A Day in the Life of a CE: Ashley Duits

By Jamiu Busari (@jobusar)

Ashley J. Duits, MSc, PhD
Clerkship coordinator and head, Department of Medical Education, Curacao Medical Centre, Willemstad, Curaçao;
Professor of medical education, Institute for Medical Education, University Medical Centre Groningen Groningen, the Netherlands;
Director Red Cross Blood Bank Foundation,
Willemstad, Curaçao

Using various perspectives to solve challenges

As a Clinician Educator, Professor Duits is actively involved with the coordination and supervision of Dutch medical students undertaking their clinical clerkships in Curacao. He is also responsible for overseeing the various residency training programs at the Curacao Medical Center. As a medical immunologist, he leads the Red Cross blood bank Foundation in Curacao that provides services to all of the Dutch Caribbean islands. When describing diverse portfolio, Ashley replies that he enjoy the fact that it offers him the opportunity to address and improve healthcare (problems) in general and patient care in particular. He adds that he is continuously inspired and motivated by the opportunity to approach these issues from several different and complementary perspectives. As a result of the diversity of his work, he encounters challenges varying from the design and implementation of new innovative techniques, to investing in human professional development.

Ashley goes on to say that a fascinating part of his work linking education and quality of care: training young health care professionals as well as trying to achieve locally sustainable high-quality care are enriching activities. Research and data acquisition are also a fundamental aspect of evidence-based approaches to current healthcare challenges, and he finds it very gratifying to work with other motivated colleagues to set up the required human capacity and infrastructure.

Juggling a diverse career 

Given the diversity of his work, the percentage of time Ashley allocates to clinical, educational, administrative, and research work can vary according to the situation and issues at hand. He estimates that, in general, 50 per cent of his time is spent on clinical activities, educational and research tasks constitute 40 percent, and the remaining 10 per cent is dedicated to general administrative responsibilities.

Ashley finds the difficulty related to the diversity in his work stimulating and inspiring at the same time, especially when working with young and dedicated professionals. Multi-tasking and time management are of paramount importance – while at the same time not losing sight of the human factor. He shares that managing the enormity of his tasks requires dedication, discipline, and some time investment. He believes that his work will always remain a challenge and considers it a privilege and joy to be active with topics in healthcare that he genuinely appreciates and can make a difference with.

Three tips for junior CEs: understanding, respect, inspiration

Ashley’s best tips for up and coming CEs:

  • always try to understand your colleagues and trainee’s perspective on the topics being addressed
  • try always to keep the human factor in perspective and show respect at all times
  • be constructive, inspiring and have a good understanding of the relevant concepts


Know a CE who you think we should profile on our blog? Send us your nominations at ice@royalcollege.ca! 


The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. For more details on our site disclaimers, please see our ‘About’ page