Living in a World of Change: Bridging the Gap from Competency-Based Medical Education Theory to Practice in Canada

Jeffrey Damon Dagnone*, Ming Ka Chan, Diane Meschino, Glen Bandiera, Corry Den Rooyen, Anne Matlow, Laura McEwen, Fedde Scheele, Rhonda St. Croix

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Within graduate medical education, many educators are experiencing a climate of significant change. One transformation, competency-based medical education (CBME), is occurring simultaneously across much of the world, and implementation will require navigating numerous tensions and paradoxes. Successful transformation requires many types of power and is most likely to happen when the medical education community of professionals is engaged in designing, experimenting, acting, and sensemaking together. In this complex climate, the craft of change facilitators and community leaders is needed more than ever. National top-down policies and structures, while important, are not sufficient. The operationalization of new advances is best done when local leaders are afforded room to shape their local context. An evidence-based approach to thinking about the transformative change associated with CBME needs to be adopted. In this age of entrustment, 3 priorities are paramount: (1) engage, entrust, and empower professionals with increasing shared ownership of the innovation; (2) better prepare education professionals in leadership and transformational change techniques in the complex system of medical education; and (3) leverage the wider community of practice to maximize local CBME customization. These recommendations, although based largely on the Canadian experience, are intended to inform CBME transformation in any context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1643-1646
Number of pages4
JournalAcademic Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

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