Medical training in Canada is undergoing a dramatic shift: increasingly, the next generation of doctors is being evaluated for what they are able to do, not just by how much time they spend learning.
This competency-based approach means doctors will have more one-on-one coaching during their residencies, more frequent assessments, and more opportunities to ensure they are ready for independent, unsupervised practice. But it is not yet clear how to get the most out of this new system.
Dr. Shiphra Ginsburg, Canada Research Chair in Health Professions Education, is working toward this goal. She is generating the information needed to examine, test and optimize this new training approach as it is rolled out in medical schools.
In particular, she and her research team are assessing the evidence that supports this approach and taking into account patient and learner perspectives. They are also helping to define what medical competency should look like and how feedback and assessment can be used together, as well as determining the value of subjective, written evaluations versus numerical scores. Moreover, Ginsburg and her team are shedding light on how to teach and assess professionalism as a core competency and essential skill for doctors.
Ultimately, Ginsburg’s research will help ensure that doctors’ training is better aligned with how we want to be cared for, now and in the future.