Associate Professor
Vision Statement:

My work aims to promote a partnership model of patient- / client-health professional communication in line with current trends in health care including evidence-based practice, patient-centred care and informed and shared decision making. The aim is to improve client involvement in health care decision-making through collaborative research, development of community driven programs and patient and community participation in health professional education.

Research Interests:

Health care communication; Shared decision making; Medical education; Patient involvement; Community engagement

Research Sumary:

The key areas of my work have been the education and training of health professionals in informed and shared decision-making and the education of patients to play a more active role in their health care. More recently I have been studying the activie involvement of patients and lay people from the community in the education of health professionals. I have developed and evaluated several interprofessional educational interventions designed to help students learn about patient-centred care, and chronic disease and disability management, directly from patients who are expert in self management. I am interested in the nature of learning that takes place when students and patients learn with and from each other, and the impact of such educational experiences on subsequent practice and health outcomes.

Recent Publications:
  • Towle A, Godolphin W. The neglect of chronic disease self-management in medical education: involving patients as educators. Academic Medicine 2011; 86: 1350.
  • Towle A, Godolphin W. A meeting of experts: the emerging roles of non-professionals in the education of health professionals. Teaching in Higher Education 2011; 16: 495-504.
  • Spencer J, Godolphin W, Karpenko N, Towle A. Can patients be teachers? Involving patients and service users in healthcare professionals’ education. Health Foundation, UK. 2011. http://www.health.org.uk/publications/can-patients-be-teachers/
  • Towle A, Godolphin W. User involvement in medical education. In: Dornan T, Mann K, Scherpbier A, Spencer J (eds). Medical EducationTheory and Practice. Churchill Livingstone Elservier. Chapter 5, 65-77. 2011
  • Towle A, Bainbridge L, Godolphin W, Katz A, Kline C, Lown B, Madularu I, Solomon P, Thistlethwaite J. Active patient involvement in the education of health professionals. Medical Education 2010; 44:64-74.