CHES Day 2017

2023 CHES Celebration of Scholarship

The Centre for Health Education Scholarship will host the 13th annual CHES Celebration of Scholarship on Tuesday, October 3, 2023 at The University of British Columbia’s Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre.

To ensure the safety of our attendees, we will continue to follow the orders of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO). Should regulations or restrictions related to COVID-19 change prior to our event, we may consider other meeting formats including virtual or hybrid models. While we strongly recommend attending the Celebration of Scholarship in-person, we recognize that some may not be able to, due to proximity to Vancouver or accessibility considerations. In acknowledgement of this, we will record both the Gordon Page Invited Lecture and Closing Plenary session and they will be made available for one month after the event via the CHES Members’ Resource page.

This event is an opportunity for the CHES community to showcase and share their work and celebrate the accomplishments of the health professions education scholarship network.

Call for Abstracts

The abstract and round table submissions will open on Monday, April 3, 2023. The submissions deadline is Friday, June 30, 2023 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time.

Plenary Speakers

Gordon Page Invited Lecture

Dr. Rita Charon, Professor of Medicine and Medical Humanities and Ethics, Columbia University

Title: “Putting things” in Health, Education, and Scholarship: A Deep Dive into Narrative Power

Abstract: Narrative medicine asks questions about how we come to know what we say we know, how we come to undergo what we sense and perceive, and how we come to recognize what we—somehow—feel about it all. Whether a palliative care clinician venturing with a dying patient into their final days, a professor teaching medical students how to conduct a patient-centered interview, or a scholar mentoring a promising clinical educator, the thinking-perceiving-feeling happen all at once. One might then be prepared to act.

I hope to engage the CHES Conference participants in examining some epistemological, aesthetic, and emotional/relational dimensions of health education scholarship. Narrative medicine’s incursion into humanities and the arts to improve health care may give CHES fresh perspectives on its work. We might even consider arts-inspired basic research a partner to Donald Stokes’s use-inspired basic research. Close attention to how we tell (or otherwise convey to) one another our preoccupations about health education scholarship might bring us closer to understanding how to do it—and how to do it well. As Henry James writes in the Preface to the Golden Bowl, “To put things is very exactly and responsibly and interminably to do them.”

Biography: Rita Charon is a general internist and literary scholar and one of the founders of the field of narrative medicine. She is the Bernard Schoenberg Professor of Social Medicine, the founding chair of the Department of Medical Humanities and Ethics, and Professor of Medicine at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons. She is the Executive Director of Columbia Narrative Medicine. She completed the MD at Harvard and the PhD in English at Columbia. Her research investigates narrative medicine training, reflective practice, health care justice, and health care team effectiveness and has been supported by the NIH, the NEH, and many private foundations. She was selected by the National Endowment for the Humanities to deliver the Jefferson Lecture in 2018, the highestcademic distinction awarded by the NEH. She has authored, co-authored, or co-edited four books on narrative medicine. She lectures and teaches internationally and is published in leading medical and literary journals.

Closing Plenary

Derek K Thompson – Thlaapkiituup, Director, Indigenous Engagement, UBC Faculty of Medicine, Health Engagement

Title:Atl’iik Ḳwaayaats’iik Thliitsapilthim: Wolves and Mountains Border Our Narratives

Abstract: When I was a boy I spent many nights peering out of my bedroom at the stars. In my home village of Balaatsad, massive mountains border the backdrop of a vast sky, reflecting an ethereal light that I believed to be an otherness that I was somehow connected to. Unable to fully comprehend this spiritual relationship, I knew that I was connected to something that was ancient. In the shadowy light, I can hear wolves howling. The moon gravitates and meets the ancient cry. My mind is filled with curiosity and wonderment. The dawn moves closer to the wolves and their cries. They are the same wolves, in power and numbers, as symbolized on my Thliitsapilthim. They are coming home. They are emerging to steal me away to become one of them. I am initiated into an ancient society of the Tluukwaana. It is at this moment that my Thliitsapilthim and I become unified. We are indistinguishable.
My Thliitsapilthim is bright and beautiful. It has two Thunderbirds, two Serpents, a brother and sister, all arranged symmetrically at the sides of a massive mountain with caves in it. A second piece of curtain illustrates the forty wolves that I own. Nuuchahnulth Thliitsapilthim are typically about ten feet high and twenty or more feet long. Usually made of muslin or other sheet cotton, they are less than 1/64th of an inch thick. However, they are extremely deep in historic content and spiritual references.
This talk, Atl’iik Ḳwaayaats’iik Thliitsapilthim, will be set against the backdrop of my Thliitsapilthim, and highlight the importance of oral and narrative culture amongst the Nuuchahnulthiat-h.

Biography: Derek Thompson – Thlaapkiituup is from the diitiidʔaaʔtx̣ – Ditidaht First Nation, one of fourteen Nuuchahnulth Nations on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The seas for miles of shoreline and all of the land on the western side of Vancouver Island, from Point No Point in the south to Brooks Peninsula in the north, is Nuuchahnulth territory – our haahuulthii. By birthright Thlaapkiituup is the seated and recognized Ha’wiih – Hereditary Chief of his ancestral house in diitiidʔaaʔtx̣.
Derek is the Director, Indigenous Engagement, Health Engagement for the UBC Faculty of Medicine, and in 2021 he was appointed as the first Indigenous Advisor for the Office of Respectful Environments, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. He brings over 30 years of experience working with First Nations organizations and communities across the province and country to achieve wellness through health and related services. His mission is to foster trust and mutual respect amongst students, staff and faculty in an effort to create an understanding of the commitments made by the Faculty of Medicine to redress and strengthen the relationship with Indigenous peoples and communities.


CHES is committed to and strives to create a respectful and inclusive environment. The event venue is wheelchair accessible and accessible parking is available, please see here for more details. If you require dietary, physical, or other accessibility accommodations, please contact