Easing the transition from medical school to residency in Mexico
“The concern in Mexico, in particular, is the transition from the end of medical school to the beginning of residency. It is important that students have the skills needed to start residency,” said Linda Snell, MD, FRCPC, a professor of Medicine and core faculty member at the McGill Centre for Medical Education; and a senior clinician educator with the Royal College.
Dr. Snell was in Monterrey, Mexico, in December 2018 to present at the first ever International Medical Education Leaders Forum for the regions of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean (IMELF-MCC). The meeting was hosted by the Royal College in partnership with the Tecnologico de Monterrey School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
The meeting focused on the competence profile of students entering residency training — even more challenging in Mexico as medical school curricula and training vary across the country. IMELF-MCC brought together medical education leaders from Mexico and nearby regions to identify tools and strategies that could help facilitate preparation for this transition.
Canadian tactics to ease transition to residency: EPAs, national standards
Dr. Snell provided attendees of IMELF-MCC with a Canadian perspective. She described how a set of Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) could facilitate the transition between medical school and residency, and helps to alleviate students’ anxieties in the early stages of residency training.
“These core EPAs define expectations for new graduates across the country entering residency programs. Medical students will be directly observed and supervised prior to graduation to ensure their readiness for indirect supervision as a resident.”
Dr. Snell also recommended the adoption of national standards and frameworks, adapted to the Mexican context.
“Given that residents in Mexico come from many medical schools, some of which are not accredited, they enter with totally different backgrounds and skills. It makes a lot more sense — and I think it would be a lot more successful — if there was a national accreditation program that all medical schools and residency programs went through, that utilized global or national standards, and a competency framework such as CanMEDS. The framework may need some slight modifications; however, it has worked well in Canada and over 50 other jurisdictions around the world, and it is already available in Spanish.”
Partner perspective: Silvia Lizett Olivares Olivares
“It was nice to know how Canadians educate residency students and how they consider the different approaches. It is important for us to have competency approaches that enable us to review behaviors such as professionalism, human sense, communication and other soft skills. I believe that if we could use some of the approaches that were discussed, with a formal process for the selection of students entering residency programs, then I think this would be the most valuable asset that we could take away from this meeting.”
– Dr. Silvia Lizett Olivares Olivares, academic dean of Tecnologico de Monterrey School of Medicine and Health Sciences and Coordinator of the IMELF-MCC
Recent activities in Mexico
“One of the Royal College’s strategic goals is to establish relations with global partners and to assist them in building their capacity to provide specialty medical education and to create their own sustainable health care system,” said Oscar Casiró, MD, FRCPC, regional director for Latin America, Royal College International.
He added, “Our collaboration with the Tecnologico de Monterrey School of Medicine and Health Sciences continues to be productive. Two recent activities are annual leadership workshops for residents and educational workshops for residency program directors, delivered by Royal College faculty in Monterrey. IMELF-MCC exemplifies one of the positive outcomes of this growing relationship.”
IMELF -MCC is part of our ongoing series of regionally hosted IMELF meetings, tailored to the local context. Learn more about IMELF on our website.