My name is Nishan Sharma. I am a medical educator. I help train doctors at all levels – when they are students, when they are residents, and when they are in practice.
I work in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, in Alberta, Canada. I am part of the growing field of medical education. Medical educators think about and try to improve how we educate our doctors, nurses, and all the other people who help deliver our healthcare.
I started out wanting to be a medical doctor. I took all the required courses, wrote the exams, and interviewed for medical school back in my mid-20s (over 20 years ago now). But then I had a eureka-moment. After I got my Master’s degree in physiology, I got a chance to teach at the university level, and was hooked. I loved learning how the body worked, and helping university students learn about it, in turn. I loved being around these bright minds, and coming up with ways to help them learn. And to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure I wanted to trade all that in for what I was coming to understand was a very demanding career in medicine that wouldn’t leave me time for all the other things I wanted to do in life.
After teaching at the University of Calgary and then Mount Royal College (now University), in 2004 I went back to school to get a doctoral degree in education. For my research, I studied how two medical schools in England were changing the way they were teaching medicine. The idea fascinated me. Hadn’t we figured out the best way to teach tomorrow’s doctors? The more I dug, the more I came to realize there was no one way to do things, and that everybody trained their doctors differently. And I found more and more people in medical schools asking “Is there a better way?”
And to a large degree, asking “Is there a better way?” rules what I do every day. And its why I created this series – so YOU might ask “Is there a better way?” as you learn how the system really works.
First, thanks to all my guests who take time from their extraordinary lives in service to us to answer my questions.
A huge thanks to Farheen Manji, who took time from her residency in internal medicine to design the show’s great logo.
Thanks to my brother and his wife, both physicians, who through a conversation at their dinner table helped me shape the idea, and come up with the show’s title.