Digital Scholars Fellowship

Announcing the new CanadiEM Digital Scholars Fellowship!

In Featured by Fareen Zaver MD1 Comment

Are you an RCPSC resident about to embark on your PGY4 special interest time?  Are you a graduating CCFP-EM interested in medical education scholarship with an digital media focus? Then this is the fellowship for you!

What exactly is this fellowship?

The Digital Scholars Fellowship is meant to provide residents with practical experiences in creating online teaching and learning materials under the supervision of experts in the field. The intention is to develop savvy consumers and experienced contributors to the online teaching and learning environment. Moreover, we intend to ensure that our Digital

Scholars understand how to integrate medical education evidence and theory into their methods, thereby being able to propel the field of online medical education further through their scholarly and/or research projects


  1. To develop innovative educators with extensive hands on training across digital education formats.
  2. To build a strong digital identity.
  3. To collaborate with and receive mentorship from experienced digital educators from across North America.

Core Faculty:

Fareen Zaver MD FRCPC, ABEM Co-Fellowship Director
Teresa Chan MD, FRCPC, MHPE Co-Fellowship Director
Brent Thoma MD, FRCPC, MA, MSc
Anton Helman MD CCFP(EM), FCFP
Andrew Petrosoniak MD FRCPC, MSc (MedEd)
Edmund Kwok MD FRCPC, MHA, MSc

Guest Faculty:

Dr. Heather Lindsay (University of British Columbia)
Dr. Hans Rosenberg (University of Ottawa)
Dr. Sarah Addleman  (University of Ottawa)
Dr. Ken Milne (Western University, The Skeptics Guide to Emergency Medicine podcast)
Dr. Tamara McColl (University of Manitoba, Lead Associate Editor of the ALiEM MEdIC Series)

Information about the Curriculum:

Our curriculum is modularized and competency-based, so that you will work through each block at your own pace.  We suggest that at your home site you complete a minimum of 8 shifts per month clinically, so as to engage in bedside teaching and maintain your skill set.  Then with the help of your local and distance mentors, you would complete each of these modules over a 1-2 month span.

You don’t necessarily have to do all 4 of them, but once you’re enrolled in our program you would set an objective of completing at least 3 modules within 6 months, with adjunctive experiences that will be customized to your interests (e.g. research, curriculum design, blogging, podcast editing).

The following are the 4 modules that you will be able to complete:

  • Blogging Module
      • During this block, the learner will aim to gain an overall understanding of designing online using written/visual website media. They will also explore the fundamentals of curriculum design, gaining an understanding of the challenges of adapting a traditional curriculum design framework to the online teaching and learning environment. (Take a look at the module here)
  • Podcasting Module
      • The learner will gain an understanding of effective design for digital teaching tools, the basic technical skills required for interviewing guests, recording and editing podcasts, the application of teaching principals to podcasting to maximize audience engagement and knowledge retention, knowledge dissemination through social media and other digital channels, and the fundamentals of curriculum design. (Module available upon enrollment)
  • Patient Communication Module
      • Successfully implement knowledge translation to patients and healthcare providers. Various strategies exist for dissemination of information to the general public, and the learner will explore and implement this information into their FOAMed work, as well as learning strategies to incorporate social media into their medical practice. (Module available upon enrollment)
  • Digital Identity Module
    • During this block, the learner will gain an understanding of the concept of a digital footprint, both outside and within medicine. They will learn how to maintain a professional digital identity of their own, as well as how to navigate the new legal and ethical challenges of the use of social media both personally and professionally. They will also gain insight into a variety of social platforms and the opportunities and challenges that they provide for physicians. 

If you would like a preview of the other three modules please e-mail Fareen Zaver at [email protected] for further details.

Previous fellows & their accomplishments:

Our previous fellows are extremely accomplished. The first fellow (Shahbaz Syed) completed all aspects of the designed curriculum. Beyond this, he also engaged in blog content creation, initiated research on digital scholarship, and managed the editorial section of CanadiEM. The second fellow (Adam Thomas) is currently halfway through his year (and is expected to complete the program within the year) and has co-authored 30 blog posts and 53 CRACKCast podcasts in 6 months.

Accepting Applications Now for start date of July 2017!

For more information, email Fareen Zaver at [email protected]

Deadline for applications will be March 1, 2017

The Application

The application itself is simple.  We will require a letter of interest (max 2 pages) which details your desire and interest to work with the CanadiEM team as one of our Digital Scholars for 2017-2018 and a letter of endorsement from your Residency Program Director (PD).  

In the Letter of Interest, please provide us with the following information:

  1. Your proposal module selection and schedule (include here your anticipated duration of the Digital Scholars program).  Remember the program should be at least 6 months but may be as long as 12, with concurrent clinical experiences at your home site;
  2. Your area of expanded interest (e.g. blogging, podcasting, digital curriculum creation, research about online education) and what deliverable you would like to create with mentorship;
  3. The name of a mentor who will be your support person. This person needn’t have expertise in digital scholarship, just a strong interest.  Please provide us with an email address, so we can reach out to them and discuss your educational plan;
  4. Your program director’s name and email address so we can match it to a letter of endorsement from your PD.

For the letter of endorsement, we would ask that your PD outline the following:

  1. That s/he is aware and in support of your digital scholar program involvement;
  2. That s/he agrees with your selection of your local mentor;
  3. The number of shifts and other program-related responsibilities you will have over the course of your Digital Scholars program (e.g. shift requirement, teaching responsibilities, administrative responsibilities).

Deadline for Application: March 1, 2017.

All applications should be sent to [email protected] with the subject line “2017-2018 Digital Scholar Application for <INSERT YOUR NAME>”


Fareen Zaver MD

Fareen Zaver is an Emergency Physician based in Calgary. She is the Co-Director for the CanadiEM Digital Scholars Fellowship and is the Lead Editor/Co-Founder of ALiEM Approved Instructional Resources - Professional (AIR-Pro) series