Moving Together Toward Accreditation

Oct 10, 2018

As educators, we regularly ask ourselves how we can improve medical education for our learners. One of our constant goals is to enrich our programs so we can train physicians to meet the future needs of patients in Canada and around the world. 

One way we do this is through accreditation. 

The MD program and Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) division of Post MD Education are each about to embark upon new cycles of accreditation. The Canadian Residency Accreditation Consortium (CanRAC), which includes the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (RCPSC) and the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), and the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) will each run their own processes within a calendar year of one another. 

The MD site visit will be May 3 – 7, 2020. The Postgraduate Medical Education site visit will place in the fall 2020, though the final dates have yet to be announced. 

Professors Patricia Houston and Salvatore SpadaforaProfessors Patricia Houston and Salvatore Spadafora Leading up to these dates, we’ll seek input from many members of our community. We know in a busy environment, with many demands made for your time and information, these requests can seem like yet another burden. However, as the accreditation processes have evolved since the last cycles, we have a new opportunity to harmonize our efforts. 

By working together, we hope to streamline participation for our various stakeholders — including staff, students, faculty and alumni — which, in turn, will help us collect high quality data. Where possible, we plan to harmonize these processes. 

For example, since both programs must report on clinical learning environments at our affiliated hospitals, we’re refining a survey originally created to gather data about the Post MD residency programs to collect information that will also meet the needs of the MD Data Collection Instrument. Though each accrediting body has different requirements, we can tailor information to meet each organization’s criteria. 

Accreditation is an important milestone in our continual quality improvement efforts, but we believe there are many reasons to be self-reflective and to make continuous enhancements to our educational offerings and environments.  

We’ve established a variety of mechanisms to support this process. In our MD Program, we gather information on an ongoing basis through course evaluations and teacher evaluations. Each spring, the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada invites feedback from undergraduate learners through the Graduation Questionnaire. In the residency programs, we offer rotation evaluations, teacher assessments and regular Internal Review processes to share thoughts with program directors or committees.

Collaborating also helps us support one another toward complying with the RCPSC, CFPC and CACMS standards. In response to an MD Program accreditation requirement, PGME adjusted its prerequisite for residents who teach clerkship learners. Because residents take on these teaching roles early in their training, they must now complete the online module, Teaching in Residency, by September 30th of their first postgraduate year instead of by the end of PGY2.

Here are some of the upcoming events in each process:

MD Program

Independent Student Analysis — began September 2018, currently ongoing
Data Collection — January 2019 to summer 2019
Medical School Self-study — Steering committee to be confirmed in December 2018, five subcommittees will review the Data Collection Instrument from August 2019 to January 2020
Site Visit — May 3 – 7, 2020.
CACMS/LCME Accreditation Decision — October 2020

PGME Division of Post MD Education

Internal review — in progress
Pilot of Accreditation Management System — currently being piloted, will be in place for on-site survey in 2020
On-site survey — fall 2020, exact dates to be determined
RCPSC and CFPC Accreditation Decisions — March 2021

As the cycles draw closer, we’ll find more ways to make these processes as efficient as possible to provide the greatest benefit to our learners, faculty and staff. We’d like to thank Laura Leigh Murgaski, Program Manager, Accreditation and Education Quality System (Post MD Education), Linda Probyn, Chair of the Internal Review Committee, Glen Bandiera, Associate Dean, PGME and Chris Jones, Project Manager, Accreditation (MD Program) for their work laying the foundation for these initiatives.

Patricia Houston
Professor, Department of Anesthesia
Vice Dean, MD Program

Salvatore Spadafora  
Professor, Department of Anesthesia
Vice Dean, Post MD Education (PGME & CPD) 

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