Dr. Karen Finlay wins 2019 Royal College AMS Donald Richards Wilson Award for CanMEDS Integration
Karen Finlay, MD, FRCPC, is credited with transforming McMaster University’s Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program into an efficient, effective postgraduate program and setting a standard of excellence across Canada by championing the CanMEDS Framework in residency training. This year’s winner of the Donald Richards Wilson Award for CanMEDS Integration, Dr. Finlay is lauded for her ability to communicate the theoretical underpinnings of these professional competencies and translating them into specific roles.
Dr. Finlay is a professor of radiology at McMaster, and has been the associate chair of education and the department’s educational coordinator since 2014. From 2014 to 2017, she was program director for the Clinician Educator Area of Focused Competence (AFC-Diploma) program and she also has spent 11 years as residency program director in Diagnostic Radiology.
With a clear focus on the resident experience, Dr. Finlay made CanMEDS a core component of the Diagnostic Radiology program at McMaster through a variety of innovations. These include a new resident manual that connects everyday tasks in radiology practice to the intrinsic roles and demonstrates to residents the practical aspects of CanMEDS in daily work.
She also developed a CanMEDS resume and an annual retreat during which the intrinsic roles are explicitly discussed as a complement to the formal residency curriculum.
Dr. Finlay instituted a CanMEDS OSCE to evaluate the intrinsic roles in an OSCE format tailored to radiology. As well, she developed an electronic feedback system for residents’ evaluation of staff during teaching rounds, highlighting staff contributions as managers and scholars.
These initiatives “have been cemented as indispensable components of the residency program,” said Drs. Hussam Kaka and Mallory Granholm of the Diagnostic Radiology program. “They serve to enhance resident learning, evaluation and feedback in a format that is tailored to the practice of radiology.”
Since 2010, Dr. Finlay has travelled across Canada generously sharing her knowledge and experiences on CanMEDS with other institutes.
Dr. Stefanie Lee, assistant professor in radiology at McMaster, describes Dr. Finlay as someone who exemplifies the CanMEDS competencies “in her daily work and inspires us through example.”
Dr. Finlay co-authored two peer-reviewed journal articles on the integration of CanMEDS Roles into radiology residency training: “Assessment of the Intrinsic CanMEDS Roles in Diagnostic Radiology Residents using an Objective Structured Clinical Assessment (OSCE)” and “The CanMEDS Resume: A Useful Educational Tool for Diagnostic Radiology Residents.” She is also first author of a book chapter: “Applying CanMEDS to Academic Afternoons.”
At the Royal College, Dr. Finlay is director of the applied exam (combined OSCE and oral) for the Diagnostic Radiology examination and previously served as the OSCE exam coordinator. She has creatively worked towards integration of the CanMEDS Intrinsic Roles into the Diagnostic Radiology exam.
She received the 2011 McMaster University President’s Award for Educational Leadership, as well as a 2011 Canadian Association of Medical Education (CAME) Certificate of Merit and the 2012 Royal College Program Director of the Year Award.