Meet the OES Team
Learn more about the Office of Education Scholarship (OES) faculty and administrative staff.
Faculty: Dr. Mahan Kulasegaram | Dr. Nicole Woods | Dr. Sarah Wright | Dr. Joyce Nyhof-Young | Dr. Melissa Nutik | Dr. Milena Forte | Dr. Risa Freeman | Dr. Risa Bordman | Dr. Cynthia Whitehead
Administrative Staff: Tasnia Khan | Rachel Ellis
Dr. Mahan Kulasegaram
Dr. Mahan Kulasegaram is the Director of the OES and a Scientist in DFCM. He is also a Scientist at the Wilson Centre and Temerty Faculty of Medicine where he holds the Temerty Chair in Learner Assessment and Evaluation. His research focuses on how assessment practices and assessment data can be used to help learners, programs, and systems in meeting their goals. His focus on assessment for learning studies both the micro level (e.g. the impact of testing to enhance future learning) and the macro (e.g. how assessment data can reveal gaps in training for clinically important outcomes). He has a particular focus on assessment Big Data and in developing the conditions for its use in medical education. His additional interests include instructional design to promote transfer of learning and the validity of admissions and selection processes for medical training.
Keywords: Assessment, Big Data, Clinical reasoning, Transfer of learning, Instructional Design, Undergraduate medical education.
Dr. Nicole Woods
Dr. Nicole Woods is a cognitive psychologist by training. Her work examines the role of basic science knowledge in clinical reasoning and the development of medical expertise. Her primary interests focus on the mental representation of categories and instructional design that supports cognitive integration of basic and clinical sciences. Although closely linked to undergraduate education, her work has implications for developing expertise along the entire spectrum of professional education. In the OES, Dr. Woods leads our Big Ideas research pillar on generalism in family medicine.
Keywords: learning science, cognitive psychology, clinical reasoning, generalism in family medicine, basic science education
Dr. Sarah Wright
Dr. Sarah Wright takes a critical lens to assessment and admissions practice. Her work is inspired and informed by a decade of experience as a psychometrician at Newcastle University Medical School (UK). This practical experience has given her insight into how assessment frameworks can limit or support educational goals such as fostering compassionate practitioners or striving for social change. For example, she has combined psychometric and critical approaches to investigate the ways in which admissions policies often work to favour culturally and socially privileged medical students, thereby limiting attempts to improve student diversity. Through improved understanding of how emerging education goals transpire within existing education structures, her research seeks to improve education practice.
Keywords: Assessment, admissions, undergraduate medical education, transformative education, hidden curriculum.
Dr. Joyce Nyhof-Young
Dr. Joyce Nyhof-Young is a senior education scientist with a Ph.D. in Curriculum Teaching and Learning from OISE at the University of Toronto. She is an education scientist, medical educator, and professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, the Academics Program at Women’s College Hospital, the DFCM’s Office of Educational Scholarship, and the family health teams of Women’s College Hospital and Unity Health at St. Michael’s Hospital. She has 30 years of experience with qualitative and mixed methods and a research focus in participatory program development and evaluation and capacity building in education scholarship. Under her mentorship, her diverse, interdisciplinary teams have developed many educational programs, curriculums and resources in the MD Program, her home departments, hospital clinics, and local communities.
Key words: curriculum development; program evaluation; mixed methods; qualitative methodologies
Dr. Melissa Nutik
Dr. Melissa Nutik is an academic family physician and clinician educator in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto where she practices comprehensive Family Medicine and teaches learners of all levels. Following her medical training she undertook a formal academic fellowship in medical education and then subsequently completed a Masters of Education degree through the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education with a focus on Higher Education. She is the Undergraduate Education Lead for the Office of Education Scholarship at the Department of Family and Community Medicine. Her scholarship interests include curriculum design and evaluation, in particular related to promoting generalism and advocacy within medical school curricula. Her other areas of interest are multi-source feedback and work-based assessment and developing and studying innovative ways to support people new to education scholarship.
Keywords: curriculum design, curriculum evaluation, generalism, advocacy, multi-source feedback, work-based assessment
Dr. Milena Forte
Dr. Milena Forte is a staff physician at the Mount Sinai Academic Family Health Team and assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. She is passionate about maternal newborn care and medical education, combining these areas in her work when she can. Milena is currently the Postgraduate Lead for the Office of Education Scholarship and the Maternity Care Lead at the DFCM. She has been honing her thinking about scholarship in medical education for the last 18 years. She is broadly interested in the intersection of social sciences and medical education. Specifically, her areas of academic interest include, professional identity formation, entrustment and maternity care education. She is happily raising 2 teenagers and 3 chickens.
Keywords: postgraduate education medical education, assessment, professional Identity, entrustment
Dr. Risa Freeman
Dr. Risa Freeman is the Vice Chair of Education and Scholarship in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. She is a community-based family physician affiliated with North York General Hospital, and holds a cross appointment in the School of Graduate Studies, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Division of Clinical Public Health, and membership as a Clinician Educator Researcher at The Wilson Centre. In all these roles, she enjoys working with learners from across the continuum of medical and interprofessional education. Dr. Freeman’s academic work in medical education focuses on adopting and promoting scholarly change in curriculum innovation, learning strategies, evaluation, faculty development and leadership. She is a mixed method researcher in health professions education and has a strong track record of leading, mentoring, and supervising research projects for medical students, residents, graduate students, and faculty members.
Key words: curriculum innovation, learning strategies, evaluation, faculty development, leadership
Dr. Risa Bordman
Dr. Risa Bordman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. She joined the OES in 2016 as the Faculty Development Lead. She is co-director of the Essence course, a 1 year longitudinal program that helps faculty to create their own education scholarship project. She is a community-based family physician in suburban Toronto. Her areas of interest are Faculty Development, supporting undergraduate and postgraduate learners, using technology in teaching and innovative curriculum delivery methods.
Key words: Faculty development, curriculum, technology
Dr. Cynthia Whitehead
Cynthia Whitehead is an education scientist, educator, and family physician. Anchored in critical historical analyses, her research examines the effects of power relations on various structures, systems, processes, and practices in health professions education, paying attention to who and what is advantaged or disadvantaged as a result. She aims to use her research findings to promote health and education practices that are compassionate, equitable, and effective. Working at the intersection of health and higher education, she sees exciting opportunities to harness the transformative potential of education in service of a healthier world. Some of her specific content areas of research interest are globalized medical education, primary care education, accreditation, outcomes-based education, and education for collaboration.
Tasnia Khan is the Research Officer at OES. She works closely with education scientists and faculty to manage and support ongoing research projects and grants. Please contact Tasnia if you have any research related inquiries, including questions about the Art of the Possible grant or with finding a research assistant for your project.
Rachel Ellis is the Education Scholarship Coordinator at OES. She’s the one to contact if you have questions about OES events, services, resources or grant programs. Rachel started at DFCM back in 1989, working in the Undergraduate Education Program. After a period of coordinating clinical exams at the Standardized Patient Program, she returned to DFCM in 2016 to coordinate OES projects.