The competency-based medical education evolution of Canadian emergency medicine specialist training Journal Articles uri icon

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  • ABSTRACTCanadian specialist emergency medicine (EM) residency training is undergoing the most significant transformation in its history. This article describes the rationale, process, and redesign of EM competency-based medical education. The rationale for this evolution in residency education includes 1) improved public trust by increasing transparency of the quality and rigour of residency education, 2) improved fiscal accountability to government and institutions regarding specialist EM training, 3) improved assessment systems to replace poor functioning end-of-rotation assessment reports and overemphasis on high-stakes, end-of-training examinations, and 4) and tailored learning for residents to address individualized needs. A working group with geographic and stakeholder representation convened over a 2-year period. A consensus process for decision-making was used. Four key design features of the new residency education design include 1) specialty EM-specific outcomes to be achieved in residency; 2) designation of four progressive stages of training, linked to required learning experiences and entrustable professional activities to be achieved at each stage; 3) tailored learning that provides residency programs and learner flexibility to adapt to local resources and learner needs; and 4) programmatic assessment that emphasizes systematic, longitudinal assessments from multiple sources, and sampling sentinel abilities. Required future study includes a program evaluation of this complex education intervention to ensure that intended outcomes are achieved and unintended outcomes are identified.


  • Sherbino, Jonathan
  • Bandiera, Glen
  • Doyle, Ken
  • Frank, Jason R
  • Holroyd, Brian R
  • Jones, Gord
  • Norum, Joanne
  • Snider, Carolyn
  • Magee, Kirk

publication date

  • January 2020