International Residency Education Awards Dinner Spotlight – Ubuntu (I am because we are): Shifting the paradigm and building a new architecture for residency education

September 20, 2022 | Author: Royal College Staff
Flavia Senkubuge

We sat down with Flavia Senkubuge, MD, FCPHM, PhD, MBA, our keynote speaker to discuss in-depth the details of her awards dinner address scheduled for Saturday, October 29 at ICRE 2022.   

Q: Can you expand on the philosophy of Ubuntu and the social values it is founded on?

A: The Ubuntu philosophy is long standing in the African society. It means “I am because we are,” therefore, recognizing our interconnectedness. It is founded on the social value of shared humanity.

Q: What are the areas in residency education that need to be improved upon and why?

A: Before talking about the areas of improvement, we need to discuss how and what we believe the journey of residency education should be. For many of us, our residency program was tiresome, hard and a massive lesson in survival. That is not as it should be! Residency training should be a period of growth and reflection. Once that is the cornerstone philosophy, common understanding and commitment, we can then start talking about the areas of improvement. In my mind, our major area of improvement is to re-imagine and redesign our programs that support learning for residents to become excellent physicians and healthy, fulfilled people; programs that authentically celebrate our residents.

Q: How do you see Ubuntu changing the architecture of residency education?

A: Once we recognize our shared humanity with our residents, the game changes. If I can truly and fully understand that I am because of my resident, then everything I do will be in recognition of my shared humanity with the resident. I then fully see that a resident can get tired; that they are moms, dads, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters; you name it. So the first question would be: “Is this environment conducive for excellence and well being?”

You then start crafting a new architecture for residency training, which for example, recognizes that some residents are new moms therefore, there is a need to re-look at policies about bringing babies to work, breast feeding, etc. Another is recognizing that residents get tired as they are human, so that will influence the architecture of ward rounds, call rosters, leave days, etc.

Q: Anything else you want to discuss that I’ve not touched upon?

A: Just that it is an honour it is for me to be at ICRE 2022 and I look forward to meeting and learning from everyone.