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NewsThe Assessment Innovation Task Force gets underway

The Assessment Innovation Task Force gets underway

February 22, 2021

Medical education and assessment are in constant evolution, shaped by the changing landscape in which physicians are practising and caring for patients in Canada. This evolution, coupled with the impacts of a global pandemic, has led to the initiation of the Assessment Innovation Task Force (AITF). The group’s 12-month aim is to provide the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) with the insights required to continue to lead and be active participants in conversations about requirements for medical licensing – offering forethought and options to Medical Regulatory Authorities and other stakeholders.

On December 3, 2020, Dr. Kevin Eva, Associate Director and Senior Scientist in the Centre for Health Education Scholarship and Professor and Director of Education Research and Scholarship in the Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC), was officially appointed by the MCC Council as the chair of the AITF and work began (read more). This independent group is tasked with:

  • Reviewing the evolving landscape of health-care delivery
  • Identifying new core physician competencies required with a focus on patient outcomes in light of the move to virtual and technology-enabled care
  • Liaising with partner assessment organizations on appropriate assessment modalities developing a collaborative approach to delivery
  • Informing future strategic planning activities for the MCC

Now fully formed, the AITF met as a full group for the first time on January 22, 2021, enthusiastic to start their work. The 10 additional members of the Task Force were carefully selected to cover a breadth of expertise and extensive experience in key national and provincial regulatory, education and assessment organizations. They are:

  • Dr. Armand Aalamian, Assistant Director, Medical Education Division, Collège des médecins du Québec (CMQ)
  • Dr. Elizabeth Bannister, Vice-Chair, National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) International Medical Graduate (IMG) Alliance
  • Dr. Jack Boulet, Psychometrics Consultant
  • Dr. Beth Ann Cummings, Assistant Dean, Health Professions Education; Associate Member, Institute of Health Sciences Education; and Associate Professor of Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University
  • Dr. Victor Do, PGY-1, Pediatrics, University of Toronto
  • Dr. Nancy Dudek, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)
  • Dr. Brent Kvern, Director, Certification and Examinations, College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)
  • Dr. Monica Ott, Canadian Armed Forces
  • Dr. Karen Mazurek, Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FMRAC) Liaison
  • Dr. Lyn Sonnenberg, Associate Dean, Education Innovation & Academic Technologies, University of Alberta

The first six months of the 12-month mandate will be focused on consultation and information gathering; reviewing key documents and the MCC’s strategic plans, commissioning white papers on specific topics, and conducting focus group and individual consultations to learn from trainees, key stakeholders, medical educators, and international authorities in medical licensing. Once the group has assessed the current situation and key issues, they will formulate recommendations and conduct further consultations. Dr. Eva explains: “We are starting with an effort to imagine what could be, our objective being to look at the big picture and carefully determining what the MCC should aim to accomplish before diving into what the particular strategies regarding how to get there are.”

Task Force members have already reached out to over 50 key informants to set up meetings and consultations that will aid in understanding the perspective of thought and assessment leaders within Canada and across the world. These individuals include physicians, educators, assessment specialists, learners and residents. “We have requested position statements from the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC), CMQ, CFPC, FMRAC, the IMG Alliance, RCPSC, and various resident and medical student organizations. If anyone has insights or a perspective they wish to share, we invite them to reach out to their professional organizations, so their messages can be relayed to the Task Force,” says Dr. Eva.

Information on the AITF’s progress will be shared via the MCC communications channels.