Competency-based medical education (CBME) has emerged as an important theme in medical education in recent years. Interest and debate on the topic continues to grow with the pending paradigm shift in Canadian medical residency programs. It offers several exciting opportunities for medical education but also raises some concerns. Once implemented, CBME will impact the entire medical education community through significant changes to assessment, credentialing, and accreditation processes.

Some of these changes have already been implemented, or their development is currently underway nationally. For example, the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) has already transitioned Family Medicine programs in Canada to a competency-based curriculum called the Triple C Competency-based Curriculum. There are three components of Triple C: Comprehensive education and patient care; Continuity of education and patient care; and, Centred in family medicine. In addition, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada is in the process adopting an outcomes-based approach to the design, implementation, assessment, and evaluation of medical education programs known as Competence-by-Design (CBD).

RDoC’s Role

In 2016 we released the position paper, Implementing a Competency-Based Approach to Medical Education. Since that time, we continue to play a central role in CBME development in Canada including providing feedback to the Royal College on the Series I, Series II and Series III CanMEDS drafts. Through national advocacy work on behalf of our members and ongoing formal communication with the Colleges, we help to ensure that the learner’s point of view is taken into consideration in any proposed changes.

RDoC’s CBME Top 10 List

RDoC recognizes the challenges residents have faced with CBME’s rollout across Canada, and in March 2020, we released a best practice guide to CBME implementation for residents.

Made by residents, for residents – the RDoC CBME Top Ten List is designed to assist residents in a broad range of training environments and specialties and speaks to junior and senior residents alike.

From achieving EPAs to self-directed learning, RDoC hopes these tips will enable residents to become more familiar with CBME principles, and open to discussing their questions and concerns to better prepare for CBME’s implementation and utilization during their postgraduate training.