Godolphin, William

Godolphin, William


Academic Rank(s): Professor Emeritus, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UBC

Affiliation(s): UBC Hospital

Research and Scholarly Interests: Scholarship of Teaching of Education Research

Clinical Interests:

Short Bio



Academic Background

  • Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Clinical Biochemists. 1986
  • University of Alberta. PhD (Clinical Biochemistry) 1974
  • Teaching Certificate, Manitoba Department of Education.  1962-1969
  • University of Manitoba at Brandon College. BSc (General Science) 1962

Awards and Recognition

  • The Dr. Philip E Reid Memorial Cup for Outstanding Contribution [to the Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science Program, Department of Pathology, UBC], awarded by the students of the Class of 2006. May 26, 2006
  • Boehringer Mannheim Award for Excellence in Research on Novel Concepts in Clinical Laboratory Automation with Emphasis on the Pre-Analytical Phase. Awarded to Karin Bodtker, Llynda Wilson, William Godolphin at the International Conference on Advanced Robotics. Jan 27, 1994
  • MDS Health Group Award, Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists. 1986
  • Pioneer in Laboratory Robotics, Presented in recognition of scientific and technological contributions at the International Symposium on Laboratory Robotics. 1989
  • Medical Research Council of Canada Studentship. 1970-1974

Awards for Service:

  • Life Member, Association for Laboratory Automation. Jan 2000


Selected Publications

  • Kline C, Godolphin W, Chhina* G, Towle A. Community as Teacher: health professional students learn cultural safety from an Aboriginal community. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning 2013; 20(1): 5-17.
  • Towle A, Godolphin W. Patients as educators: interprofessional learning for patient-centred care. Medical Teacher 2013, 35(3); 219-225.
  • 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(5): 495-504.
  • 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.
  • Godolphin W. Shared decision-making. Healthcare Quarterly 2009; 12 Special Issue: e186-e190.
  • Kindler P, Grant* C, Kulla* S, Poole G, Godolphin W. Difficult incidents and tutor interventions in problem-based learning tutorials. Medical Education 2009; 43: 866-873.
  • Towle A, Godolphin W, Grams G, LaMarre* A. Putting informed and shared decision making into practice. Health Expectations 2006 Dec; 9(4): 321-32.
  • Towle A, Godolphin W, Alexander* T. Doctor-patient communications in the Aboriginal community: towards the development of educational programs. Patient Education and Counseling 2006 Sep; 62(3): 340-6.
  • Towle A, Godolphin W, Van Staalduinen* S. Enhancing the relationship and improving communication between adolescents and their health care providers: a school based intervention by medical students. Patient Education and Counseling 2006 Aug; 62(2): 189-92.

Research Interest

Research and Development

Development and implementation of robotic systems and other automation for the clinical laboratory and study of their impact. Involvement in entrepreneurial activity focused on the invention and development of automation and tools for evaluation of its effect. (1983-1993)

Medical informatics and information exchange between the public and private sector with a focus on the patient (partly connected with the Hospital Without Walls project). Focus of sabbatical in 1994-95 was the patient held medical record as a conceptual model for the management of information exchange with an emphasis on issues of technology, education, design, ethics and privacy (1994-1997)

Development of programs for medical students, continuing medical education of practising physicians and for patients, aimed at communication skills necessary to engage in doctor-patient encounters leading to informed and shared decision making. This research and development project, begun in 1996, is concerned with fundamental problems of doctor-patient communications, with the presentation and sharing of evidence-based information and with patient involvement in the decision-making process when medical/surgical management is being considered. (1996-present)

Research and Service Development

Built up a program for routine estrogen receptor collection and assay such that about 85% of all breast biopsies in the province are analyzed. Extensive follow-up permitted studies of the epidemiology and prognostic importance of hormone-receptor measurements and international collaboration in research on other markers of breast cancer prognosis. (1975-1997)

Clinical pharmacokinetics and analytical toxicology as they relate to dose predictions and management of seizure disorders and overdose toxicity. (1976-1996)

Trace metal pathophysiology and analysis related to nutrition, immunity, and neurological disorders (especially Zn, Cu, Al, Pb and Mn). (1979-1993)

Service Development and Operational Responsibility:

Management of Vancouver General Hospital clinical chemistry laboratory with particular responsibility for sections dealing with R&D, toxicology, therapeutic drug monitoring, trace metal analysis and tissue receptor analyses. (1974-1996)

Review and supervision of all research and development projects operated in or supported by the routine clinical chemistry laboratory at the Vancouver General Hospital. (1977-1996)

Clinical Service

Current Projects In My Lab Include


Teaching Interest

BMLSc course in Medical Laboratory Toxicology from 1985 to 2007

PATH 405 – This required seminar course was a part of the original BMLSc program. Beginning in 1984, together with the then-coordinator, Phil Reid, I began to redesign this course to teach the students how to teach, perform peer- and self-assessment, and critically appraise scientific literature. I coordinated and team taught this course with Dr Reid, then with Dr Carol Park (since 1993) and Dr Amanda Bradley (since 2006) and Dr Hanh Huynh (since 2008). In 2006 I ceased to coordinate the course but continue to teach it.

PATH 201 & 202 – I designed and coordinated these two courses, to meet the need for an introduction to medical laboratory sciences by science students entering the BMLSc program with no prior experience in clinical laboratories. (Prior to this the incoming students all had laboratory technologist training.)

INDE 453 – This “Effective learning skills for medical practice” course is a required final year course for MD undergraduate students. It contains a series of modules on “advanced communication skills”. I was a member of the committee that designed this program and the creator of a component on “Doctor-patient communication for shared decision making and informed consent” – including trigger videos, standardized patient scenarios, assessment instruments and tutor guidelines.

Group Facilitation

I received training as a creative planning facilitator at The Training Group Institute (Vancouver) in 1986 and have been intermittently active as facilitator for retreats, planning days, etc., for many departments, divisions and organizations associated with UBC.

Process in Problem Based Learning

I provided ‘tutor support’ for problem-based learning (PBL) tutors in the UBC Faculty of Medicine undergraduate curriculum since the change to PBL in 1997 until 2006. I have been especially interested and active in the development of practices and resources that help tutors and students to ‘do’ PBL with enjoyment and good learning. In this way I have tried to be a ‘coach’ and advocate for the tutors. Many of the current practices for tutor meetings, tutor observations, and assessments of tutors and assessment of students were introduced and guided by me. This includes various research and development projects to provide teaching-learning aids (e.g., videotapes, manuals of tips & techniques) and various workshops and seminars for tutors (e.g., on giving feedback and solving problems in group dynamics).

Teaching Teachers to Teach

I had a special interest and activity in TIPS (Teaching Improvement Program Systems) program coordinated by the Division of Education Support & Development. Beginning in 1984 with three other faculty, and steadily recruiting others to be trained and then assist, I presented 1-4 day workshops to help faculty improve their teaching skills (about 40 workshops 1984-1999) at UBC and affiliated hospitals. I also presented workshops and helped to spread the program across Canada (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland), and internationally (West Indies, UK and Australia), through ‘train the trainer’ activity. The Teaching & Academic Growth Instructional Skills Workshops at UBC had its origin in this program. In 2007 the UBC TIPS team was awarded the AFMC-AstraZeneca Award for Exemplary Contribution to Faculty Development – recognizing especially the outreach to other medical schools across Canada. I also redesigned the program and with the help of other Pathology faculty have presented as a course for students in the final year of the BMLSc program (under the designation of Pathology 405). This course is unique at UBC in that all the students of this program acquire high-level teaching skills before graduation.