Competence by Design Advice From Dr. Berry

LAUNCH : 2018

Dr. Scott Berry


Former Program Director | University of Toronto


Discipline :
Medical Oncology



What major lessons have you learned as you’ve implemented CBD?

Working collaboratively with a team is important so you can share results with others, and everyone can learn. I’ve also become a major advocate of field testing so everyone can get real-life experience with CBD before the launch date. Talking about concepts such as coaching and feedback is fine, but field testing makes CBD real and also allays people’s fears.


What has been your biggest challenge in implementing CBD?

Meeting with people who are not fans of CBD implementation has been a major challenge. Instead of becoming defensive and confrontational, it’s important to listen carefully and use what you hear to improve your implementation plan. When people call something a “disaster” the perceived disaster can be easy to fix; and you end up with better plan.


What advice would you provide to other program directors?

Be prepared to be half CBD champion and half punching bag. You need to approach implementation with enthusiasm, and understand CBD well enough to really believe in its benefits. But you also need to know and expect that there will be hard times and resistance.


How are you tackling the big issue of engaging your faculty and managing their expectations?

The most effective engagement strategy is to put in face time with faculty. Staff meetings and faculty development workshops are useful for introducing people to the framework, outlining the rationale and then listening very carefully to their concerns and ideas. For us, spending that time talking and listening has been an absolute necessity, and can’t be done via email.


How do you see your program benefiting from CBD?

CBD has inspired everyone to rethink how we provide feedback. I’ve been struck by the high quality of faculty’s feedback under CBD. It’s been truly useful to residents in helping them grow in their training, and constructive for helping people move forward.


What tools are you using to engage faculty?

We’ve used newsletters to highlight individual leaders in the department and to deliver concise tips. We’ve also used CBD websites and other web-based tools, and even Tim Horton’s coffee cards to reward faculty and residents who have completed the most EPA assessments. The key is to use a variety of tools and spread information in multiple formats.


What are you particularly proud of about your CBD journey?

We were proud to be identified as leaders and as one of the first groups to launch. I was equally proud that we didn't end up launching first, but instead took an extra year to prepare properly based on the feedback we were receiving from faculty. Ultimately, that made us more successful.