Sarah Forgie (2012)

forgieAffiliation at the time of the award: University of Alberta, Pediatrics.

Citation: Sarah Forgie describes her approach to teaching as “medutainment”; the goal is learning not instruction. She bases her medical teaching on entertaining and effective evidence-based techniques guided by the principles: “Simplify the message. Involve your learners. Take creative risks. Evaluate and refine frequently.” Much to her students’ delight, Sarah’s “Triple EB Jazz Band” visits her class on anaerobic bacteria. She dons a beatnik poet persona and tells the story of Harry Houdini and his ruptured appendix to the jazz song Take Five. She describes how the bacteria become involved, and the resulting need for treatment—all to the beat!

This creative risk in teaching effectively helps her students retain the necessary information upon examination and is shared extensively at conferences and in publications. Gremlins, grapples, pandemic role playing, and other teaching aides intensify Sarah’s teaching effectiveness: “The bugs come alive,” notes one student, “as if a long lost friend of yours. You know them well, their personalities, their strengths, and importantly their weaknesses.” Actively engaged in the community, Sarah’s messages of infection prevention and wise use of antibiotics are spreading in epidemic proportions through conferences, newspapers, magazines, podcasts, vodcasts, television, radio and the internet.