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NewsDr. Louis Levasseur Distinguished Service Award: a shared honour among MCC teams

Dr. Louis Levasseur Distinguished Service Award: a shared honour among MCC teams

December 5, 2019

This past September, Yves Lafortune, Director of the Evaluation Bureau for the Medical Council of Canada (MCC), was awarded the Dr. Louis Levasseur Distinguished Service Award, though he is not taking sole credit for it. He extends his thanks saying, “I truly appreciate the recognition, but it’s actually the fruits of labour and teamwork within the department and the organization that have driven positive outcomes.”

For the past 15 years, Mr. Lafortune has demonstrated an unwavering commitment, expertise and selflessness through the many strategic initiatives he has led, embodying the essence of the Dr. Louis Levasseur Distinguished Service Award. Named for the former Chair of the Central Examination Committee, the award is presented annually to an MCC Council member, employee, committee member or to a person whose collaboration has contributed extraordinarily to the vision and mission of the MCC.

As Director of the Evaluation Bureau, Mr. Lafortune leads the teams responsible for the development, production, delivery, administration, and results of all MCC examinations: National Assessment Collaboration Examination, Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part I and the MCCQE Part II.

He estimates that he collaborates with more than 250 physicians each year when considering all the committees and their members who develop content for all the exams. If we take into account all the physicians who help assess clinical skills across the country, he estimates that he has worked with thousands of physicians over the course of his career.

My job is easy because of the people I work with. They are all professionals. And it’s with them that I share the honour of receiving the Dr. Louis Levasseur award. It is easy to be dedicated when you work with dedicated people and to contribute to an organization such as the MCC.”  

Mr. Yves Lafortune,
Director of the Evaluation Bureau, MCC

Mr. Lafortune joined the MCC in 2005 and has had a 40-year career in assessments. His first MCC project involved converting the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE) from paper and pencil to a computer-based format. The exam went on to be administered in 500 test centres located in more than 80 countries and, is one of his proudest achievements. “The project also meant rebuilding the examination. We had a tight schedule to meet. We were able to deliver that examination in 2008. I am definitely proud of that,” he said.

In 2018, Mr. Lafortune and his team oversaw a marked evolution of how the MCCQE Part I was delivered, another proud achievement in his career. The exam is now offered internationally and at an increased frequency of up to five times per year.

Mr. Lafortune’s input was also critical in the release of two educational products designed for international and Canadian medical graduates — the Practice tests for Multiple-Choice Questions and Clinical Decision Making, and the Preparatory Examination.

Yves’ calm demeanour makes him the perfect leader during adverse circumstances and regular operations of the Evaluation Bureau. He leads by example and is always open to new ideas and input from others. His achievements throughout his career speak volumes of his grit, determination, character, and ongoing commitment to management excellence. I consider myself fortunate to work alongside Yves.”

Mr. Pierre Lemay,
Director of the Repository and Registration Centre, MCC 

Looking ahead, Mr. Lafortune is optimistic about the future of assessments as artificial intelligence changes the world we live in. “New technologies are going to impact how we do things significantly,” he stipulates. “Not just operationally at the MCC but also in relation to our assessments. This evolution will continue at a rapid rate of change. The challenge, I believe, will be ensuring we stay ahead of the curve while still taking our time to get it right. It will be important to understand the impact it will have on medical education, on practising physicians and on our future assessments.”

On that, and many other initiatives, Mr. Lafortune continues to share his knowledge and experience on all assessment-related matters with his colleagues and many national and international health organizations. His expertise, which he credits to his team, proves invaluable in reviewing complex assessment issues, developing assessments and examination operations.