Virtual Water Cooler Discussions

The Virtual Water Cooler (VWC) discussions are designed to offer a space for the health professions education community to come together and discuss relevant and emerging challenges, innovations, and experiences related to teaching and learning in the COVID-19 context.

Our primary aim is to offer a fairly casual, timely venue for sharing and reflecting on new educational challenges and strategies. Participants may also identify opportunities to continue conversations on their own or subsequently explore collaborations. Our secondary goals are to inform the discussion with extant and emerging research and commentary in health professions education more broadly and to identify groups of educators’ interested in particular scholarly questions.

The VWC discussions are organized around the following principles:

  • The discussions are intended to be largely informal, open discussions rather than centred around formal lectures.
  • The VWC is a place for free exchange of both innovations and ideas; the expectation is that participants will support, advise, and challenge each other in a safe way for the purposes of pooling and improving the innovations and ideas that are introduced.
  • Participants are encouraged to identify and explore problems and struggles; however, these discussions are not intended as a venue for merely venting frustrations.
  • While the intent is to discuss with an eye to advancing both understanding and practices, the goal is not to address specific operational issues.

These sessions will be held every other Tuesday, from 12:00 to 1:00 throughout the summer. We will update you regularly with scheduled dates.

The next session will be held on Tuesday, August 11 from 12:00pm – 1:00pm. We invite you to connect with us for a focused discussion on “Patients as Teachers in the Virtual and Face to Face Setting“. For connection details, please email