Kenneth Van Dewark BMSc MD
McMaster FRCPC Emergency Medicine - PGY4
I'm currently an emergency medicine resident at McMaster University. Long before I had a passion for medicine I enjoyed exploring and developing online technologies. Over the years of my medical training, I have grown increasingly interested and involved in education. I believe all of these interests, medicine, digital technology, and education can work synergistically together to improve the care delivered to patients seen in our emergency departments.
To facilitate this aim, I am currently compleating a Masters of Education at the University of Ontario Insitute of Technology. This graduate program has a particular focus on digital technologies within education. I have also been developing a novel educational tool, an online simulated emergency department called the VirtualER. Research into this tool is ongoing and validation of this online simulator is underway. It is my strong belief that the online medium can assist in the education of tomorrow's physicians and that this technology must be continuously pushed forward. Blogs and podcasts are very useful tools and are the current foundation of Free Open Access Medical Education (FOAM). Yet, the online medium holds potential to greatly expand the current offerings and to facilitate the development of more interactive and learner-centered educational experiences. Similarly, it is my firm belief that as digital technology becomes an ever more important factor within medical education a further subset of clinicians who have a background in digital technology, education theory and bedside medicine will be required.
Regarding these various ideas, recently the Royal College of Physicians has generously assisted me in providing the opportunity for further development of such expertise through the Robert Maudsley Fellowship. This support has greatly assisted in both the development of the VirtualER and with my current graduate studies in education.
This blog will outline some of these ideas and explore the related literature. Oh, and of course, I will be testing out some new online technologies and sharing my thoughts! Please feel free to comment and provide your insight! I look forward to the exchange of ideas and related discussion!