CanadiEM Digital Scholars Fellowship – Applications now open for 2019-2020

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Are you a RCPSC resident about to embark on your special interest time (ex. fellowship)?  

Are you a graduating CCFP-EM interested in medical education scholarship with a digital media focus?

Are you finished your training in medicine (in any field) and you want to get into the digital medical education world?

Are you an Emergency Medicine Interprofessional Health Team member interested in medical education and social media?

If this fits your profile and you want to find opportunities to succeed, apply to be the Digital Scholars Fellow for the upcoming 2019-2020 year.

Who should be interested in applying?

  • PGY4 FRCPC Emergency Medicine residents (2019-20 academic year) or CCFP-EM resident graduating in 2019, based in Canadian programs.
  • PGY3-4 FRCPC Resident Physicians (from any medical/surgical specialty) or PGY2 CCFP Resident Physicians.
  • Practicing Independent Physicians from any medical/surgical specialty.
  • Nurses, Physiotherapist, Social Workers, Paramedics, and others (Interprofessional members) working in an Emergency Department.
  • Interest in medical education and digital scholarship.
  • Interest in a flexible subspecialty time that can be completed remotely.
  • Self-motivated learner with strong organizational skills.

2018-2019 Digital Scholars Fellow, Kevin Junghwan Dong (CCFP-EM) shares his experience with the program.

The CCFP-EM year went by in a flash, and I didn’t have adequate time to assess what my academic goals and ambitions were. As a resident, I loved medical education and academia, and I knew I wanted to continue in this blossoming field. Luckily, I stumbled on the CanadiEM Digital Scholars Fellowship while I was browsing through the FOAMed world, applied and got in.

This past year has been a blessing and I have learned so much from the mentorship of the program leaders. Through bi-monthly mentorship and coaching calls with MedEd superstars such as Dr. Brent Thoma, Dr. Fareen Zaver, and Dr. Teresa Chan, my career in medical education has had a huge jump-start. I have met with prominent players in medical education podcasting including Dr. Anton Helman (Emergency Medicine Cases Podcast), and was able to attend his podcasting camp. I have published two CanadiEM blogposts/podcasts on Transition to Practice and Program Development. Locally, I was able to collaborate with like-minded individuals to produce a podcast at McMaster University, and I continue to contribute in the asynchronous learning environment at my program. The time commitment has been extremely flexible and reasonable. If you are interested in academia in either the Royal College or Family Medicine streams, I highly encourage you to consider applying for this tremendous program. You will not regret it!

2017-2018 Digital Scholars Fellow, Daniel Ting (RCPSC) shares his experience.

The Digital Scholars Fellowship strengthened my knowledge of medical education theory and gave me the opportunity to network with education leaders across Canada and beyond. Some major highlights included co-authoring a publication about CanadiEM, publishing an ALiEM MEdIC Case series post, and hosting an episode of CRACKCast. My engagement in these projects has laid the groundwork for future collaborative avenues for years to come. This past year, I was successful in securing employment at my first-choice hospitals (Vancouver General Hospital and BC Children’s). Having done the fellowship enhanced my ability to showcase a specialized skillset for prospective employers, who increasingly recognize the importance of technology-enhanced learning among their learners. 

Previous Digital Scholars

Shahbaz Syed (2015-16): completed all aspects of the designed curriculum, created blog content, initiated research on digital scholarship, managed the editorial section of CanadiEM.

Adam Thomas (2016-17): Co-founder of CRACKCast, over 150 episodes published so far with >430,000 podcast downloads.

Daniel Ting (2017-2018): Publications in multiple high-end journals for medical education research/scholarship, speaker in the Innovative Medical Education Track at CAEP in 2018, and podcasting host on CrackCast.

Deadline for Applications: June 30, 2019


Fellowship Objectives:

  1. To develop innovative educators with extensive hands on training across digital education formats.
  2. To learn how to apply medical education theory to online learning formats.
  3. To build a strong digital identity.
  4. To collaborate with and receive mentorship from experienced digital educators from across North America.
Core Faculty Guest 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
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)

Program Information:

Our curriculum is modularized and competency-based, so that you will work through each block at your own pace.  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 5 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 5 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. (Module available upon enrollment.)
  • Translational Teachers Module
    • This block aims to instruct the learner on strategies to promote research within the social media community. These strategies will include creating blog posts and infographics specifically for knowledge translation purposes. Learners will reflect on how individuals and institutions can collaborate to promote research. (Module available upon enrollment.)

Application Process:

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 2019-2020 and a letter of endorsement from your Residency Program Director (PD) or supervising individual from your field/occupation.

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
  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 does not need 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 or supervisor’s name and email address so we can match it to a letter of endorsement.

For the letter of endorsement, we would ask that your program director/specialty supervisor 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).

All applications should be sent to [email protected] with the subject line “2019-2020 Digital Scholar Application for <INSERT YOUR NAME>”

For more information, including a preview of the other modules, email Fareen Zaver at [email protected]

Kevin Junghwan Dong

Kevin Dong is an Emergency Medicine physician in Hamilton, Ontario. His interests include medical education, mentorship, and producing video/podcasts. He completed the Digital Scholar Fellowship in 2019 and he is currently the CanadiEM Director of Multimedia.