March 2021 Invited Speaker Rounds

bill mckellin

The Future of the Professions: Implications for Health Professions Education

Paula Rowland, OT Reg. (Ont.), PhD

Scientist, The Wilson Centre and Post MD Education,
Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
University of Toronto, University Health Network

Date: Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Time: 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Zoom ID: For connection details, please email


Health professions education has always been concerned with creating health professionals for the future. However, the nature of professional work is rapidly changing. This leads to questions about how well health professions education can “future proof” current and next generation professionals. Some of the pressures professionals face are intensifications of existing tensions that have always defined the professions and their work. Other tensions are new, reflecting shifts in societal expectations, technological innovations, and greater scrutiny of professional work. Drawing on theories from the sociology of the professions, the sociology of work, and the sociology of expertise, I will use examples from the domains of (1) patient safety and quality improvement and (2) patient engagement to explore these tensions and their implications. Ultimately, I will argue that if educators wish to preserve – and enrich – the contributions of the professions to health and healthcare, we require more complex understandings of professional work and continuous professional learning.


Paula Rowland, PhD, is a Scientist at the Wilson Centre and at the University of Toronto Post MD program. In her research, Dr. Rowland examines how organizational practices and policies shape knowing, knowledge, and professional identity within clinical workplaces. To that end, Dr. Rowland has two related streams of research activity. The first is a systematic exploration of professional and organizational approaches to improve patient safety. The second stream of research explores programs and initiatives that position patients as sources of knowledge and expertise (e.g. patient engagement programs for quality improvement, patients as educators). Together, these two streams of research activity contribute to theoretical and practical understandings of how knowledge is created, shared, and sustained in organizations (inclusive of patient knowledge) and how all of this activity might shape the future of health care systems. This program of research has implications for the clinical learning environment, continuing professional development, workplace learning, and patient and public engagement.

Accredited by UBC CPD




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 program meets the certification criteria of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and has been certified by UBC CPD for up to 15 Mainpro+ Group Learning credits (1.5 per session). Each physician should claim only those credits accrued through participation in the activity. CFPC Session ID#: 192711-001

RCPSC Accreditation

The CHES Cutting Edge Speaker Series is a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.