Teresa Chan with Emergency Medicine Education Gamification | Episode 130

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Dr. Teresa Chan is an associate professor at McMaster University. Currently, she is the Assistant Dean, Program for Faculty Development in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster. She is also the Director of the RCPSC Clinician Educator Area of Focused Competency Diploma program, and the Competency Committee Co-Director for the RCPSC emergency medicine residency program. Additionally, she serves as the Social Media Lead for the McMaster Department of Medicine.
Dr. Chan is also interested in developing medical education innovations (and evaluating them!). For instance, she has co-developed and is evaluating a serious game about emergency department flow called GridlockED (www.gridlockedgame.com)!

In her free time, Dr. Chan enjoys writing music. You can follow her online as @TChanMD on Twitter, or check out her work at www.tchanmd.com.

Her favorite game is Zelda: Breath of the Wild!

A regular day for Teresa normally involves a lot of academic work and therefore she would only be working 6-7 shifts a month, however, that academic work has now ground to a halt and she is focused on providing clinical care given the pandemic. She is also part of the medical school with medical students to teach and they’re currently receiving a virtual curriculum.

One of Teresa’s favorite fails comes from when she was trying to implement the gamification approach into her continuous learning. She had the chance to create a competency-based medical education program that had a lot of elements of gamification. Although this pilot was good it wasn’t really much considered. Now there is a national platform that was somewhat informed by this experience so although Teresa’s pilot wasn’t used it laid the foundations for the national platform. If Teresa were to approach this again, she would focus more on gaming and gamification ensuring the game is seamless, usable and intuitive. She has found all the things she learned in game design has made her a better assessment designer and something she is applying to her workplace-based assessment systems.

Teresa’s favorite success comes from her game Gridlocked. The original idea came when talking to a colleague about what she was going to do after her thesis, she spoke about how disaster simulations are often done as tabletop games, similar to a war game, and it is used to consider how they would make moves within a simulation environment. This inspired her as there is often a lot of disasters in the emergency department but was no way to get the knowledge about it without being in the emergency room itself. We went on to understand what a multi-patient environment means and how to help upcoming doctors able to handle the kind of difficulties related to those environments. The main lesson she learned was when developing a game, you need other people to develop with if you have a complex game you need a good team to back you up. Another key learning for her was that the first draft is never the best one.

She would recommend identifying what assets you have on your team as this can be greatly advantageous to your project. For example, although Teresa was competent at creating graphics, she knew that Simon on her team had a lot of experience creating infographics and he ended up being the person to design most of the actual game who was crucial.

Teresa would love to hear Michael Cosimini on the podcast as he was inspired by the success of Gridlocked and has now developed his own game to help medical students to understand what antibiotics to prescribe.

The book that Teresa would recommend would be Jane McGonigal’s Reality is Broken as well as any Ted talks also by her.

She would say her superpower is seeing the opportunity and spaces that people may not have traditionally seen as well as bringing in her experience from the clinical world into the game world.

Teresa’s final piece of advice would be that if you have an idea you should go out and prototype it as it has never been so easy to develop a prototype, go out and try it!

If you want to know more about her you can go to tchanmd.com, gridlockedgame.com for the games and on Twitter as @TChanMD


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