News at Medicine - June 2016 - Lecture kicks off inaugural Meridith Marks Mentorship Award


Lecture kicks off inaugural Meridith Marks Mentorship Award
June 10, 2016
The inaugural Meridith Marks Mentorship Award was presented May 31 to Dr. Glenn Regehr, one of Canada’s leading authorities on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). His two-and-a-half day intensive medical scholarship visit started May 31 with a public lecture titled Kids These Days: Reconsidering our Conversations about Generation Me.

The late Dr. Meridith Marks was a MUNMED graduate in the class of 1987 who spent most of her professional life in Ottawa. Hailing from Cape Ray, N.L. she rose to national prominence as an advocate for high quality scholarship in medical education. Meridith developed a national reputation as a mentor of young scholars and the Meridith Marks Mentorship was established in her memory through generous donations by her classmates, friends, family and professors.
 
The inaugural Meridith Marks Mentorship Award was presented May 31 to Dr. Glenn Regehr, one of Canada’s leading authorities on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). His two-and-a-half day intensive medical scholarship visit started May 31 with a public lecture titled Kids These Days: Reconsidering our Conversations about Generation Me.
 
Dr. Regehr was a friend of Dr. Meridith Marks, for whom the award is named. “Meridith was a leader in medical education – she was extremely well-known as a mentor,” he noted.
 
Dr. Regehr said concerns are being expressed about the next generation's lack of professionalism, respect, commitment, and even ability to take feedback. He believes that while some concerns may be legitimate, it may also be the case that these generational differences are the most powerful forces of change in medical professions.
 
In his lecture May 31, Dr. Regehr said that each generation shares a location in history that lends itself to a collective mind set. “Each shares a way of viewing the world that is different from generations before.”
For example, the Baby Boom generation was defined by the nuclear family, the Cuban missile crisis, the Vietnam War, and putting a man on the moon. In terms of musical culture it was the Beatles and for movies, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. The Baby Boom generation was identified as hard-working, driven and dedicated.

Next came Generation X, comprised of children born in the 1960s and 1970s. “These were latchkey kids,” said Dr. Regehr. “It was the end of free love as AIDS came on the scene. Computers began to be used. In terms of culture, musically it was Michael Jackson and for movies, the first Star Wars. This generation was identified as adept, clever and resourceful.”
The students seen now in medical schools are from the millennial generation, born in the 1980s and 2000s. “They grew up with ‘helicopter’ parents watching over them, 9/11, and a technology boom that was identified with handheld devices,” said Dr. Regehr. “In terms of culture, music was Britney Spears and for movies and books it was Harry Potter. This generation is defined as optimistic multi-taskers.”

Dr. Regehr said that the millennial generation trainees in medicine do not know a world without technology such as the World Wide Web, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. “Millennial medical students score high on assertiveness and are self-liking, even narcissistic.”

Dr. Regehr said a recurring theme from generation to generation is that different is bad and evolution is frightening. “As new things come along, the older we get the less we are interested. The idea that things change is frightening to people.”
This has important implication in the evolution of medicine. “Technologically we have moved from leeches to laparoscopy and professionally what used to be a doctor in his office, smoking, and talking to the husband about his wife, has completely changed.”

As for the future, Dr. Regehr said he is not sure. “But the answer is with our students. There is a greater sense of team responsibility, less hierarchy, more personal connections with patients, and a better work/life balance.”

For trainees in the medical profession, Dr. Regehr said it is important that there is respect for the profession, its values and traditions. “Our trainees are the future of medicine and that future will not look like the present. They are the driving force that will keep medicine responsive to society. Evolution will happen because of technological change and the ongoing pressure to be responsible. You can complain and fight it or get out in front and make sure the right values are there.”
During his visit, Dr. Regehr met with medical educators to discuss their research plans. He facilitated a workshop June 1 titled Fields and Disciplines, Phenomena and Theories, Considerations in Defining ‘Good’ Scholarship in Health Professions Education.
 
The late Dr. Meridith Marks was a MUNMED graduate in the class of 1987 who spent most of her professional life in Ottawa. Hailing from Cape Ray, N.L. she rose to national prominence as an advocate for high quality scholarship in medical education. Meridith developed a national reputation as a mentor of young scholars and the Meridith Marks Mentorship was established in her memory through generous donations by her classmates, friends, family and professors.



From left: Dr. Anne Drover, a classmate of Dr. Meridith Marks, Dr. Glenn Regehr, Dean James Rourke, and Dr. Steve Shorlin, acting manager of the Medical Education Scholarship Centre. Photograph by: HSIMS