Cutting Edge Speaker Series

CHES is proud to host a monthly session of the Cutting Edge Speaker Series on the second Tuesday of each month from 12:00-1:30pm, with virtual connections available to all distributed sites. Presenters will be drawn from our internal UBC community, as well as external institutions. Depending on the month, the Cutting Edge Speaker Series will vary in a rotation of three different speaking genres:

  • The What I’m Thinking About is designed to promote questions and discussion around a specific topic relevant to health professions education. Each session is facilitated by a moderator, and will usually include two to three short presentations of theoretical, research-based, or implementation findings before moving into group questions and discussion.
  • The Invited Speaker Rounds are focused to present a critical examination of current topics of interest in health professions education research. Each session will feature an invited local or international speaker, who will present their program of scholarship, with audience questions and discussion to follow.
  • The Joanna Bates Lectureship will feature a presentation from a CHES trainee, fellow, student, or alumni in recognition of the legacy of CHES’ founding director, Dr. Joanna Bates.

Learning Objectivesby the end of each session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify and challenge current thinking in a particular area of health education scholarship.
  • Relate concepts explored to their local educational context for the purpose of improving education practices and informing educational innovations.
  • Relate concepts or insights explored to their own scholarship.

If you have a suggestion for a topic or presenter, please contact

February 2023 What I’m Thinking About

Reconsidering Context in Clinical Reasoning: How Ecological Psychology Offers New Ways to Explore Interactions Between Clinicians and Clinical Environments.

Jon Ilgen, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
Vice Chair, Faculty Development & Education
University of Washington

Bjorn Watsjold, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor,
Assistant Director, Medical Education Research Fellowship
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of Washington

Date: Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Time: 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Hybrid: Life Sciences Centre 1312 CMR & Zoom*

Zoom Details: For connection details, please email


The prevailing paradigms of clinical reasoning conceptualize context either as noise that masks, or as external factors that influence, the internal cognitive processes involved in reasoning. Ecological psychology provides several concepts that help us to reimagine the relationship between an individual and their context. This may change the ways in which our understanding of expertise, expert decision making, and the definition of clinical error are inherently linked to interactions between clinicians and the spaces where they work. In this session, we will explore the ways in how ecological psychology provides new language and conceptual frames around clinical reasoning in context, and the ways in which this reframing might change approaches to both education and research.

Biography: Jon Ilgen

Dr. Ilgen is an Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Faculty Development & Education in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Washington. He works clinically at Harborview Medical Center and the UW Medical Center and teaches core clinical skills to medical students in his role as a longitudinal mentor at the UW School of Medicine. His scholarly interests are centered around the growth and refinement of clinical reasoning during training, in particular how clinicians learn to take safe actions in settings of uncertainty. He recently completed the doctoral program at the Maastricht University School of Health Professions Education with a dissertation entitled “Comfort with uncertainty in medical professionals: An exploration of how clinicians experience and manage dynamic problems in practice.”

Biography: Bjorn Watsjold

Bjorn Watsjold, MD, MPH, is Assistant Director of the Medical Education Research Fellowship, and leads the resident Health Professions Education track, at the Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, Washington. His educational research focuses on the intersection of clinical reasoning with cognitive psychology, education theory, and philosophy of science. He has developed serious games and published on their use in health professions education. His past and recent work in collaboration with fellows and junior faculty includes application of cultural humility to generational stereotypes, exploration of interspecialty communication around handoffs, and uncertainty in primary care.

Accredited by UBC CPD

The Division of Continuing Professional Development, University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine (UBC CPD) is fully accredited by the Continuing Medical Education Accreditation Committee (CACME) to provide CPD credits for physicians.  This one-credit-per-hour 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 15.0 Mainpro+® credits. Each physician should claim only those credits accrued through participation in the activity. CFPC Session ID: 197919-001.

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.