Laura Nimmon, PhD, MA, BA

Portrait of Laura Nimmon, 2023

Associate Professor

phone: 604–822–8573


I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and Scientist at the Centre for Health Education Scholarship (CHES), Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia.

There is a focus on independent self and autonomy in our health profession training programs. Yet social networks are a cornerstone of effective clinical practice and teamwork. We are enmeshed these webs of interconnectivity that the extent of their influence is almost invisible to us and thus underappreciated in health professions training programs. Because of this invisibility, our health professions education structures, and messages they send, implicitly (or explicitly) drive students towards a goal of autonomy and independence.

My primary research interest is in making the influence of social structures visible within the educational and professional practices of the health professions. My body of work widens the scope of our collective vision beyond healthcare providers as independent practitioners with distinct expertise, viewing them instead as individuals deeply embedded in social structures with the skills to notice and adapt fluidly to their interdependence.

My most meaningful professional achievement is being an award-winning mentor. I am a recipient of the UBC Faculty of Medicine Award for Excellence in Mentoring Early Career Faculty (2021). I am also the recipient of the CAME-ACEM Champion Award for advocacy, role modeling and mentorship of early career researchers (2020).

Outside of work, I treasure time with my family and enjoy art, yoga, literature, time with my friends, and walking my dog Smiles at the beach.


I bring an interdisciplinary perspective to the field of health professional education research that is shaped by my training in medicine, social network analysis, anthropology, and sociolinguistics. My approach emphasizes how social interactions, power relations, cognition, language, and identity are always co-produced and bound to context.

I am an award-winning researcher and my work is funded by tri-council national funding agencies, hospital foundations, and professional regulatory bodies.

I supervise and mentor graduate students and health professions educators on research that illuminates the social aspects of learning and professional practice. This research draws on a range of social theories for others to “see” social context anew and enlarge scholarly approaches to learning and practice. This work spans topics such as psychological safety; disability and inclusion; learner mistreatment by patients; residents’ decision-making networks; and a pedagogy of love.


I currently teach graduate level sessions on qualitative research as a method of inquiry in RHSC 500 and in CHES/MHPE Campus 2.

Graduate and Postdoctoral Research Opportunities

I welcome new MSc and PhD students, please get in touch if you have similar research interests.


  • Associate Editor, Perspectives on Medical Education (Netherlands)

Select Publications

*link to articles provided when possible*

Please see my publications via my Google Scholar page.