Collaborative teaching benefits pediatric learners

Team approach is taken to foster success

Tamara Vineberg - 29 March 2019

It takes a team to teach medical students, says Alicja Wladyslawa Janicka, who encounters learners on a regular basis at the Royal Alexandra Pediatric Ambulatory Clinic.

"There are six of us, pediatricians and each of us does teaching. Nurses, support staff, unit clerks, secretaries, occupational therapist and a social worker - I think it's a whole team who embraces those learners. I couldn't have done it on my own," she explains. Janicka, an associate clinical professor in the Division of General and Community Pediatrics, has been teaching for the past 23 years and practices at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and the Yellowhead Youth Centre.

She's learned that in order to be a great teacher, there are key practices to follow. You need to have the desire to teach, patience, understanding, listening skills and to be curious, including discovering details about the learners. "I enjoy finding out more information about the students like their personal experiences and their reason to choose medicine as their future career. It's wonderful to learn why they chose what they are doing," says Janicka. She was named as one of the top 10 teachers in the department in 2018.

Janicka will continue to teach as long as she is working. She receives knowledge from the learners as they introduce her to new technology and enjoys their positive energy. "I really think it's a gain for me. My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Leadership is not about a title or a designation. Enjoy the journey and try to get better every day."