Early adopter advice series on Competence by Design
Dr. James D. Watterson
Competence by Design Advice from Dr. Watterson | University of Ottawa
What major lessons have you learned as you’ve implemented CBD?
We have continued to grow the culture of formative, work-based assessments in Ottawa. Residents and faculty have become familiar with conducting in-the-moment assessments on iPads. I believe this has prepared us for the transition to CBD, where different types of work-based assessments will be completed as we assess residents’ EPAs and milestones. Important lessons can be learned and best practices established using a practical framework to help with the implementation of CBD across all surgical programs over the next five to seven years.
What has been your biggest challenge in implementing CBD?
Change is slow. There will be naysayers, hurdles and potential setbacks along the way. It is important to remain resolute and positive, focused on the end result, which is improving accountability and comprehensiveness of our residency training.
What advice would you provide to other CBD implementers?
Partnership with other CBD leaders in one's own centre is crucial. Identifying and communicating with individuals who are actively invested in the CBD process is a must. These individuals may be program directors, chairs from other specialties, PGME CBME leads and other support staff. As there is no right or wrong way of implementing CBD, it is important to be creative and open to many different processes and opinions. Build your team. Be practical!
How are you tackling the big issue of engaging your faculty and managing their expectations?
Faculty engagement and buy-in are still real concerns. We have previously held a CBD Information Night for the Department of Surgery faculty in preparation for the launch of Surgical Foundations, which will affect all surgical programs. As well, we are exploring innovative ways to further educate faculty about Surgical Foundations’ EPAs and milestones, such as the use of pocket reference cards.
How do you see your program benefiting from CBD?
One of the biggest advantages of CBD that I see is self-directed learning, which is the initial phase of continuing professional development and lifelong learning. The improved documentation of a resident's progress should help to better assess their performance.
What tools are you using to engage faculty?
My approach to CBD success as vice chair is similar to my approach as a program director: support, collaboration, advocacy and strong relationships with all program partners.
What are you particularly proud of about your CBD journey?
I am extremely proud of the effort put forth by our Department of Surgery Eric Poulin Office of Education staff. Under the guidance of Christine Seabrook, our Program Administrators and Educational Coordinators have embraced the challenges of such a transformational change in the residency education with enthusiasm and a spirit of collaboration. Within this supportive environment, we have been able to develop a standardized University of Ottawa Department of Surgery CBD Manual outlining all of the processes for CBD which will provide the framework for implementation of CBD for all of our surgical programs.