Master Teacher Program
Teaching is one of the core missions of the Department of Medicine. The department is committed to providing teaching of high quality for learners at all levels in a variety of settings. The ability of the department to achieve this goal depends on the recognition and support of its outstanding teachers, and the creation of opportunities to promote the development of excellence in teaching skills in the faculty.
The Master Teacher Program is a two-year educational endeavour that is designed to meet the learning needs of each participant. Participating physicians attend the program one half-day per week. The program provides a core series of sessions and a practicum. The core series includes sessions on essential teaching topics: small and large group teaching techniques, bedside teaching, assessing learner needs, fostering understanding and retention of knowledge, evaluation, feedback, teaching in difficult situations and others. Visiting professors from Canada and the United States as well as outstanding local experts provide the training for these sessions. Participants may also elect to take additional relevant graduate courses offered at the University.
The practicum is conducted in small groups with participants having opportunities to practice teaching and receive feedback. The latter includes analysis of videotaped teaching sessions and direct observation by peers. It is expected that the group will become a strong cohort that will promote individual growth and development of each member through feedback and interaction. Therefore, individuals participating in the program must make a full commitment to attend all sessions to support this process over the two-year duration of the course.
The program will lead to a "Certificate of Master Teacher" from the Department of Medicine. Interested individuals may elect to take additional courses toward a degree program at the University.
The goal of the Master Teacher Program is to provide advanced training for clinician-teachers to enhance their teaching effectiveness. The program is designed for senior postgraduate trainees (at least PGY-4 and above), fellows, and faculty members, who are working full-time and have major clinical and teaching responsibilities. The program will help physicians develop excellent teaching skills relevant to the clinical settings where they spend their professional time. Ultimately, the program will foster the careers of a cadre of superb "master teachers" who provide the highest quality of teaching for our students.
- The program is a two-year course that runs from September to Mid-May over the academic year.
- The requirements to fulfill the program include one half-day session per week (Wednesday afternoons planned for the September 2018 program).
- Participants are expected to make a commitment to attend regularly (mandatory >75% attendance).
Core lecture series - The core lecture series will meet every other week for a total of at least 13 sessions for three hours each meeting. The topics of the core series includes: a series of microanalytic teaching skills (learning climate, control of session, communication of goals, understanding and retention, evaluation, feedback, self-directed learning), mentoring, lecture techniques, small and large group teaching, teaching communication skills, etc. A reading program will be included.
Practicum - The practicum includes sessions that follow or are interspersed with the core lecture series. Students present their own work and receive feedback from the group and facilitator. This includes opportunities to observe videotaped teaching sessions or direct observation of teaching (lectures, PBL teaching, etc.).
Ongoing workshop with the core group of participants - This is a continuation of the practicum started in the first year. Again, interspersed with practicum sessions, will be interactive teaching sessions on a wide variety of topics relevant to clinical teachers.
Project Work - Approximately one third of curricula time in the second year will be devoted to project work. Each participate, either individually or as part of a small or large group, will work on the development of a teaching or educational deliverable that meets their own teaching needs. These projects will be of a calibre that will allow the participant to work towards presentation at a national education meeting or to publish in relevant literature.
Master Teacher Program participants must have “protected time” to participate in half-day sessions once a week for two years. Since financial arrangements for individuals’ time commitments are highly variable, this should be discussed with the appropriate division director and/or physician-in-chief. The Department of Medicine will support the core series and practicum so there will be no tuition costs for active members of the department. For enrollees outside of the University of Toronto, Department of Medicine, an annual tuition will be charged. Further information can be obtained from the program director or program administrator.
The program is available to existing faculty members who have major clinical and teaching responsibilities and to clinical fellows and PGY-4s planning future careers as clinician-teachers. The following materials are required:
- Application form/checklist
- Curriculum Vitae and teaching portfolio/teaching dossier of applicant
- A letter from the applicant describing their present clinical and teaching responsibilities and future career plans. This must include an indication of their plans to commit the required time to the Master Teacher Program.
- A letter of support from their division director and/or physician-in-chief. This letter should include a description of the applicant's present responsibilities for teaching, future role in the teaching program of the institution, and a clear commitment to support the applicant’s time to participate in the Master Teacher Program. The half day weekly should be protected time, and there should be a commitment to be able to continue for the full 2 year program.