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Grant Recipients

Royal College Research on Competency-based Medical Education Grant Recipients

Sayra Cristancho

Sayra Cristancho, PhD

Assistant professor, Centre for Education Research & Innovation, Dept. of Surgery and Faculty of Education, Western University

Project Title: “Investigating how small groups make decisions about medical trainees: Implications for Clinical Competence Committees”

Clinical Competence Committees (CCCs) will play a vital role in Competence by Design: they will provide personalized guidance for residents and determine their readiness to advance to the next phase of training; yet, CCCs have received little attention and we have almost no empirical basis for understanding how their members (as a group) will make decisions about resident progress. Through this project, we will develop a conceptual model of the decision-making processes of CCCs across multiple specialties. This work will contribute a process to monitor and better understand the decision-making practices of CCCs. Our hope is that this research could also be used to outline a coherent framework for nationwide, prospective research in CCCs. Both potential applications may enhance the learning experience for residents by offering a model for systematically optimizing CCC decision-making.

Project keywords: competence committees, group decision-making, assessment, competency-based medical education

Laura McEwen, PhD

Laura McEwen, PhD

Director of Assessment & Evaluation, Postgraduate Medical Education Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen’s University

Project Title: “Operationalizing Programmatic Assessment: Practice Guidelines with descriptions of stakeholder activities”

Although there are validated frameworks to inform the development and evaluation of competency-based programmatic assessment (PA), these tools are of limited utility to the users of these assessment systems. This is particularly challenging given our impending transition to a Competence by Design residency education model and the Royal College’s expectation that a PA approach will be adopted nationally. The purpose of our research is to address this gap by constructing a practice-focused framework to guide the implementation of competency-based PA by various stakeholder groups. We will pilot this framework in multiple programs to gather evidence of its acceptability, utility and applicability in practice. We anticipate the product of our work (the Programmatic Assessment Practice-focused Framework) to support the process of knowledge translation and to help bridge the current research-practice gap. Ultimately, we envision this knowledge tool not only supporting the initial implementation of competency-based PA, but also serving to support ongoing refinements.

Project keywords: competency-based medical education (CBME), programmatic assessment, knowledge translation

Katherine Moreau, PhD

Katherine Moreau, PhD

Assistant professor, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa Affiliate investigator, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute

Project Title: “Patient Involvement in learner assessment: A mixed-methods study”

Competence by Design (CBD) requires the assessment of learners through direct observations and the inclusion of multiple assessors. It also involves the development of programs of assessment that encompass various assessment strategies. Patients and their family members (herein referred to as patients) can be valuable contributors to programs of assessment. Patients, armed with first-hand knowledge of how learners interact with them, can assess learners’ non-technical skills (NTS). However, the plans for as well as the extent and nature of patient involvement in the assessment of learners’ NTS within and across Canadian programs (which are transitioning or have transitioned to CBD) are unknown. By exploring and documenting the plans for, and the present state of patient involvement in learner assessment within these programs, we can identify the types of resources and activities needed to advance and sustain patient involvement in the assessment of learners’ NTS within CBD.

Project keywords: assessment, mixed-methods, patients, families

Christina St-Onge PhD

Christina St-Onge, PhD

Professeure agrégée, Département de médecine, Centre de pédagogie des sciences de la santé, Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé, Université de Sherbrooke

Aliki Thomas, PhD, OT

Aliki Thomas, PhD, OT

Assistant Professor, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University

Project Title: “Assessment - Developmental Progress Assessment: Exploring the Basis for Best Practices”

Our study addresses an issue at the core of the success of competency-based medical education (CBME): the assessment of developmental progress (DPA) and, more importantly, the identification of potential facilitators and barriers that could affect its implementation. DPA is expected to be omnipresent throughout postgraduate medical education and continued professional development. Although it will take on different forms, its purpose will be to inform trainees and practitioners of their progression on the competence continuum. Given that part of the success of CBME rests on the purposeful and appropriate implementation of DPA, the design and development of theory-driven and tailored knowledge translation activities is of the upmost importance. This work will lay the foundation for robust knowledge translation activities, which we aim to pursue in a subsequent study.

Project keywords: assessment, measurement, validity, validation, knowledge-translation, implementation-science, knowledge-synthesis, evidence-informed HPE