KIPRIME podcast episode 21 - Geoff Norman

From nuclear physics to reforming medical curricula - an interview with the 2008 prize winner Geoff Norman.

Geoffrey R. Norman. Photo: Tobias Fredriksson.

Dr Geoff Norman is Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University, Ontario. He received a B.Sc. in physics from the University of Manitoba in 1965 and a Ph.D in nuclear physics from McMaster University in 1971. 

He then changed tack, and after an M.A in educational psychology he moved into the world of medical education research. 

His primary research has been in the area of expert diagnostic reasoning which has revealed that experts use two kinds of knowledge to do diagnosis - the formal analytical knowledge of signs and symptoms and physiologic mechanisms, and experiential knowledge based on the hundreds of thousands of patients they have encountered. 

His research has had a significant impact on our understanding of the development of expertise in clinical medicine. Furthermore, his research has yielded important contributions to our knowledge of the complexity of pattern recognition, clinical reasoning and clinical problem solving. His scientific originality and insights extend into numerous related areas of medicine and cognition, in particular areas such as assessment of learning outcomes and clinical performance, visual perception, and curriculum design. Dr Norman’s studies have provided a deep insight into research-based reforms in medical curricula worldwide. 

He is the author of 10 books in education, measurement and statistic and has written over 300 journal articles. As well as winning the Karolinska Prize in 2008, he has also been the recipient of numerous other awards including the Hubbard Award from the National Board of Medical Examiners in 1989, the Award of Excellence of the Canadian Association for Medical Education and the Award for Outstanding Achievement of the Medical Council of Canada. 

Listen to episode 21

The KIPRIME podcast

The Karolinska Institutet Prize for Research in Medical Education (KIPRIME) is a major international award and was created to recognise and stimulate high-quality research in the field. In this podcast series we’ll explore the origins of the KIPRIME and discover the passion and commitment of the people who made it happen. 

Host for the series is Alina Jenkins, a BBC presenter and journalist since 2001 with an extensive background in communicating science.