Laura Nimmon, PhD


Dr. Laura Nimmon is a Scientist at the Centre for Health Education Scholarship and Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia. She is an Associate Editor for Perspectives on Medical Education.

Research Interests

There is a focus on independent self and autonomy in our health profession training programs. Yet social networks are a cornerstone of effective clinical practice and teamwork. We are enmeshed these webs of interconnectivity that the extent of their influence is almost invisible to us and thus underappreciated in health professions training programs. Because of this invisibility, our health professions education structures, and messages they send, implicitly (or explicitly) drive students towards a goal of autonomy and independence.

My primary research interest is in making the influence of social structures visible within the educational and professional practices of the health professions. My body of work widens the scope of our collective vision beyond healthcare providers as independent practitioners with distinct expertise, viewing them instead as individuals deeply embedded in social structures with the skills to notice and adapt fluidly to their interdependence.

I am an award-winning researcher and my work is funded by tri-council national funding agencies, hospital foundations, and professional regulatory bodies. I am also an award-winning mentor. I am recipient of the UBC Faculty of Medicine Award for excellence in mentoring early career faculty. I am also recipient of the CAME-ACEM Champion Award for advocacy, role modeling and mentorship of early career researchers.

I supervise and mentor graduate students and health professions educators on research that illuminates the social aspects of learning and professional practice. This research draws on a range of social theories for others to “see” social context anew and enlarge scholarly approaches to learning and practice. This work spans topics such as psychological safety; disability and inclusion; learner mistreatment by patients; residents’ decision making networks; and a pedagogy of love.


  • UBC Faculty of Medicine Award for Excellence in Mentoring Early Career Faculty (2021)
  • CAME-ACEM Champion Award for Advocacy, Role Modeling and Mentorship of Early Career Researchers (Canadian Association for Medical Education) (2020)
  • Young Researcher Award (Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education, USA) (2017)
  • Arthritis Society Young Investigator Salary Award (2015-2018)

Publication Highlights

Please see recent publications via Laura’s Google Scholar page.