Conferences > AMEE 2017 > Programme


Four plenary sessions, with stimulating and challenging presentation will take place at AMEE 2017.

  • Plenary 1 - Sunday 27 August (1730hrs)
  • Plenary 2 - Monday 28 August (0830hrs)
  • Plenary 3 - Tuesday 29 August (0830hrs)
  • Plenary 4 - Wednesday 30 August (1030hrs)

Location:  Hall1, Messukeskus Helsinki.  These sessions will also be live streamed through

Plenary 1 - The Magic State of Mind

Peter Wardell

Summary:  The greatest magicians in the world are fantastic storytellers. They possess incredible technical skills that must remain invisible in order to create the illusion of the impossible. Magic is not about manipulation and misdirection - it is more about guiding an audience towards a meaningful experience. In this talk Peter shows why tricks and secrets are only a
small part of the experience of magic. He discusses and demonstrates how thinking like a great magician can elevate our day-to-day interactions and allow us to have more meaningful and engaging interactions.

Biography:  Peter Wardell is an award winning magician and speaker. He developed his performance skills working in London’s Covent Garden. Since focusing his talents towards a more commercial marketplace his unique performing style has earned him bookings from many major corporate and private clients. He is a Gold Star Member of the Inner Magic Circle. In 2010 he became the first magician in the society’s history to win both Stage Magician and Close-up Magician of the Year. Peter has performed at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, has made several television appearances and was a speaker at TEDx London.


Plenary 2 - What can medical education learn from the Finnish experience?

Pasi Sahlberg

Summary:  Finland is the poster child of education and therefore a destination for tens of thousands education tourists seeking inspiration to improve education in their own countries. Since the mid-2000s educators around the world have been asking what makes some education systems perform better than others, and why some countries seem to be stuck in mediocracy. There are numerous theories of change and related programs to betterment of education. Some of them have proved to be successful while some of them have not. In this presentation I explore some myths and present a set of established facts for those present ready to learn from Finnish experience.  Some characteristics of Finland’s educational culture are not easily transferrable but there are many aspects in this Finnish experience that could benefit medical educators. Necessary requirements are open mind to accept ideas that at first might seem strange and initial ability to understand the difference between facts and myths in educational change.

Biography:  Pasi Sahlberg is a Finnish educator, author, and scholar. He has worked as schoolteacher, teacher educator, researcher, and policy advisor in Finland and has studied education systems and reforms around the world. He has also served World Bank in Washington, DC; European Commission in Torino, Italy, and OECD as an external expert. He currently works on teacher education, international education policies, higher education, and educational leadership. Pasi has published and spoken widely about these themes around the world. His book “Finnish Lessons 2.0: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland” won the 2013 Grawemeyer Award. He is also recipient of the Education Award in Finland in 2012, The Robert Owen Award in Scotland in 2014, The Lego Prize in 2016, and Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency in 2017. He is a former director general of CIMO at the Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture in Helsinki and a visiting Professor of Practice at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. He is currently an international speaker and advisor to the Governments of Scotland, Sweden, Malta, and Finland and a visiting scholar at the Arizona State University in the United States. He is adjunct professor at the Universities of Helsinki and Oulu and a chair of Open Society Foundations’ education advisory board and a member of the Governing Board of the University of Oulu. Twitter: @pasi_sahlberg.


Plenary 3a - Addressing Health Disparities: Can Equity Pedagogy Help?

Catherine R Lucey, UCSF School of Medicine, USA

Summary:  Despite years of attention, progress towards achieving health care that is equitable and patient centered has been slow. To improve health outcomes for minority patients, educational environments for learners, and research environments for scientists, health professions education programs have used new approaches to recruit more diverse learners to our environments. Realizing the benefits of diversity requires educators to eschew a colorblind philosophy and instead embrace the principles of equity pedagogy.
Designing curriculum, assessment strategies, and learning environments for optimal inclusivity and equity of opportunity will lead to improved student outcomes and ultimately to better health care.

