As Leaders, physicians engage with others to contribute to a vision of a high-quality health care system and take responsibility for the delivery of excellent patient care through their activities as clinicians, administrators, scholars, or teachers.


The CanMEDS Leader Role describes the engagement of all physicians in shared decision making for the operation and ongoing evolution of the health care system. As a societal expectation, physicians demonstrate collaborative leadership and management within the health care system. At a system level, physicians contribute to the development and delivery of continuously improving health care and engage with others in working toward this goal. Physicians integrate their personal lives with their clinical, administrative, scholarly, and teaching responsibilities. They function as individual care providers, as members of teams, and as participants and leaders in the health care system locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.


  • Administration: 4.1, 4.2 
  • Career development: 4.2 
  • Complexity of systems: 1.1 
  • Consideration of justice, efficiency, and effectiveness in the allocation of health care resources: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 2.2 
  • Effective committee participation: 3.2 
  • Health human resources: 2.1, 4.2
  • Information technology for health care: 1.4 
  • Leading change: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.2, 3.2 
  • Management of personnel: 4.2 
  • Negotiation: 3.1 
  • Organizing, structuring, budgeting, and financing: 2.1, 2.2, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3
  • Personal leadership skills: 3.1, 4.1 
  • Physician remuneration: 4.2 
  • Physician roles and responsibilities in the health care system: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.2, 3.2 
  • Physicians as active participant-architects within the health care system: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 3.2 
  • Practice management to maintain a sustainable practice and physician health: 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 
  • Priority-setting: 2.1, 3.2, 4.1 
  • Quality improvement: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.2, 3.2, 4.3 
  • Stewardship: 2.1, 2.2
  • Supervising others: 4.2
  • Systems thinking: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 2.2 
  • Time management: 4.1, 4.2 

Key competencies

Enabling competencies

Physicians are able to: 
  • 1. Contribute to the improvement of health care delivery in teams, organizations, and systems
  • 1.1 Apply the science of quality improvement to contribute to improving systems of patient care 
  • 1.2 Contribute to a culture that promotes patient safety 
  • 1.3 Analyze patient safety incidents to enhance systems of care 
  • 1.4 Use health informatics to improve the quality of patient care and optimize patient safety
  • 2. Engage in the stewardship of health care resources
  • 2.1 Allocate health care resources for optimal patient care 
  • 2.2 Apply evidence and management processes to achieve cost-appropriate care
  • 3. Demonstrate leadership in professional practice
  • 3.1 Demonstrate leadership skills to enhance health care 
  • 3.2 Facilitate change in health care to enhance services and outcomes
  • 4. Manage career planning, finances, and health human resources in a practice
  • 4.1 Set priorities and manage time to integrate practice and personal life 
  • 4.2 Manage a career and a practice 
  • 4.3 Implement processes to ensure personal practice improvement


Where are these tools from?

Many of the tools were originally developed for the CanMEDS Teaching and Assessment Tools Guide.

The title codes on the tools are maintained to allow quick cross-referencing between the CanMEDS Tools Guide and this online registry (e.g. T1, T2, A1)

The tools are part of the Royal College’s commitment to support the roll-out of CanMEDS 2015.

lightbulb in circleTips on using these Tools

  • Many of the Tools are designed to use as-is (i.e. no further work required)
  • Some tools are also available in MSWord format. This allows you to easily manipulate the ‘bones’ of the tool and customize it for your own use
  • When reproducing and modifying the tools, please maintain the footer that acknowledges the source

To maximize the utility of these tools, you should:

  • Clarify the teaching and assessment goals of your specific context;
  • Select the right tools to match the particular needs and goals of your specific context; and
  • Combine Roles and tools in an effective and efficient manner