Dr. Lyn Sonnenberg

Associate Dean, Educational Innovation & Academic Technologies, FoMD / Associate Professor

Department of Pediatrics

Division of Developmental Pediatrics
    Contact details are for academic matters only.

About Me

I wholeheartedly believe that if we transform the learner, we transform care.

I am a visionary and collaborative leader who inspires and empowers. By instilling confidence in others, I help them reach their full potential as individuals and as a group or team. I value authenticity, integrity, efficiency, and community. My strengths include clear communication, empathy, and assertiveness (when appropriate); I form relationships quickly and build collaborations naturally, while being politically astute. I sincerely celebrate the successes of others. I am detail-oriented, while at the same time being a systems-thinker. I do not shy away from making hard decisions, and clinically I have crucial conversations nearly every day as a neurodevelopmental pediatrician. 

According to the Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator, I am an ‘ENTJ’: I gain energy through interactions with others, take in information through impressions and patterns, make decisions by thinking logically, and achieve my goals through a planned approach. I like to surround myself with people who think differently than I do, but who share a common vision, so that we can address challenges and tackle obstacles together. I approach conflict using a collaborative approach, with the ability to use a balance of competing and compromising styles as indicated. I am learning to listen with the intent to understand, rather than to respond, and to show myself the same compassion I extend to others. 

Teaching

Personally, I have spent time reflecting on my teaching philosophy and how consistently it is portrayed in my interactions with learners. My focus this academic year will be on developing the Existentialism side of learning, which has not been modeled as well as the Essentialism side in medicine. By doing this, I feel that my teaching approach will become much more balanced and learner focused. Following are some of the specific duties I undertake, therefore, in translating such beliefs and philosophy into a facilitator role with learners: • Serving as a resource locator or securing new information on some of the topics identified during needs assessment efforts • Assisting learners assess their needs and competencies so that each person can map out an individual learning path • Mentoring junior faculty, and particularly those with an interest in educational innovation and technology • Precepting learners in clinical encounters through direct observation and timely feedback • Mentoring learners at all stages through the process of finding the proper work/life integration.

Now that I am the Associate Dean, Educational Innovation & Academic Technologies, many of my teaching activities involve support learners and faculty at a leadership and infrastructure level. My day to day teaching still occurs in clinic and in the classroom, providing key, introductory sessions for the medical students on pediatrics, physical examination, and developmental assessment. I oversee the simulation and extended reality portfolios, and provide the learning infrastructure for online, blended, and lecture-recorded learning. I also assist faculty in their pursuit of educational innovation and the integration of new technologies into teaching practice, and assess it in a systematic manner. Clinically, I had been responsible for overseeing the Connect Care delivery for all medical learners in the province with AHS, which provides the training for all residents and medical students at both the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary. I now work with the Virtual Care Provincial Team to support clinical care and teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I wish to create a culture of collaboration and empowerment. My desire as a leader is to communicate with clarity and extend trust. We need to work toward the common goal of serving our community and equipping our students to be the leaders of today by providing them with authentic learning opportunities and mentorship. 

Research

My current area of research is a national validation of a conceptual framework for the roles in required in educational technologies, which is in the final manuscript revision.  This is a collaborative project with the University of Ottawa with a modified delphi study.   

My goal of strengthening research mentorship for the Developmental Pediatrics residency program has been realized through formal and informal mentoring of all the Developmental Pediatrics Residents. These efforts have resulted in a WCHRI trainee grant and an accepted publication on the Emotional Intelligence of Pediatric Residents, in the Canadian Medical Education Journal as the senior author, with my trainee as the first author.  Another of my trainees presented a poster with me at the International Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) focused on research of the “Training Needs for Developmental Pediatrics in Saudi Arabia”.   Additionally, I sit on a PhD Candidacy Examination Committee in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, and I am an ad-hoc reviewer for clinical and educational journals.  

Research Keywords

Assessment, EDI, equity, diversity, inclusivity, Educational Technology, Emotional Intelligence, Medical Student, Physician-Patient Relationship, Professional Identity, Resident, Roles and Competencies