Threshold Concepts and Being a Good Doctor

Date:                    Saturday 24th August

Half Day:              0930-1230

Level:                    Intermediate/Advanced


  1. Katherine Hall, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand
  2. Ralph Pinnock, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand
  3. Tim Wilkinson, Christchurch School of Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand
  4. Julie Timmermans, Higher Education Development Centre, University of Otago, New Zealand

Summary of theme and why it is important:  What does it mean to be a Good Doctor? Threshold concepts, by their very nature, can help us to uncover physicians’ underlying ways of thinking, practising, and valuing. Threshold concepts are seminal, transformative learning events which open a student’s eyes to a whole new approach (or even way of being) to their study. It is this transformative aspect which particularly distinguishes them from other learning constructs such as core concepts. Over the past 15 years there has been increasing research in the understanding of threshold concepts and how they pertain to the teaching and learning of medicine. In this workshop, we will present an overview of this research from the literature and our own work. This will include both science-domain areas of medicine and humanities-based areas of medicine such as moral reasoning and bioethics. We will use the ‘Integrated Threshold Concept Knowledge’ framework (see reference below), to mentor attendees through several activities. From these activities, attendees will learn ways in which threshold concepts form a basis for designing learning outcomes and developing students’ understanding of what it means to be a Good Doctor. Attendees will return to their home institutions being able to continue their own analysis of this powerful analytical and pedagogical tool.
Attendees to this workshop are invited to read the following paper prior to the workshop: Timmermans JA and Meyer JHF. A framework for working with university teachers to create and embed ‘Integrated Threshold Concept Knowledge’ (ITCK) in their practice. International Journal for Academic Development. 2017.

Who should participate in the Pre-Conference Workshop?  Anyone involved in any aspect of medical education from any discipline.

What will they gain from participating?  

  1. Competency in knowledge and understanding of what threshold concepts are.
  2. Increased proficiency in self-identification of when and where threshold concepts occur within     their academic discipline and teaching.
  3. Through workshop activities, obtain an experiential understanding of some ways in which threshold concepts can be incorporated into more effective teaching for themselves, and learning for their students.
  4. Be directed to further resources beyond that of this workshop so that attendees can further their reading, knowledge and growth in this area post-workshop.

Cost: Euros 90 (includes coffee)

PLEASE NOTE: Pre-conference Workshop participants must also register for AMEE 2019 and pay the conference fee.


Twitter_001 facebook_001 Google_Plus_001 Linkedin_001 YouTube_001