About Brent Thoma, MD MA

ALiEM Associate Editor
Emergency Medicine Research Director at the University of Saskatchewan
Editor/Author at CanadiEM.org

MEdIC Series | Case of the Patient with a No Learner Policy – Expert Review and Curated Commentary

No students allowedLast week, we launched the second case of the ALiEM MEdIC series third season. The Case of the Patient with a No Learner Policy hit close to home for some of our regular contributors and many new ones. We are proud to present the Curated Community Commentary of the case discussion along with the opinion of our 2 experts. Thank-you again to all our experts and participants for contributing again this week to the MEdIC series.


By |2020-04-20T19:48:13-07:00Nov 6, 2015|MEdIC series|

MEdIC Series | Case of the Patient with a No Learner Policy

No students allowedWelcome to season 3, episode 2 of the ALiEM Medical Education in Cases (MEdIC) series! Our team (Brent Thoma, Sarah Luckett-Gatopoulos, Tamara McColl, Eve Purdy, and Teresa Chan) is pleased to welcome you to our online community of practice where we discuss difficult medical education cases each month. As usual, the community discussion will be reviewed using qualitative research methods to produce a curated summary that will be combined with two expert responses to create a functional teaching resource.

This month’s case features a problem that many of us have seen in our day-to-day practice: a patient with a strict no learner policy who refuses to be assessed by anyone other than the attending physician. With much of the care in teaching hospitals delegated through fellows, residents, and medical students at various stages of training, how would you address this problem? Please read the case and join in the discussion below!


By |2017-01-20T12:30:39-08:00Oct 30, 2015|MEdIC series|

MEdIC Series | The Case of the FOAM Faux Pas

The use of online open access secondary has increased recently. Many clinicians are turning to these resources for continuing education. There is debate about these resources that can occasionally result in conflict between early adopters and those with a more traditional approach. Please join us in discussing the case this of the FOAM Faux Pas. We would love your thoughts and advice.


By |2017-03-05T14:18:40-08:00Apr 24, 2015|MEdIC series|

MEdIC Series: Season 1 Annual Review

medic documentDear MEdIC readers: It’s been quite a whirlwind this year for the MEdIC team, and we’re so excited to announce that we’re taking a (much needed) summer hiatus this month to refresh. Tune in when we start “season 2” in late September!

In an effort to continually improve the series, we would love to invite you to participate in our first annual audience evaluation of the MEdIC series. We want to make sure we always strive to meet the needs of our audience, and we would like you to help us by telling us about how you’ve experienced or used MEdIC this year.  Please share a bit about your experience in the following form.


By |2016-12-20T11:51:13-08:00Sep 5, 2014|MEdIC series|

MEdIC Series: The Case of the Exasperated Educator – Expert Review and Curated Commentary

pulling hair out

The Case of the Exasperated Educator presented an attending at the end of a difficult shift with a learner that just didn’t seem to “get it.” As the new attending coming on shift, how can we help our colleague and his student? How can we avoid getting ourselves into a similar situation? No matter patient we are, odds are that we will all find ourselves in these roles at some point or another. Check out the ALiEM community’s discussion of the case.


By |2019-02-19T18:08:56-08:00Jun 6, 2014|MEdIC series|

MEdIC Series: The Case of the Exasperated Educator

Picture courtesy of wstera, Flickr Creative Commons

Image credit: wstera

Teaching in the emergency department can be a challenge. Distractions and interruptions are everywhere and there always seem to be more things to do than there are people to do them. These challenges are magnified when our learners are struggling. In The Case of the Exasperated Educator, we will discuss these issues and how we, as educators in emergency medicine, can address them as effectively as possible.


By |2017-01-04T18:32:43-08:00May 30, 2014|MEdIC series|

Assessment in medical education: Finding the signal in the noise

A MinusThis past December it was reported in the Harvard Crimson that the median grade at their prestigious University was an A-.1 A flood of articles followed bemoaning grade inflation at educational institutions with a former Harvard President noting cheekily that “the most unique honor you could graduate with was none”.2 This might be alright if well-developed criterion-based instruments are used to grade the students, but given the variability in courses taught at the University and difficulty of developing such tools, it is unlikely. That being the case, if the median is an A-, one wonders how sub-par performance must be to fail.


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