School of Medicine a brave guinea pig

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A new educational model could bring out the best in Queen’s medical school residents.

In 2017, Queen’s School of Medicine will be the first Canadian medical school to adopt competency-based medical education (CBME), a system that evaluates residents on whether they’ve reached a certain level of competency rather than simply the hours spent in a hospital.

Working in a hospital isn’t like taking a test — it’s unpredictable and full of unanticipated challenges. Setting specific learning targets will better ensure residents are getting the know-how they need, and that they aren’t being flung into situations they can’t handle.

Different people also learn at different paces. By looking at each student’s progress individually, physicians can be certain that they’re promoting truly qualified people.

After all, not all medical students who can score high on the MCAT have an equally stellar bedside-manner.

This system can also help lower the possibility of overworked residents making mistakes while cramming in the hours to complete their residency.

Ultimately, each resident may spend a month more or less working under the CBME model than they would under the time-based model. But instead of taking their hours worked as a standard for knowledge-evaluation, we’ll be sure that future Queen’s doctors can handle whatever comes their way.

Journal Editorial Board 

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