PGME Post – Faculty Lead Update: Curriculum – October 2023

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As of July 1, there is an exciting new portfolio in our postgraduate office and I have the honour of being the new Faculty Lead for Curriculum. My previous roles as a Program Director for both Rheumatology and for Internal Medicine and involvement with each of their Specialty Committees provide a solid platform for working to address core and enriched curricula that will span across our postgraduate programs.

While definitions of curriculum are plentiful and varied, most recognize that “curriculum” crosses with all aspects of postgraduate medical education and must be integrated with/linked vertically to undergraduate learning and eventually, our continuing education endeavors. To inform the work of the curriculum portfolio, a Postgraduate Curriculum Committee has been struck with representation from across the postgraduate enterprise and links to our undergraduate and continuing education leaders. Resident input is highly valued as we work to augment the content and improve the format of central curricular offerings.

There are three major areas of focus for the Curriculum portfolio, all of which are works-in-progress.

1. Competence by Design 2.0

Most of our postgraduate programs have launched or are preparing for the Competence by Design (CBD) initiative, formally rolled out by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 2017. Programs are supported by the PG CBD team: Lisa St Amant and Charles Andreasen. Based on nation-wide feedback from residents, Program Directors, Specialty Committees and education leaders, a process has started at the Royal College to optimize CBD implementation. The Curriculum team will work with our Program Directors, Residency Program Committees and Competence Committees as CBD 2.0 evolves to determine how to support and guide iterative improvements in each of our post graduate programs.

There will be much more to discuss on new developments in the upcoming months.

2. Core and enriched shared curricula

While every program within PGME has discipline specific content that covers the depth and breadth of the specialty, there are some fundamentals and new elements of knowledge required to prepare our learners for successful clinical practice. Through the PGME Curriculum portfolio, we provide a link between and materials to support emerging educational requirements coming from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada for programs to adapt and use in their own context. For example, CanMEDS 2025 will bring new standards for all of our postgraduate training programs. Themes such as Planetary Health will be added to curricular requirements. The Curriculum portfolio will liaise with leaders in this field to provide foundational materials (and eventually more advanced elements) to allow programs to readily implement this new content area into their existing educational structure. We will work to balance standardization and harmonization with program autonomy.

3. Assessing Outcomes

The Curriculum team will be setting up processes to evaluate the impact of changes on our learners, programs and faculty. This is very much a work-in-progress and will be driven by the required modifications as we move forward.

Our current ask….

Please let us know what formal curriculum initiatives your program has developed to address some of the intrinsic competencies. Think Professionalism, Scholarship, and Advocacy, to name a few. What about teaching around principles of EDI, cultural competency, and Indigenous Health?

What content areas do you see that could benefit from a more centrally driven process to build resources for programmatic teaching and resident learning?

Our contact information is:

Heather McDonald-Blumer
Faculty Lead: Curriculum

Jennifer Ditta
Curriculum Coordinator

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