Teaching CanMEDS to Ophthalmology Residents in a Post-Modern Era

Rasouli M, Giavedoni L, and Lam W


Purpose: Teaching Canadian Medical Education Directives for the Specialists (CanMEDS) to the Residents is now a mandatory part of every ophthalmology curriculum in Canada. This paper reviews the role of CanMEDS in a post-modern era. We also assess whether the educational tools used in a two-year period in an ophthalmology residency program have been effective. Methods: We report a qualitative analysis of the proficiency of Residents in one ophthalmology program. The first examination included post-graduate year 2 and 3 (PGY-2 and PGY-3) residents, where they were asked to incorporate ethics questions and name six CanMEDS criteria. The second examination which took place a year later, included all the Residents in the program, where they were asked to evaluate case scenarios, keeping the CanMEDS goals in mind. Results: The PGY-2 (n=5) Residents achieved a score of 36% on the ethics questions, and 30% on the naming of the six CanMEDS criteria. The PGY-3 (n=5) Residents achieved 33% on the ethics questions, and 23% on naming the criteria. The Residents’ performance on the subsequent examination improved dramatically. The following is the breakdown of the results: PGY-2 (n=4; scored 98%), PGY-3 (n=5; scored 84%), PGY-4 (n=5; scored 84%), and PGY-5 (n=4; scored 88%). Conclusions: From these preliminary results there seems to be a need for alternate approaches to teaching this topic that goes beyond the traditional classroom environment. We also need to find methods of motivating the trainees to actively think about and implement the CanMEDS principles in their daily approach to treating their patients.

Journal of Academic Ophthalmology 2009: 2: 15-18. (c) Journal of Academic Ophthalmology

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