Meet Dr. Lori Albert – Concepts, Patients and Communities 1 (CPC1) Course Director

Nov 16, 2016
Andrea Concil
Dr. Lori Albert, Associate Professor in the Department of MedicineDr. Lori Albert is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine and a rheumatologist at University Health Network. She is the Course Director for the course, Concepts, Patients and Communities 1, the second course  in the Foundations Curriculum. Dr. Albert shares about her new role, as well as what CPC1 will be like for students.

What made you want to take on the role of Course Director of Concepts, Patients and Communities 1 (CPC1)?

I began the role of course co-director in the previous curriculum in 2010. I started this job with the introduction of the course Mechanisms, Manifestations and Management of Diseases which was new at that time, and it was fun and challenging to develop the curriculum with Drs. Latta and Fenech. It has also been gratifying to see how it has evolved over the last six years.

So, when the opportunity arose to build CPC1 from the ground up, it felt like there were some fantastic possibilities.  I had the chance to participate in the early days of the development of the Foundations Curriculum as a whole, and I was so impressed with this new model for our MD Program that I really wanted to be involved in bringing it to fruition.

What are your key responsibilities as course director?

For the first year of the course, I’ve been very involved with our week leads and theme leads in developing the actual pieces of the curriculum - CBLs, pre-week videos, self-learning modules etc. I will also be involved in developing the assessment pieces.  I have been working with some incredibly dedicated and creative faculty to build this course, along with our exceptional Director of Foundations, Dr. Law (not to mention our amazing project leads and administrative staff).

I spent a lot of time in wide-ranging discussions with all of these people to define key learning objectives, choose the best modalities for helping students to learn the objectives and find ways to maximize the integration and spiraling of content. 

Once we launch CPC1, I’ll be keeping my ear to the ground and interacting with students and our course rep to find out how things are going, and to make modifications if needed.

What are you most looking forward to in this new role?

Well, I’m really excited to see the course launch! It’s like having a book published.  I love working with all of the people I’ve outlined above, and I look forward to continuing our work together to refine and improve the course over time. Once the initial stress of getting things onto the portal is over, there is a lot more room for reflection and building on what we’ve done to make it even better. We have a fantastic team, and I feel energized by the prospect of our ongoing collaborations and creative interactions to make this an exemplary educational experience for future physicians.

I’m really looking forward to getting to know the class and to see how they are growing with the curriculum - that is something I’ve always  enjoyed.

In your words, what is the Concepts, Patients and Communities course all about?  What can students expect?

CPC1 is really an integrated approach to the study of health and disease in key body organs and systems. Students will focus on recognizing and diagnosing disease, and will start to learn the basics of treating diseases. We will maintain a strong focus on the whole person, and the networks of people and institutions that surround them. 

Kind of sounds like being a real doctor!

The format of CPC1 will be very similar to Introduction to Medicine, so there shouldn’t be any major surprises for students (other than the pleasant surprise of discovering how much medicine they know at the end of the course).

How can students and/or teachers get in touch with you?

I work over at the Toronto Western Hospital a lot of the time, but I will have hours at the MD Program office where I am happy to meet with students in person. E-mail is a good and efficient way to reach me. Our course rep will also be an important liaison between me and the class. Contact Dr. Albert via e-mail.

Is there anything that students should be aware of as they embark upon CPC1?

I think that the students and I will all have to pay attention to pacing ourselves, and ensuring we get enough sleep and exercise, despite the stresses of keeping up. However, I’m pretty excited about what lies ahead, and I’m looking forward to this being a wonderful journey together with the class of 2T0.

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