Biography:  Dr Lucey is Vice Dean for Education and Professor of Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine. Previously, she was the interim Dean and Vice Dean for Education at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. A past Chair of the Board of Directors of the ABIM, she currently serves on the Board of Directors of the AAMC and the ABMS. Dr Lucey has won numerous teaching awards and has given hundreds of invited presentations at academic institutions across the country. She is an author of the 2014 book: Understanding Medical Professionalism. Dr Lucey earned her MD degree from Northwestern University and completed her Internal Medicine residency at UCSF before serving as chief resident at the San Francisco General Hospital.


Plenary 3b - The future shape of medical education using the allegory of the symphony orchestra and the role of the conductor

Robert Sells, University of Liverpool, UK

Summary:  While the objectives of the orchestra and medical practice may seem very different, there are important lessons to be learned using the allegory of the symphony orchestra and the role of the conductor. Issues addressed will include the development of communication skills, the perfection of technique, the need for flexibility, the concept of professionalism, motivation and audit of performance. The presentation will be illustrated using examples from orchestral performances. Robert Sells brings a particular insight into medical practice from his unique background as an orchestral conductor and a practising renal transplant surgeon.

Biography: Robert A Sells FRCS, Honorary Professor of Transplant Surgery at the University of Liverpool, UK. Formerly Consultant General Surgeon and Director of the Sir Peter Medawar Transplant Unit, he has been at the forefront of surgical training for many years. Robert’s other passion is music, and he has been Chief Conductor (now Conductor Laureate) of Crosby Symphony Orchestra and a non-executive Director of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society. He is Founder and current Director of Vale of Clwyd Singers, a semi-professional a capella group specialising in Renaissance and Baroque choral music. He also has a busy practice as an expert witness to the UK Civil Courts in General Surgery.


Plenary 4a - Helping doctors and patients make sense of health statistics

Wolfgang Gaissmaier, University of Konstanz, Germany

Summary:  “Statistics are curious things. They afford one of the few examples in which the use (or abuse) of mathematical methods tends to induce a strong emotional reaction in non-mathematical minds”, wrote the Lancet in 1937. It was not until the
late 20th century that medical schools began teaching statistics, and there are still medical organizations, physicians, and students who tend to see statistics as inherently mathematical and clinically irrelevant for the irrelevant for the individual patient. In the talk, I will illustrate how fundamental misperceptions of randomness fuel many (medical and other) superstitions, and how social processes shape misperceptions of risk and can amplify them. I will also show how many of these obstacles can be overcome by teaching statistical thinking and using transparent representations of risk.

Biography:  Wolfgang Gaissmaier PhD, is a Full Professor of Social Psychologyand Decision Sciences at the University of Konstanz, Germany. His research investigates how people make decisions under uncertainty and how risks can be communicated more successfully. Wolfgang Gaissmaier’s work has been published in leading psychological and medical journals, including Annals of Internal Medicine, Annual Review of Psychology, Cognition, Health Psychology, JAMA, PNAS, and Psychological Science. His awards include the Otto Hahn Medal for outstanding scientific achievements by the Max Planck Society.


Plenary 4B: PechaKucha Presentations

  • Topic 1:  Learning analytics and big data - Rachel Ellaway, University of Calgary, Canada
  • Topic 2:  Anatomy teaching - Paul McMenamin, Monash University, Australia
  • Topic 3:  Gender issues in medical education, Katarina Hamberg, UmeĆ„ University, Sweden
  • Topic 4:  Interprofessional education - Gary Rogers, Griffith University, Australia
  • Topic 5:  Mind the gap - junior doctor or young educator? Rille Pihlak, University of Tartu, Estonia
  • Topic 6:  Tensions between global trends and local challenges in medical education - Manuel Costa, University of Minho, Portugal
  • Topic 7:  The dangerous pursuit of independence - Glenn Regehr, University of British Columbia, Canada

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