Halifax…besides #ICRE2018 of course!

What makes Halifax truly special is the perfect balance of rural and urban, wrapped by ocean in one unique region. This balance creates thousands of things to do and experiences that can be tailored to absolutely any type of group or traveller. Start collecting your moments and memories now and discover all the things to do in the Halifax region.

Here’s a list of ‘Top 10’ things to do in Halifax:

  • Stroll along the Waterfront Boardwalk, one of the longest downtown boardwalks in the world! Be sure to check out the waterfront snack shacks, the ‘drunken lampposts’, the new floating sea bridge and the Last Steps Memorial.
  • Looking for an amazing view and photo op of downtown Halifax? . . . head up the steps by the Old Town Clock to the Halifax Citadel (it’s also a great spot to see the sunrise in Halifax).
  • The Halifax Central Library on Spring Garden Road has received many accolades including winning the national 2016 Governor General Architecture Medal. Locals and visitors alike are drawn to this cultural hub of downtown Halifax. Stop in for a visit . . . pop up to the 5th floor where you can enjoy a coffee and soak up the views from the Rooftop Patio and “Halifax’s Living Room”.
  • Ride the Alderney Ferry from Downtown Halifax to Dartmouth. The Harbour Ferry is the oldest, continuous, salt-water passenger ferry service in North America. The ferries criss-cross the second largest natural harbour in the world every 15 minutes during peak hours. The Dartmouth waterfront also happens to be one of the top 10 places to watch the sunset in Halifax.
  • Have a Donair (Halifax’s official food) . . . a Donair is a sweet and spicy treat, and a uniquely Nova Scotian delicacy (that’s usually enjoyed late-night). There are countless places to buy one in Halifax, including some spots close to the Halifax Convention Centre such as Johnny K’s Authentic Donairs.
  • Did you know that some of the finest crystal in the world is made in Nova Scotia? Stop by NovaScotian Crystal on the waterfront for a live demonstration of a centuries-old tradition . . . and perhaps pick up a very special souvenir from Halifax.
  • Halifax is home to Atlantic Canada’s only national Museum – The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. Plan a visit to this National Historic Site which was the gateway to Canada for one million immigrants between 1928 and 1971. It also served as the departure point for 500,000 Canadian Military personnel during the Second World War. Did you know that The Scotiabank Family History Centre located at Pier 21 is a free reference service to help you trace your own family immigration story.
  • Try authentic Maritime Fish n’ Chips! Murphy’s Restaurant and Patio and Katch on the Halifax Waterfront, and Evan’s Seafood in Dartmouth are great options for delicious Fish n’ Chips – but really, you can’t go wrong anywhere in Halifax!
  • Enjoy the autumn colours at the Halifax Public Gardens, one of the finest surviving Victorian-style gardens in North America.
  • Spend an evening at one of Halifax’s local-favourite live music venues like Durty Nelly’s, the Lower Deck or the Carleton and enjoy a real Nova Scotian party! A fun fact about Durty Nelly’s . . .  this authentic Irish pub was completely designed and built in Dublin, travelled across the Atlantic, and was reconstructed piece by piece in Halifax (and it just happens to be conveniently located just steps away from the Halifax Convention Centre!).  

GeetaEach year, ICRE is committed to providing a quality and thought-provoking lineup of skilled and experienced speakers. This year is no exception.

While we’ve been working rigorously to prepare for this year’s conference in Halifax, we heard from many of you about the need for a more diverse and inclusive plenary debate panel. Our panel features many brilliant minds, including Drs. Elizabeth Elsey, Simon Fleming, Christopher Watling, Gus Grant, and hosted by Maxine Mawhinney.

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Geeta Singhal of Texas Children’s Hospital will be joining this year’s panel. Dr. Singhal has been a clinician educator for over 20 years. She has had the opportunity to work with medical students, residents, fellows, faculty and other health care professionals in both clinical settings as well as in a lecture and faculty development settings.

Dr. Singhal will bring another strong voice to this year’s panel, and we look forward to this great discussion on lessons learned and shaping the best learning environment for our residents.

