A day in the Life of a CE: Ming-Ka Chan

By: Jamiu Busari (@jobusar)

Ming-Ka Chan (@MKChan_RCPSC)
Associate Professor
Director, Education and Faculty Development, Dept of Pediatrics & Child Health
Assistant Program Director, International Medical Graduate program, University of Manitoba
Clinician Educator, CanMEDS and Faculty Development, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
Winnipeg, Canada

What is your professional background?

Ming-Ka Chan, MD, MHPE, FRCPC is a general pediatrician by training. Her primary work at the moment is as an in-patient general pediatrician in the Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg. She also runs primary care clinics for child and family services. In these clinics, she primarily sees children who have been apprehended for abuse and neglect.

Dr. Chan have a master’s degree in health professions education, obtained in 2011 from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

She is involved in leadership development via the Canadian Leadership Institute for Medical Education (CLIME), the Toronto International Summit for Leadership Development for Physicians (TISLEP), the International Residency Leadership Summit (IRLS) and an annual national three day resident leadership conference for pediatric residents.

What percentage of your time is spent in clinical practice, teaching activities, educational research and administrative work?

She has a busy life… clinical practice: 25-30%, teaching/supervision: 10-15%, research: 10 %, administration: 40-45%. As she has taken on more administrative responsibilities, she has restructured and refocused her teaching and clinical supervision activities, merging together where possible.

How do you enjoy your diverse (portfolio) career?

She shares that of the most enjoyable parts has been the opportunities the Royal College CE role has afforded her. These include the privilege of being part of a very close-knit CE “community of practice” as well as the opportunity to work on medical education projects, including the Latin America Conference on Residency Education(LACRE), and co-chairing the CanMEDS 2015 Leader (formerly Manager) Role. Ming-Ka shares that these projects stimulate her brain in a different way. However, these projects mean that she must reduce her clinical work. She confides that this cutback has generated some resistance from her colleagues.

Do you have any challenges in having this diverse work, and is yes, how do you manage it?

Ming-Ka says, “Time management is certainly an aspect of my work that is challenging and I would include the integration of that, with my non-academic and non-clinical activities (including my family and personal life). I am very mindful of this challenge and deliberately take time off on a regular basis to check in with both my formal and informal support networks, to see if I have the right fit in my work-life ‘integration’. I prefer to use the term ‘ integration’ rather than ‘balance’ as the latter term tends to make me worried about getting dizzy.”

 Three tips

Asked which 3 tips he would offer junior CEs, Ming-Ka responds with the following:

  1. Reflect about their personal context to properly align individual goals with the major objectives and goals of the institution they work in
  2. Seek out advisors, mentors and coaches
  3. Seek out role specific training to ensure ongoing professional development