Issue No. 3 -   Social Accountability
October 15, 2015
How are we ensuring that we train socially accountable physicians for tomorrow?
FMEC PG Recommendation 2:

Recommendation #2 (Cultivate social accountability through experience in diverse learning and work environments) promotes an increased focus on both individual and collective social accountability. The extent to which these values are embedded in our Canadian residency training programs has been assessed and we are encouraging and asking PGME programs to provide their residents with learning and work experience in diverse environments.

Current Implementation:
  • Program Directors across Canada have been surveyed about the extent to which social accountability is embedded in Canadian postgraduate residency programs.
  • Based on the results of this survey, a 2-page guide highlighting best practices is being developed for dissemination across all medical schools.
  • Recommendations have been put forth to the Royal College, CFPC and CMQ Postgraduate Accreditation Working Groups to address social accountability concepts in their revised accreditation standards.
  • Upcoming workshops at Family Medicine Forum 2015 and the Canadian Conference on Medical Education 2016 will provide forums to discuss the best practices and recommendations developed with the wider medical education community.  Please join us at one of these sessions if you are attending either conference.
To see the full recommendation and transformative actions, please consult the FMEC PG Collective Vision .
About the FMEC PG Implementation Project
The Future of Medical Education in Canada Postgraduate (FMEC PG) Implementation Project is helping to ensure that medical residents in this country continue to receive the best training possible and are able to meet the changing healthcare needs of Canadians.

The FMEC PG Implementation Project is funded by Health Canada and a consortium of four organizations: The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC), The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), Le Collège des médecins du Québec (CMQ) and The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (The Royal College).
Reflections from Dr. Nick Busing, Project Lead

The needs of the Canadian population are ever-changing and beg the question of whether we are training our doctors in the right venues and in the right disciplines to meet these needs. We have a wonderful PGME system in Canada, but one which may be too aligned with traditional ways of training and venues of training to see that needs and expectations are changing. We need to be training all of our residents in environments that reinforce the social accountability mandate of our profession.  The social accountability missions of our medical schools and our certifying bodies may be interpreted in many ways, depending on location, population needs and health priorities.
Is the current training exposing residents to the needs of all Canadians, including the marginalized, the underserved and the aboriginal? Is training flexible enough to help residents learn in all environments, not just in tertiary and quaternary centres? Is the training system providing mentors that reflect the huge and variable needs of Canadians? If the answers to any of these questions is no, then we still have much to do to change the learning environment to one that is more socially accountable. It is a formidable, but not immovable, task.

D r. Nick Busing led transformative change from 2005-2013 as President and CEO of the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada. Prior to joining AFMC, Dr. Busing spent 20 years at the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Medicine. He is a past president of the CFPC and a past chair of the Canadian Medical Forum.