Meet the Editors: Teresa M. Chan, MD, MHPE

What are your roles and responsibilities with Academic Medicine?
I am an associate editor for the journal. This means that I review submissions and triage them for review or not (e.g., desk rejections). When submissions are reviewed, I review them again and make a decision on whether to further ask the authors for a revision (or not). Finally, when revised submissions come in, I handle the manuscript again. At this phase, we may still reject the submission (if some red flag issues come to light) or I continue to provide feedback to the authors in concert with our editorial staff to ensure that the very best version of the submission is finally accepted.

What do you enjoy most about your work with Academic Medicine?
For me, I enjoy participating in the peer review process and helping to shape the “backstage” part of the journal. It takes so much to keep a top journal like ours running, and being able to participate in this with our amazing editorial team and staff has been very instructive for me personally as an academic. 

Describe your work outside of Academic Medicine.
I am a clinician educator at McMaster University. By night, I am an emergency physician at an affiliated teaching hospital system (Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation), which means I am on the very frontlines supervising residents and students. By day, I am the current associate dean of continuing professional development for our Faculty of Health Sciences. This means that I oversee 3 portfolios (learning technologies lab, program for faculty development, continuing health sciences education) and work to harmonize them into one Office of Continuing Professional Development. I am also a clinician-scientist at the McMaster Education Research, Innovation, and Theory (MERIT) unit, which was founded by Dr. Geoffrey Norman more than 3 decades ago as the Program for Education Design and has been the scholarly center for innovations such as problem-based learning, the multiple-mini interview, and CASPER (situational judgement testing). In my spare time, I work with our 3 Divisions of Emergency Medicine to foster continuing professional development of our area’s emergency physicians and make board games (e.g. GridlockED game, TriagED game) with students/residents/other faculty.

What was your first publication?
My first publication was a knowledge translation evidence-based summary of another paper! (Read my summary here… and the original paper here!) This paper is a testament to the inspiration you can provide to a young author with little experience in publishing in academic work. Special thanks to Dr. Andrew Worster for mentoring me on this paper and then promptly inviting me to write another similar publication right away!

My first review paper was a scoping review and consensus conference paper on assessment tools used to assess interpersonal and communication skills. Special thanks to fellow grad school alumni Dr. Chad Kessler for this invitation. To this day, I am still great friends with the second author of this paper (Dr. Clare Wallner) and continue to collaborate with her on research and scholarship.

My first original research publication was a paper about what defines a good emergency department referral or consultation when learners are involved. I’m both rather proud of it (it was my residency research project) and embarrassed by it (I had to make a lot of concessions because that journal had very few reviewers capable of understanding fully qualitative methods at the time), but this early experience likely informed my zest for peer review and editorial work!!

My first paper in Academic Medicine was a perspectives piece related to my residency research project on consultations and referrals in the emergency department. Dr. Kessler invited me to co-author this with him as he was also interested in the topic of consultations and referrals in the emergency department, and how to ensure that trainees were properly trained to conduct these. I would go on to be inspired by my work with Academic Medicine to submit my first innovation report (about the Academic Life in Emergency Medicine Medical Education in Cases Series). Years later, I would finally publish my first principal investigator research report and my first last author research report in Academic Medicine.

What’s making you happy right now?

I have really enjoyed finding my inner chef since the beginning of the pandemic.