Remember your residency training? Here’s a preview of how it’s changing

Andrew Padmos
August 31, 2016 | Author: Dr. Andrew Padmos

Dear colleagues,

Most of us can clearly recall our time as residents – whether it was five, 20 or even 40 years ago. Those are years of incredible expansion of the mind, of first experiences and the building blocks of lifelong friendships.

And while we each have our unique experiences, we all share the memory of prevailing under a certain system of training and approach to skills development, assessment and examination. But what we collectively experienced is evolving.

I’ve spoken numerous times — including on this blog— about our Competence by Design (CBD) initiative and how it’s changing residency education  by introducing a competency-based approach to training and assessment. These changes will increase the frequency and quality of clinical observations, documentation and feedback from the beginning foundations of training to specialty certification and, eventually, beyond. (Discussions on the impact on continuing professional development are already underway).

Preview how MAINPORT ePortfolio will simplify assessment under CBD

A short time ago, I was given a preview of the changes that are being introduced to MAINPORT to support competency-based assessment, planning and learning in residency education. I’d like to share with you the presentation that accompanied that prototype demo to help you visualize just how valuable a tool MAINPORT ePortfolio (Residency Prototype 1) will be for programs that choose to use it when they adopt CBD. These slides also give you an idea of how MAINPORT ePortfolio will eventually be altered to support competency-based professional development.

Sneak peek of MAINPORT ePortfolio (Residency Prototype 1)
See how assessment using MAINPORT ePortfolio will work for learners, observers, program directors and a Competence Committee. (Format: PowerPoint slides)

This residency prototype is available for field testing by our early cohort disciplines. Fellows and others who currently use MAINPORT ePortfolio for their Maintenance of Certification will not see any changes to their accounts at this time.

It takes a village: introducing change to residency education

In partnership with Canada’s 17 medical schools, the Royal College is responsible for ensuring that postgraduate medical education is of the highest quality so that physicians are adequately prepared for modern practice. I think we all recognize that medicine has advanced. Societal needs and demands have transformed; diagnostics, medication and treatment options have progressed; and disease burdens and profiles have changed. We need to have a training system that qualifies new graduates to face these realities. CBD is a big implementation project but, at its core, deals with the reasonable progression of postgraduate training, and continuing onto our lifelong learning as practising specialists. This includes embracing technological solutions, like MAINPORT ePortfolio, to reduce the time and administrative burden.

The old adage, it takes a village, applies here. The design of this new system is a team effort led by a contingent of committed Fellows and partners from medical schools and organizations from across Canada. These include deans at all levels, clinicians, clinician-educators, surveyors, examiners and others. This is not just a Royal College effort.

If you’d like to stay informed of our progress along the way, I encourage you to sign-up for our CBD Community Touchpoint newsletter. A new issue will be released in September.


Andrew Padmos, BA, MD, FRCPC, FACP
Chief Executive Officer





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Avatar Ted Wilson | September 1, 2016
As one person involved in your training more than 40 years ago, I will sign in. Pat and I are well considering our ages. Hope you and your Pat are as well. Ted Wilson