of nurturing compassionate care. This is…


  • 2016 AMS Phoenix Conference … “It’s a wrap!”

    Another year of conference planning is wrapped up as we say good bye to the 2016 AMS Phoenix Conference.  In mid-November, over a 100 healthcare educators, clinicians, researchers, students, administrators and policy makers of all disciplines came together around the common goals of advancing compassion in the healthcare system.  The AMS Phoenix mission of Nurturing…


  • Where is the Caring in Clinical Assessment?

    Our AMS project started off with the premise: if assessment drives learning and we want to foster compassion in clinicians, then why don’t we assess compassionate care during medical school?  Inspired by our research project, this blog playfully explores different views on whether caring actually is in the current medical school curriculum, whether it can…


  • AMS 2016 Phoenix Fellow Jill Sangha talks Compassionate Care

    AMS would like to introduce you to our new 2016 Phoenix Fellow, Ms. Jill Sangha. Jill is a Social Worker who has taken on the role of Patient and Family-Centred Care Specialist with the Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre. We asked Jill a few questions to get a better understanding of what brought her…


  • Normalcy, Solidarity and Everything in Between

    Dr. Patrick Corrigan is one of the most eminent researchers in the field of mental illness stigma. He recently published an editorial that captures a salient yet relatively under explored tension related to mental illness stigma education and awareness. Dr. Corrigan suggests that education programs to reduce stigma either emphasize normalcy or solidarity. Normalcy describes…


  • The Hidden Curriculum of Assessment

    Have you ever wondered what students learn from taking exams in medical school? We know they learn an enormous amount of factual content, pathophysiology and diagnostic problem solving. They study and learn all of this content for a number of legitimate reasons, the most important hopefully being that it is necessary for the care of…


  • Education and the Health Professions: A Time for Radical Change?

    Where do the problems start? How words are used, issues of power, hierarchy, disrespect for different perceptions – the inability to work together in collaborative and mutually supportive ways – where does this come from? Being human isn’t easy – we just have to hear the news everyday.  But somehow, in health care, we expect…


  • Unquestionable Truth? “People go into medicine because they are caring”

    “We all know that people enter the medical profession because they are caring.” Messages like these are pervasive at medical education conferences.  Variations on this theme were heard at both the Canadian Conference for Medical Education and at the AAMC Medical Education Meeting.  I decided that it was an assumption worth exploring in more detail…