A researcher, innovator and prolific contributor to scholarly journals, Rachel Ellaway, PhD, is this year’s winner of the Duncan Graham Award for Outstanding Contribution to Medical Education.

Dr. Rachel Ellaway is a professor of medical education in community health sciences and co-director of the Office of Health and Medical Education Scholarship at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. An internationally renowned scholar and leader in medical education, her substantial contribution is reflected in 328 presentations, 201 publications and 24 book chapters.

Dr. Ellaway’s work with the Royal College includes serving as a reviewer and member of the Educational Research and Development Committee (since 2016). She was also a major contributor to the eHealth competencies for CanMEDS 2015 and has given multiple presentations at Royal College events.

Colleagues praise Dr. Ellaway’s focus on excellence and innovation in medical education. “Her work on framing the use of digital technologies in medical education has underpinned much of the developments in the field, and her work on e-health and digital professionalism has similarly proved influential,” said Jon Meddings, MD, FRCPC, dean of the Cumming School of Medicine.

Her graduate students describe her as a “valued and dynamic mentor,” added Kent Stobart, MD, FRCPC, vice dean of education and a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Saskatchewan. “She is an excellent teacher who supports the development of a questioning attitude.”

Dr. Ellaway’s contributions to innovation in medical education include developing free and open source online teaching tools. Among other achievements, she created the virtual patient platform, OpenLabyrinth.

“Dr. Ellaway committed to all these activities with strong enthusiasm and devotion, and with the clear goals of improving medical education delivery for her colleagues and the provision of outstanding health care to the Canadian public,” said Geneviève Moineau, MD, FRCPC, president and CEO of the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC). “She is known to our community as an innovator, effective participant in scholarly activities, deep thinker, scholar and leader.”

Dr. Ellaway will take over as editor-in-chief of the journal Advances in Health Sciences Education in 2020. She has also been an associate editor of the Canadian Medical Education Journal, a member of the Medical Teacher editorial board and editor of the CAME Voice. She was the creator of the AMEE Fringe in 2004 and continues to serve as its “maîtresse des ceremonies.”

Among her many awards and recognitions, Dr. Ellaway is a recipient of the CAME Ian Hart Award for Distinguished Contribution to Medical Education (2019), the AFMC-Infoway e-Health Faculty Award (2014) and AFMC’s John Ruedy Award for Innovation in Medical Education (2011).

“Her work as a peer, critic and innovator in medical education is of the highest quality. Medical education in Canada is much more engaging and robust as a result of her constructions and ongoing participation in our community,” said Dr. Meddings.