Reznick Scholars driven by spirit of inquiry and action
Throughout his 10 years as dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Richard Reznick always encouraged faculty members, students, and staff to “ask questions, seek answers, advance care, and inspire change.” His mantra – “be restless” – fostered a spirit of inquiry and action to ensure tomorrow’s health care is better than today’s.
This same philosophy sets the foundation for a new scholarship program for faculty members – the Reznick Scholars in Health Professions Education – which provides support for projects that examine and aim to improve education in health care. The program honours both Dr. Reznick’s leadership and his longstanding commitment to educational scholarship.
Open to all Queen’s Health Sciences faculty members, the program recipients are awarded $20,000 over two years to develop an educational project. During this inaugural year, one faculty member from each of the faculty’s three schools has been selected to receive the award. Over time, the faculty hopes that the recipients of the scholarship will make up a cohort of scholars committed to health professions education at Queen’s. In subsequent years, there will be one new Reznick Scholar designated annually.
The 2020 Reznick Scholars, and their proposed projects, are:
- Dr. Danielle Blouin, School of Medicine: The Scholarship of Accreditation
- Dr. Kim Sears, School of Nursing: International Certificate in Health Quality
- Dr. Kathleen Norman, School of Rehabilitation Therapy: Refining the Definition of Rehabilitation Science
The Scholarship of Accreditation
A member of the Department of Emergency Medicine with a cross-appointment in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s, Dr. Blouin is a highly respected clinical educator whose scholarly educational work has made a direct impact on the quality of care delivered to patients across Canada. She has devoted her career to the advancement of education in the medical professions and her project as a Reznick Scholar focuses on her continuing investigation into the accreditation of undergraduate medical education (UME), and the evaluation of its impact on learners, on medical education programs, and on the organizational culture of medical education programs.
“Given the scarcity of scholarship on accreditation, all related projects contribute to a better understanding of the value (or lack of) of medical education accreditation,” says Dr. Blouin. “Findings on accreditation have the potential to impact health science education at Queen’s University, as well as nationally and internationally.”
As a Reznick Scholar, Dr. Blouin will develop a research program that explores several key questions, including: how does accreditation work, and what are the essential components that contribute the most to improvements in medical education, and to quality in patient care? She will also investigate the impact of accreditation on not-yet-studied markers perceived as relevant by UME leaders (stakeholder satisfaction, stakeholder expectations, engagement, research, and UME program quality), and explore how the culture surrounding UME accreditation can move from quality management to quality improvement.
International Certificate in Health Quality
Dr. Sears, Associate Professor in the Health Quality Program, is recognized around the world as an expert in health quality education. A gifted educator with a personable and compassionate style, Dr. Sears has spent the past decade delivering degrees under the umbrella of health quality programs, with particular focus on the Master of Science in Healthcare Quality (MScHQ), and the joint MScHQ/Master of Business Administration at Queen’s. She has dedicated considerable time to scholarly work on teaching and learning at Queen’s and abroad.
As a Reznick Scholar, Dr. Sears will create a three-course certificate focused on interprofessional education, designed for international and Canadian students. The International Certificate in Health Quality will deliver foundational knowledge and skills in quality improvement and will embrace experiential learning through an internship component where learners will test, refine, and deliver quality improvement projects within international and national settings. The certificate will conclude with a course in mentorship, and learners will be expected to spread the information and experience they have gained.
“This certificate connects with Dr. Reznick’s legacy, to improve the quality of healthcare and health professional education,” says Dr. Sears. “Dr. Reznick’s work is internationally recognized as having advanced Canada’s health system, thereby enhancing the health of Canadians. It is my personal and professional goal to advance the quality of healthcare delivered within all sectors and to advance the systems where health professionals work. I believe that there is not enough interprofessional and global knowledge exchange as it relates to evidence-based practices. We must do more within organizations to support health professionals so that they can be equipped to deliver optimal care to – and in conjunction with - patients and families.”
Refining the Definition of Rehabilitation Science
As a Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Dr. Norman has taught in the physical therapy and rehabilitation science programs since 1998. Providing an excellent student experience and improving and advancing that experience has always been a priority for her. Since 2017, as Associate Director of Research and Post-Professional Programs, she leads three programs, Rehabilitation Science, Aging and Health, and Rehabilitation and Health Leadership. She is continually working to improve the quality of health professions education and to build solutions suited to a range of learners across the health education spectrum.
Dr. Norman, as a Reznick Scholar, will explore two initiatives that examine known gaps in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy’s research and post-professional programs and aim to develop important tools and resources to complement the curriculum. With the assistance of graduate students, Dr. Norman, in the first initiative, will lead a comprehensive scholarly examination of the field of rehabilitation science in Canada with the goal of assessing current visual representations used at Queen’s to explain the field of rehabilitation science, and through concept analysis, to create a robust definition of the field that reflects the current landscape in Canada. The second initiative aims to address the different learning needs of students in the four thesis-based programs in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy and how best to support these students through the curation and creation of new learning resources.
“The results of this second initiative will improve health science education, specifically in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy's three research and post-professional programs, especially for the approximately 70 students across the four thesis-based streams, and the faculty and staff who support them,” says Dr. Norman. “The findings will also be highly relevant for the growing number of online graduate programs in the Faculty of Health Sciences, notably Health Quality, PhD in Nursing Science, and Master's in Health Professions Education. There has already been substantial collaboration and cross-fertilization of ideas as these online programs have been initiated, and I expect that the results of our initiative will be of wider benefit in health sciences.”
Congratulations to the faculty’s first three Reznick scholars. If you would like to learn more about the program or contribute to the fund, please visit: https://www.givetoqueens.ca/project/view/1214