Jonathan Sherbino
Professor, Medicine

Jonathan is the assistant dean of MERIT. He is a professor in the Department of Medicine. Jonathan is the past
chair of the Royal College Emergency Medicine Specialty Committee, the co-editor of CanMEDS 2015, and cofounder
of the Royal College Area of Focused Competence – Clinician Educator. He is the co-host of the Key
Literature in Medical Education (KeyLIME) podcast, which has an audience in 80 countries around the world.
Jonathan’s program of research is in diagnostic reasoning.

The VEGA Project (Violence Evidence Guidance Action: A public health response to family violence) is a multi-million
dollar initiative funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Jonathan has supported the principle investigators
(Harriett McMillan – McMaster, Nadine Wathen, Western) in building a competency framework and national
curriculum for 22 different health and social service professionals based on learning science. This program aims
to provide evidence-informed best practices for front line professionals treating patients and supporting clients
experiencing or exposed to family violence. In the coming year a pan Canadian program evaluation of this initiative
will be undertaken.

The collaborative research program in clinical reasoning (with Geoff Norman, MERIT; Sandra Monteiro, MERIT, Matt
Sibbald, MERIT; Jon Ilgen, University of Washington; Laura Zwaan, Erasmus University) continues with a number of
successful projects. A Royal College Medical Education Research Grant funded a successful randomized trial that
investigated the influence of category priming on clinical diagnosis. With novices (but not expert) diagnosticians,
exposure to a diagnosis within an appropriate differential diagnosis, increased diagnostic accuracy of a clinical case.
A review article on the literature and controversy regarding diagnostic reasoning and bias, published in Academic
Medicine, has become one of the most cited articles in the literature on this topic within a year of publication. And,
a JAMA commentary re-framing the problem of diagnostic reasoning has led to invitations to present to various
academic and institutional organizations, including the Canadian Medical Protective Association.

Finally, a collaborative project, funded by Physician Services Incorporated, was completed that evaluated a mastery
learning design to teach rarely performed, lifesaving technical skills. This large multi-centre randomized trial also
determined six month and one-year retention of skills. This study helps to show the feasibility, efficiency and
generalizability of mastery learning approaches for technical skills, including the incorporation of chronometry.
The coming year has a number of exciting initiatives. The most interesting (and challenging) relates to the
Competency-based Medical Education movement that is transforming postgraduate medical education in Canada.
Building off previous scholarship in this area and a key note presentation at the Canadian Conference on Medical
Education, two forthcoming publications that provide a framework for evaluating CBME and pilot data on early
curriculum transformations, will help inform a systematic approach to understanding the intended and unintended
outcomes of this change to Canadian medical education.
  • Contact Information
  • PHONE: 905-525-9140 ext. 20061
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