The Joanna Bates Lectureship

brett schrewe

Decentring “I”-dentity in Medical Education: Genealogy and the Possibilities of Being and Becoming

Brett Schrewe, MDCM, MA, FRCPC

Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics
PhD Candidate, Department of Educational Studies, UBC

Date: Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Time: 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Zoom ID: For connection details, please email


Scholarship on professional identity in medical education has flourished over the last ten years. Primarily inflected through development and socialization, there is broad agreement that who a physician becomes is as important as what a physician does. Yet with the rise and entrenchment of competency-based medical education as the governing impulse of Canadian medical education, we might honestly ask whether deeper considerations of professional identity have been sidelined by the presence of this now-influential discourse.

With this in mind, how might we take up the idea of being and becoming in medical education as it plays out in a new era of training standards? Drawing upon Michel Foucault’s genealogical methods, this presentation will illuminate which avenues of thinking open up when we exchange the “I” at the centre of professional identity in favour of a physician subjectivity whose contours offer certain ways of being while foreclosing others. These insights broaden the conversation in two emerging areas of medical education scholarship: the physician’s relationship to “society” and the “well and resilient” physician.


Professionally, Brett works at the intersection of his life as a consultant pediatrician and as a qualitative researcher. For the former, he obtained his MDCM from McGill University and completed his pediatrics residency at both McGill and UBC. He is now a clinical assistant professor in the UBC Department of Pediatrics and works in Victoria. For the latter, he completed a clinical educator fellowship through CHES in 2012, an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies through UBC in 2013 and is currently a 2017 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar and doctoral candidate in the UBC Department of Educational Studies. He is one of the founding executive members of the Canadian Association for Health Humanities. His current research interests draw upon critical theory and genealogy to examine how we might better align practices of medical education with the pursuit of health equity and fuller realization of the spirit of the Canada Health Act.

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.