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The future of medical education: a Canadian environmental scan

Authors

  • Brian D Hodges,

    1. Wilson Centre for Research in Education, University Health Network, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Mathieu Albert,

    1. Wilson Centre for Research in Education, University Health Network, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Delphine Arweiler,

    1. Wilson Centre for Research in Education, University Health Network, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    2. Centre for Applied Teaching in Health Sciences (Centre de Pédagogie Appliquée aux Sciences de la Santé [CPASS]), University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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  • Spogmai Akseer,

    1. Wilson Centre for Research in Education, University Health Network, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Glen Bandiera,

    1. Wilson Centre for Research in Education, University Health Network, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Niall Byrne,

    1. Wilson Centre for Research in Education, University Health Network, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Bernard Charlin,

    1. Centre for Applied Teaching in Health Sciences (Centre de Pédagogie Appliquée aux Sciences de la Santé [CPASS]), University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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  • Philippe Karazivan,

    1. Centre for Applied Teaching in Health Sciences (Centre de Pédagogie Appliquée aux Sciences de la Santé [CPASS]), University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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  • Ayelet Kuper,

    1. Wilson Centre for Research in Education, University Health Network, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Jerry Maniate,

    1. Wilson Centre for Research in Education, University Health Network, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Bernard Millette,

    1. Centre for Applied Teaching in Health Sciences (Centre de Pédagogie Appliquée aux Sciences de la Santé [CPASS]), University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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  • Emilie Noyeau,

    1. Centre for Applied Teaching in Health Sciences (Centre de Pédagogie Appliquée aux Sciences de la Santé [CPASS]), University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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  • Sandra Parker,

    1. Wilson Centre for Research in Education, University Health Network, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Scott Reeves

    1. Wilson Centre for Research in Education, University Health Network, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Brian D Hodges, Wilson Centre, Toronto General Hospital, 200 Elizabeth Street, Suite 1ES565, Toronto, Ontario M5G 2C6, Canada. Tel: 00 1 416 340 3079; Fax: 00 1 416 340 3792; E-mail: brian.hodges@utoronto.ca

Abstract

Medical Education 2011: 45: 95–106

Objectives  One hundred years after the Flexner report remade medical education in North America, many countries are reviewing the purpose and organisation of medical education. In Canada, a national study is being undertaken to define important issues and challenges for the future of medical education. The objectives of this paper are to describe the process of conducting an empirical environmental scan at a national level, and to present the research findings of this scan.

Methods  Thirty national key informant interviews were conducted, transcribed and coded to identify key themes. Interview data were triangulated with data sourced from 34 commissioned literature reviews and a series of national focus groups.

Results  Ten key issues or priorities were identified and used to generate detailed review papers used by the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada to create a blueprint for the evolution of medical education. The new priorities have major implications for areas ranging from admissions, curriculum content, educational process and the need to articulate the purpose and responsibilities of medical schools in society.

Discussion  This research provides a case study of how an empirical research approach can be used to identify and validate priorities for changes in medical education at a national level. This approach may be of interest in other countries.

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