Sept. 17, 2013


For immediate release: Sept. 17, 2013

Medical Council of Canada taking stock of the new blueprint for the Qualifying Examination

Ottawa – The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) reviewed the proposed blueprint for its exams and discussed other key initiatives at its 101st Annual Meeting, which took place from Sept. 15 to 17, 2013 at the Ottawa Convention Centre. The blueprint is a critical design framework that defines specific competencies to assess in MCC exams, including in the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE).

“This is a fundamental shift for the Medical Council of Canada,” said Dr. Michael Marrin, 2011-2013 President of the MCC. “This new blueprint moves us away from a focus on medical disciplines, to a more holistic approach looking at physician activities and dimensions of care. A new emphasis will be placed on assessing physicians’ communication skills, professionalism, and ability to manage the psychosocial aspects of medical care.”

The proposed new blueprint includes assessments leading up to two important stages in the physician’s career: entry into supervised medical practice (or residency) and entry into an unsupervised independent practice. While the blueprint for both decisions points is identical, the content weightings are different. For example, in the proposed new blueprint, assessment of the chronic dimension of care forms a larger part of the assessments for the physician entering independent practice than for the physician entering residency, reflecting the nature of complex medical cases that the physician is likely to encounter later in his or her career.

“We are very appreciative that the Council endorsed the Blueprint project process, and provided rich feedback that we can consider as we move ahead,” said Dr. Ramses Wassef, Chair of the Central Examination Committee and Chair of the Blueprint project Governance Board. “We’re looking forward to continuing with our stakeholder consultations in fall 2013, leading up to the approval of a final blueprint in January 2014.”

After the final approval, the MCC will move to the second phase of the project, which involves re-classifying its examination content to the new blueprint requirements and developing new examination content. The MCC plans to launch MCCQE examinations based on the new blueprint in 2017.

The Medical Council of Canada strives to achieve the highest level of medical care for Canadians through excellence in evaluation of physicians. It assesses over 11,000 medical students and graduates each year through its examinations. Its exams are offered in both official languages in sites across Canada, and in the case of the MCCEE, in over 500 locations in 80 countries.


For more information:

Jessica Hertzog-Grenier
Director of Communications
Medical Council of Canada
613-521-6012, ext. 2277