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NewsMCC projects, activities and achievements – June 2023 update

MCC projects, activities and achievements – June 2023 update

June 15, 2023

In the December issue of the Echo Newsletter, we provided a retrospective of 2022 and set the stage for the projects we anticipated this year. The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) continues to work towards solutions with our collaborators and partners, exploring streamlined pathways to licensure and their requirements to alleviate the ongoing pressure on physicians and needs of patients in this country.

The team at the MCC is also striving towards improving accessibility to our assessments and services for Canadian medical graduates as well as international medical graduates.

This is an update of the grant-funded projects that are contributing to these objectives:

Blueprint renewal project

In keeping with best practices for examination blueprints or frameworks, the MCC has recently undertaken a blueprint renewal project with the following goals:

  • Reviewing and making appropriate revisions to the MCC Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part I blueprint, including its various content dimensions, and definitions
  • Aligning the National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Examination blueprint with the MCCQE Part I blueprint while ensuring that it is done in the most appropriate way for the NAC format
  • Identifying new and emerging competencies relevant to entry into postgraduate training and practice-ready assessment (PRA) programs in Canada

The MCC Blueprint Project team has begun collecting data from a wide variety of sources. In late 2023, this data will be presented to a panel of external subject matter experts charged with making recommendations to the MCC on the nature of its revised blueprints.

Modernization of the MCCQE Part I

After several months of research, collection of key data points, expert consultation, and operational considerations, the project team is defining a new MCCQE Part I assessment model to be implemented as of April 2025. These changes will facilitate a faster release of results and a better candidate experience. Here are some of the key adjustments:

  • We will implement improved testing to break time allocation, with a period of no more than 3 hours before a scheduled break (currently up to 4.5 hours in the morning section).
  • Problem-solving and decision-making skills in the resolution of clinical cases will continue to be assessed effectively using only multiple-choice questions.

Additional information about the changes to the exam experience will continue to be reflected on our website and provided to candidates in 2024.

Introduction of the National Registry of Physicians (NRP)

An innovative platform to improve access to health care in Canada, the NRP will facilitate information sharing to support physician registration and licensure. This project received initial support from 12 provincial and territorial medical regulatory authorities.

Review and reframing of the Communication and Cultural Competence (CCC) Program

As part of the grant-funded projects, the MCC planned to adapt our existing CCC program to include priority content.

Since that time, the landscape of health care has changed significantly and there is growing awareness and action around diversity and equity. Physicians, both those trained in Canada and those trained abroad, are increasingly being expected to demonstrate cultural competence and encouraged to engage in education for success in their assessment and practice. This expectation has led to more information and resources becoming available.

With the collaboration of NAC PRA program directors, from November 2022 to March 2023, valuable work was completed looking at existing cultural competency orientation resources. The MCC shared a report in which we compiled and curated some of these resources. In many cases, resources are developed and maintained by equity-deserving groups and subject matter experts on topics including Black health, Indigenous health, mental health, 2SLGBTQQIA+ health, substance use, and others.

Rather than duplicating their effort through the development of new modules, we will direct candidates to the source and their reference resources.

We plan to continue to curate the highest quality cultural competency education available and to evaluate required improvements in our existing modules, which remain available on physiciansapply.ca.

Redesign of the MCC website for an improved user experience

The MCC website remains our main communication channel with candidates and interested parties. Work is underway to redesign the site with the objective of integrating the physiciansapply.ca portal right into our main website and providing users with intuitive navigation.

Some of the planned improvements include the following:

  • Providing a single bilingual website that features easier access to user portals
  • Updating the examination objectives content
  • Increasing the accessibility of content

The launch of the redesigned mcc.ca website is anticipated in early 2024.

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What’s next?

We are also gearing up for our 2023 MCC Annual Meeting to be held in Ottawa, Ontario, from September 27 through 28. Invitees will receive additional details in early summer.

Over the next 12 months, the MCC expects changes and opportunities that will both reinvigorate and challenge the organization and its teams. We will bid farewell to Dr. Maureen Topps at the end of 2023 and welcome a new chief executive officer and new council members to continue guiding our organization in achieving the highest level of medical care in Canada.