Today I am musing about the importance of the mentoring process particularly within residency training and the field of medical education.  Mentoring is not telling someone what to do but encouraging them to think about available options, challenges and previously unconsidered possibilities. In my personal experience of being mentored, the most effective interventions have always been prefixed by “Have you thought about”? or “What would happen if”? Continue Reading »

Good leadership and good followership is so fundamental to what we do in medical and health professions education. It is about understanding our culture and context with our central core always aiming to enhance the care and experiences of our patients, their families and their caregivers. At this year’s Toronto International Summit on Leadership Education for Physicians (TISLEP), we aim to explore and expand the dialogue around leadership education and culture. With diverse participants and facilitators from around the world including patient voice, learners, other health care professionals and medical faculty, we will look outside the box and explore a breadth of topics including diversity, power, change management and developing faculty to teach leadership, just to name a few. Continue Reading »

2017-icre-thursday-349.jpgT-23 days until ICRE 2018!  But who’s counting.  I am getting excited to see old friends and meet new ones.  I am also looking forward to Thursday October 18th’s “Eat, Drink and be Scholarly” from 1900-2100.  I have a bet with Jason that this session will be better than the ‘Educators Explore Malts:  Whisky 101.’  Have you ever tasted whisky?  Then you know what I am talking about.

This year’s theme for Eat, Drink and be Scholarly (formerly Clinician Educator Dinner) is focused on the Learning Environment.  I always enjoy the conversations, great ideas and all the laughter.  It is a time to network with colleagues from across the globe and learn about new ways to improve the learning environment.  Plus, the food (and wine of course) is pretty good too.  This year, we are changing up the process and bringing in speakers who truly live the learning environment every day.  We have Ryan Luther, a resident in general internal medicine and Linessa Zuniga a recent graduate of the world’s largest pediatric training program who is doing research related to learning environment factors contributing to resident burnout.  To round out this group, we have Lara Varpio whose current work focuses on the dynamics of teams.

If you haven’t already signed up, there are still a few spots remaining.  You will go away with a breadth of ideas on how to improve the learning environment along with a ‘menu of tips and resources’ our presenters have collected.  We may not be sipping malts but we will be having a lot more fun.  Did I hear a mic drop?

With ICRE less than a month away, I am thrilled to see how this year’s program has come together and look forward to the many important discussions that will take place at this year’s conference.

As many of you are aware, we decided to take a different approach with this year’s plenary debate, and will be featuring an important discussion on the lessons learned from the Hadiza Bawa-Garba case.

We’ve heard from many of you about the importance of presenting this debate from all different lenses, and in putting together this year’s session, our planning committee is working hard to ensure that this emotive and controversial topic will be handled with extreme sensitivity and with patients as the focus.

The selected panel of experts features a mix of backgrounds, and each panellist is extremely passionate about the issues raised. The discussion will focus on systemic failures in the MedEd workplace and how things can be changed, tying to this year’s conference theme around understanding the learning environment. We believe that approaching the lessons learned from this angle will make for a thought-provoking discussion directly relating to improving residency education.

I look forward to seeing you in Halifax.



Jason R. Frank, MD, MA (Ed), FRCPC
Chair, ICRE 2018

The world is changing, particularly in MedEd. The transition to competency-based medical education (CBME) around the world and in Canada is rife with examples of innovation.  Leaders from across the country are working hard and making great progress.  Their experiences, good and challenging, represent excellent opportunities for learning and development.  This year at ICRE there will be a number of faculty-development sessions that will help you prepare for your own transition to Competence by Design (CBD), including the chance to ask questions from others working on CBD and CBME.

  1. “In the Meantime…”: Getting ready for a transition to a competency-based residency training program
    • Led by leaders in MedEd who are actively involved in CBD, including Drs. J. Sherbino, S. McIsaac and R. Anderson, this session is designed for educators looking better understand how to apply a change management framework to enable the transition, while also developing a connection with a least one other educator for future follow-up.
  1. Changing culture to facilitate competency-based medical education program implementation
    • Transitioning a specialty medical education program to CBD requires a culture change. Three presenters from the University of Calgary and one from the Royal College will lead this session, working directly with program directors and medical educators discussing how to design a framework to help guide this cultural change.
  1. Planning for CBD: Initiatives and innovations in a time of change
    • Are you a PA looking for a presentation specifically for smaller programs? We’ve got the session for you! Three people from the Northern Ontario School of Medicine will describe an innovative approach to CBD implementation within the existing program structures. They will discuss ways to incorporate these innovative approaches locally with traditional and CBD residents, as well as local implementation strategies for the development and function of a competency committee.