We’re taking a look back at the first ever Faculty Incubator Talk with Experts. This Google Hangout session with the legendary Dr. Geoff Norman is an incredible treasure that has been unearthed from the Faculty Incubator Vault! You may be asking yourself, “what does a PhD in nuclear physics know about medical education?” The answer is “plenty!” With Dr. Norman’s help, Drs. Teresa Chan and Jonathan Sherbino (both from McMaster University) take a deep dive into how the brain processes information and how this knowledge can be used in our educational practice.

Video Discussion: Learning to Learn

Podcast Version

About Dr. Geoff Norman

Dr. Geoff Norman is a Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University. He has a PhD in Nuclear Physics from McMaster University and an MA in Educational Psychology from Michigan State University. A giant in the field of medical education (he has won the Karolinska Institute Award for research in Medical Education), he is interested in the “active ingredients” in medical education research. Much like a pharmacologist investigating a new drug, Dr. Norman wants to know how we can unlock the secrets of the mind that lead to learning.

In This Hangout

We discuss how the brain processes information and explain that the process is far more complex than simply analyzing data and synthesizing an answer. Dr. Norman explains the process of “prototype theory” and how it relates to medical education. He will make you rethink how you approach teaching and medical education research. And if that isn’t enough to entice you – there is a “Rapid Fire” question section where Dr. Norman provides advice to Faculty Incubatees, including advice for new assistant/associate program directors, regarding how to find the time to write and how to overcome impostor syndrome.

This is an amazing discussion that will change the way you view medical education and medical education research. Prepare to have what you think you know about these subjects challenged and your horizons broadened!

Shulman L. Disciplines of Inquiry in Education: An Overview. Educational Researcher. 2018;10(6):5-23. doi:June-July 1981 [PDF]
Cronbach LJ. Beyond the two disciplines of scientific psychology. American Psychologist. 2018;30(2):116-127. doi:1975 [Source]
Anne Messman, MD

Anne Messman, MD

Assistant Professor
Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit;
Associate Program Director
Sinai-Grace Hospital Emergency Medicine Residency