Implementation of Competency-Based Medical Education in a Canadian Medical Oncology Training Program: a First Year Retrospective Review

J Cancer Educ. 2020 Oct 27. doi: 10.1007/s13187-020-01895-y. Online ahead of print.


As part of a university-wide initiative, competency-based medical education (CBME) was implemented in the Medical Oncology training program at Queen's University in July 2017. Stages, entrustable professional activities (EPAs), and required training experiences established by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) national subspecialty committee were adopted. Entrada (Elentra), the electronic portfolio developed at Queen's University, was used for assessment collection. Between July 2017 and December 2018, participating faculty members completed 157 assessments. Eighty-nine percent were EPA assessments with a median of 16 assessments per faculty member (range 1-40). Ninety-five percent of assessments included written "Comments" or "Next steps" with 56% of all assessments including specific or actionable feedback. Discussions between the program director, residents, program administrator, CBME education consultant, and CBME lead led to the identification of 9 lessons learned during implementation. These centered on (1) faculty and resident development and engagement; (2) sharing the work of CBME; (3) collaboration and communication; (4) global assessment; (5) assessment plan challenges; (6) burden of CBME; (7) limitations of e-portfolio; (8) importance of early tracking of resident progress; and (9) culture change. This article describes the experience of the authors and considers strategies that may be helpful to programs implementing CBME in their teaching and learning environment.

Keywords: CBME; Competency-based; Implementation; Postgraduate.