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, or student 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

November 2020 What I’m Thinking About

bill mckellin

Patient Engagement and Patient Centred-Communication: Providing Information or Facilitating Learning?

William McKellin

Dept. of Anthropology and Associate Chair,
Behavioural Research Ethics Board, UBC

Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Time: 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Zoom ID: For connection details, please email


Increasingly patients and parents of patients are included in medical decision-making and medical research. This is apparent the popular press, in funding agency guidelines such as the recent CIHR SPOR initiatives, and in collaborative doctor-patient treatment strategies. Patients are even receiving courses and certification in “patient engagement”. The need to inform patients and research participants is fundamental in clinical care and research. A fundamental question at the root of these endeavors is, how is information exchanged by medical professionals and patients? This presentation examines basic communication models encountered in clinician-patient interaction.


Prof. Bill McKellin, PhD is a medical, social, and linguistic anthropologist in the Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, who has conducted research in Papua New Guinea, South Africa, and Canada. In addition to his teaching in the Anthropology Department, he was a curriculum consultant and an Associate Directory of the Doctor, Patient, and Society Courses in the UBC Faculty of Medicine MD program. His research in Papua New Guinea has focussed on families and language pragmatics in small group communications. In Canada, his research has examined the impact of genetic testing and chronic conditions on families.  This has included studies on the impact of genetic testing on families with Huntington Disease. He also examined the development of hereditary cancer programs and was a member of the Steering Committee of the Hereditary Cancer Program at the British Columbia Cancer Agency. More recent research has focussed on communication in pediatric intensive care, continuity of care for children with chronic conditions, and the impact of rare diseases and developmental disabilities on children and their families. He was a co-founder of the Rare Disease Foundation. In addition to his research he is also the Associate Chair of the UBC Behavioural Research Ethics Board.

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.