June 2018 Research Rounds

Incentivizing Medical Teachers: Exploring the Role of Incentives in Influencing Motivations

Katherine Wisener

Katherine Wisener

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Date: Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Time: 12:00pm to 1:30pm (feel free to bring a bagged lunch)


  • DHCC 2267 (host venue)
  • RJH CA 120
  • NHSC 9-374



Medical education is dependent on clinicians and other faculty who volunteer time and expertise to teaching. Unfortunately, the literature reports increasingly high levels of dissatisfaction, burnout, and attrition. Incentivization strategies provide an obvious intervention, but they must be implemented judiciously or risk unintended consequences by promoting problematic forms of motivation
or reducing motivation altogether. With little known about the effects of incentives in medical education, we investigate key insights and differentiators across three disciplines to explain how, why and when incentives are positively influential and negative impacts are mitigated. In this talk I will offer a critical synthesis of a number of literatures to elaborate and explore how the influence of incentivization interacts complexly with the underlying mechanisms of personal motivation, which change across tasks, individuals, and contexts. I will propose a set of recommendations to consider when contemplating incentives, and describe a possible line of research to develop greater clarity regarding how, when, and why incentives operate within the many contexts in which medical educators work.


Katherine Wisener received her MA in Human Development, Learning and Culture from UBC’s Faculty of Education in 2011. Subsequently, as a research coordinator at the UBC eHealth Strategy Office, she carried out applied research related to health education and community engagement. In July 2013 be became the Program Manager for the UBC Faculty of Medicine Faculty Development office, and since 2015 she has been the Associate Director of the unit. Her interests focus on how to best support adult and community learning in a variety of health contexts, and she has recently started in the PhD program at the University of Maastricht with her research exploring clinicians’ motivations to engage in clinical and classroom teaching.


The University of British Columbia Division of Continuing Professional Development (UBC CPD) is fully accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Continuing Medical Education (CACME) to provide study credits for continuing medical education for physicians. This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and approved by UBC CPD. You may claim a maximum of 1.5 (x 10 sessions) hours (credits are automatically calculated). This Group Learning program meets the certification criteria of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and has been certified by UBC CPD for up to 1.5 (x 10 sessions) Mainpro+ credits. Each physician should claim only those credits he/she actually spent in the activity.

Accredited by UBC CPD