Medical Education Textbook



and Felix Tyndel  MD, MA, FRCPC

We teach medicine not to pursue awards but to improve the next generation of health care practitioners. This book briefly summarizes educational theory, and concentrates on the practical pedagogical pearls of  30 exceptional instructors from multiple specialties who have been recognized by teaching awards at the University of Toronto, Harvard University, Washington University, the University of Connecticut, and Western University.

The  free ebook is available at Smashwords.  

The print version is available at cost on Amazon.   In return satisfied readers are asked to DONATE to their local FOOD BANK.


“A treasure trove of knowledge on the philosophy of medical teaching and its application to healthcare. This personalized collection of short insights from teaching experts will be invaluable for both educators and learners”.

Dr. Ahsen Hussain, Dalhousie University

“The text delivers a broad and comprehensive approach to teaching not only students in the medical field but also active learners in any academic sphere. It is an indispensable toolbox for those involved in medical education. I believe that every teacher, as well as every student, should devote the time to reading this most valuable resource.”

Dr. Bryan Arthurs, McGill University

 “This easy-reading text articulates how we should strive to teach and helps to refine our teaching methods through clear step by step recommendations”.

Dr. Mark Gans, McGill University

 “From an overview of educational theory to useful tips from multiple experienced, award-winning teachers, this practical, concise and clearly written book is an invaluable resource for everyone involved in medical education”.

Dr. Amadeo R. Rodriguez, McMaster University

“A fascinating book sharing the collective wisdom of 25 award-winning, often inspirational teachers that concisely summarizes some of the current cornerstone concepts of educational theory. I recommend this book for new teachers and established teachers who want to try and improve their teaching techniques”.

Dr. Lorne Bellan, University of Manitoba


“Concise, clear and informative with teaching theory and highly relevant guidance for busy clinicians who don’t have time to take multiple courses, but want to improve their teaching.”

Dr. Ezekiel Weis, University of Alberta & University of Calgary


Ars longa, vita brevis

Attributed to Hippocrates

We teach not to pursue awards but to advance future generations of health care practitioners, and to empower our patients. Paraphrasing Hippocrates, “Life is short, but the craft of medicine takes a long time to learn”. As such, medical teachers play an essential role in the efficient and accurate dissemination of knowledge, skills, and experience to their learners.

Unlike textbooks on medical education that focus heavily on education theory, this book concentrates on pragmatic teaching tips and the teaching philosophies of front-line instructors who have garnered teaching awards. The book chapters can be read in any order.

The text begins with a short review of education principles including learning theories, active learning, curriculum development, writing learning objectives, competency-based education, and delivering feedback. Articles from the Best Evidence for Medical Education series are referenced.

The remainder of the book presents practical teaching pearls from award-winning physicians and professors who teach medical students, residents, fellows, patients, colleagues, and allied health associates. The contributors include foundational science professors, primary care physicians, internists, and surgeons. Each author discusses their career evolution, teaching philosophy, teaching tips, and thoughts on the future of pedagogy in their specialty. The diverse teaching philosophies will help readers formulate their own educational doctrines, which are required for academic promotion teaching dossiers. Most of the teaching tips are cross-disciplinary and immediately applicable to practice. The reflections on the future of medical teaching may guide your clinical, education, and research plans.

In the last section, special topics in medical education including medical professionalism, continuing professional development, medical humor, the 2SLGBTQ+ and indigenous curricula, online teaching, simulation-based teaching, and education administration are discussed. A glossary of education terminology is at the end of the text.

I am indebted to my co-editor, Felix Tyndel, and the other extraordinary physicians and academicians who contributed to the book. In comparison to them, my teaching efforts are pedestrian. I am grateful for the reciprocal learning that my patients, students, and family have provided me. Lastly, I thank my many preceptors, learners and professors at the Johns Hopkins Master of Education in the Health Professions program for guiding my teaching and learning progression.