MedEd Ad Infinitum

Jul 26, 2017

Professor Salvatore SpadaforaProfessor Salvatore Spadafora When you commit yourself to being a healthcare professional, you’re committing yourself to lifelong learning. When the Post MD Education portfolio was created two years ago combining Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD), it was to recognize the continuum of education that follows the foundational training provided by the MD Program and other health professions education. From residency and fellowships to continuing professional development, our aim is to sustain our learning as long as we practice and to remain on the forefront of care as knowledge goes from the laboratory bench to the bedside.

While the summer months on campus may seem restful, for the Post MD portfolio, it’s one of our busiest times of the year. At the beginning of July, we welcomed our newest cohort of 407 residents in first year, and hundreds of subspecialty residents and fellows. For the fifth year in a row, U of T was the only medical school in Canada to fill all of its entry positions in the first round. This success is a testament to the high quality of our residency programs and the considerable efforts of our program directors, program assistants, residency selection committees and other faculty and staff.

First-year residents 2017 (breakdown)First-year residents 2017 (breakdown) Associate Dean Glen Bandiera oversees the PGME component of this portfolio, the scale and complexity of which cannot be overstated. We oversee 75 residency programs accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or the College of Family Physicians of Canada in 31 affiliated training sites. He is also helping to implement Competency by Design (CBD), which will bring competency-based education to specialty training. CBD began this month for Anesthesiology and Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, with all other specialties expected to implement the evaluation framework by 2022 (a timeline for each specialty can be found here). The implementation of CBD is a massive change, not just within U of T, but across the country. However, this change is transformative and will ultimately better serve our patients, our trainees and the profession. We are grateful to Professor Bandiera and our program directors and education leads in our clinical departments who are helping to implement this important evolution of medical education in Canada. 

No less complex is our CPD portfolio, which is overseen by Associate Dean Suzan Schneeweiss. We offer nearly 400 accredited CPD events and conferences each year that attract more than 40,000 learners, including approximately 8,000 U of T Medicine alumni. In addition to supporting conference directors deliver important learning opportunities, CPD partners with groups like the Centre for Faculty Development, IDEAS, and The Wilson Centre to advance pedagogical training and curriculum development. 

By bringing PGME and CPD together under a single portfolio, we are co-creating a system where training isn’t a series of silos that learners are passed between. The continuum of learning that focuses on individualized training customized to meet the needs of the learner — that is our ultimate goal!  It’s about putting aside organizational structures to ensure the Faculty of Medicine is ready to support health professionals from the moment they graduate to the moment they choose to hang up their stethoscope for the last time. And thanks to the hard work of members of the Post MD Education portfolio, we are ready to rise to the challenge.

Salvatore M. Spadafora
Professor, Department of Anesthesia
Vice Dean, Post MD Education


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