News at Medicine - May 2019 - Passion for teaching garners award

Passion for teaching garners award
May 10, 2019
Dr. Sonia Sampson is breaking some records with an award for her excellence in education.
The associate professor from the Discipline of Anesthesia is one of two women receiving the John Bradley Young Educator Award from The Canadian Anesthesiologist’s Society (CAS). It recognizes excellence and effectiveness in education in anesthesia.
It’s the first time since the award’s inception in 2006 that women have received it, and the first time they’ve awarded two. Dr. Sampson said, receiving this award has been a dream of hers. “There have been fabulous educators that have taught me the depth and breadth of medicine that have received this award.”
“Teaching is an absolute passion of mine. I particularly enjoy educating in simulation and crisis resource management, and watching team skills develop and be mastered. Then when I see these prior students at a real critical situation with absolute mastery of those skills and providing the best patient care possible, it makes me very proud to be part of their coaching circle,” said Dr. Sampson, who adds that teaching in global health is another passion of hers. “Not only am I able to share resources and skills with those abroad, but these students also teach me how to be a better educator and anesthesiologist.” 
Dr. Sampson’s next international experience is to teach in Ethiopia with the Canadian Anesthesiologist’s Society International Education Foundation. It’s a nonprofit organization through the CAS focused on capacity building, education, knowledge translation and advocacy in Rwanda, Guyana, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso.
She notes that Ethiopia has a population of 94 million and a critical shortage of anesthesiologists. She’ll be spending October in Addis Ababa teaching anesthesia trainees. 
But Dr. Sampson is a traditional teacher. She also believes strongly in wellness as part of education. “Currently as the co-chair of the Memorial University Anesthesia Mentorship & Wellness Committee I try to model, and of course support, the training of anesthesiology residents in pursuing their own wellness. This includes opportunities and support for debriefing and peer support within the residency program,” said Dr. Sampson, who focuses a portion of her teaching on supporting healthy, well rounded anesthesiologists.
Dr. Sampson has been with the Discipline of Anesthesia since 2010 where she’s helped develop and grow the simulation program. Additionally, she helped develop a formal mentorship program for residents. In 2017 she received the Royal College Mentor of the Year Award for Region 5, having been selected from all specialties in each of the Atlantic Provinces. Dr. Sampson has taught in Canada, Haiti, Guatemala and Kuwait, and is currently an external examiner of Royal College International helping to set up an exam process in Kuwait.
The John Bradley Young Education Award will be presented in Calgary in June during the CAS annual meeting.