UBC medicine professor Dr. Kevin Eva has been awarded the 2022 Karolinska Institutet Prize for Research in Medical Education, recognizing his transformational impact on health professions education and generations of educators, researchers, learners and patients.
The coveted international prize is awarded every two years for research that has led to long-term improvements in the education and training of health professionals.
“Nothing could be more humbling for me than to have my name associated with the Karolinska Prize,” says Dr. Eva, a professor in UBC’s department of medicine and associate director of the faculty of medicine’s Centre for Health Education Scholarship (CHES). “I have learned immeasurable amounts from every prize winner who came before me, know countless others who are exceptionally deserving, and will receive the award only thanks to the hundreds of colleagues, support staff, mentors, students and family who have propped me up.”
Throughout his career, Dr. Eva’s research has focused on improving decision-making across the lifespan of health professional training, from student selection through to the maintenance of competency for experienced practitioners.
My broad aim has been to strengthen health professional education research as a scientific field of study to improve upon our educational practices and, in so doing, facilitate better healthcare.”
Dr. Kevin Eva
More than a decade ago, he joined Dr. Glenn Regehr, a professor in UBC’s department of surgery, and the late Dr. Joanna Bates in working to establish CHES — an international renowned research and education centre at UBC that strives to improve health by supporting the educational practices of the health professions.
“My broad aim has been to encourage and support interprofessional, interdisciplinary and international collaboration for the sake of strengthening health professional education research as a scientific field of study that will improve upon our educational practices and, in so doing, facilitate better healthcare,” says Dr. Eva about his work.
As an example, Dr. Eva’s work has impacted medical school admissions by introducing multiple mini-interviews as a rigorous process with which to select trainees based on their interpersonal skills. His research has also advanced understanding of clinical reasoning, guided improvements in experts’ ratings of student performance, and fundamentally altered how the field thinks about self-assessment, feedback and their role in performance improvement.
“Dr. Eva has made tremendous contributions to how health professionals are trained and educated worldwide,” says Dr. Dermot Kelleher, dean of UBC’s faculty of medicine and vice-president, health. “Quality healthcare is rooted in excellence in health education and training. The impact of Dr. Eva’s work has been far-reaching, touching not only the experience of learners and educators, but the lives of patients everywhere.”
In 2008, Dr. Eva became editor-in-chief of the journal Medical Education. He has consulted broadly around the globe, including advisory roles for the National Board of Medical Examiners in the U.S. and National Health Services Education in Scotland, and works extensively with the Medical Council of Canada and College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia.
“Professor Kevin Eva has had a tremendous impact on health profession education for the past 25 years by providing new ideas, perspectives and scientific writing skills,” says Dr. Sari Ponzer, chair of the prize committee and professor at the Karolinska Institutet. “His work as editor of a leading research journal in medical education has had a remarkable impact on health profession researchers across the world, highlighting the importance of scientific rigour.”
Dr. Eva will receive the award in Stockholm in October 2022. He is the second recipient of the prestigious award from UBC’s faculty of medicine, in addition to Dr. Glenn Regehr who received the prize in 2020.
A version of this story originally appeared on the Karolinska Institutet website.