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Huth Simpkin

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Kathleen Huth, MD, FRCPC is a 2016 Harvard Macy Scholar, currently in her second year of the Master of Medical Sciences in Medical Education program at Harvard Medical School. She is supported by the Robert Maudsley Fellowship for Studies in Medical Education through the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Katie is a lecturer in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Ottawa, Canada and has a special interest in resident education in team communication, particularly in the care of children with medical complexity.



Arabella Simpkin, MA BMBCh MRCPCH MMSc is a 2015 Harvard Macy Scholar and recent graduate from the Master of Medical Sciences in Medical Education program at Harvard Medical School. She is a pediatrician, gaining her medical degree from the University of Oxford in 2006. Arabella currently holds a faculty position in the Department of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital where she is involved in the creation of a Center for Educational Innovation and Scholarship. Her research passion is in professional development, in particular studying the attributes of resilience and tolerance of uncertainty.

Educating physicians to navigate the complexity and uncertainty of clinical care

The practice of medicine involves inherent ambiguity. As physicians we seek to provide “best” practice for our patients, setting black-and-white standards in a greyscale space of clinical care. We develop simplified algorithms to aid us in navigating medicine’s complexity and uncertainty—tools that are evaluated in research studies and honed through quality improvement initiatives. With the drive to standardize care comes a challenge for medical education: How can we train physicians to use these evidence-based tools, while being comfortable in the face of uncertainty and thinking critically about how they integrate them into practice?

Recent Comments
Nicolas Thibodeau Jarry M.D., MMSc (MedEd)

Accepting our own vulnerabilit...

This is a very interesting and thought-provoking article. We have the tendency to focus a lot in medical education on processes (t... Read More
Tuesday, 06 September 2016 10:10 PM
Gregg Wells

Responding to ambiguity and un...

What can resolve ambiguity and uncertainty? In many cases, more information. An ever-present reality for medical decision-making... Read More
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 12:12 AM
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