The CanMeds Role of Collaborator: How Well is it Taught and Assessed According to Faculty and Residents
Berger, Elizabeth D.
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Introduction: Collaboration is critical for the cohesive functioning of medical teams and for job satisfaction of health care providers. The role of being a collaborator is part of the CanMEDs competencies set out by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada to guide physician training. Objective: To explore the perspectives of pediatric residents and faculty about how the role of the collaborator is taught and assessed. Methods: We conducted focus groups for residents and faculty at The Universities of Toronto, Ottawa, Manitoba and Calgary. Data were analyzed by a single investigator using constant comparative analysis. Areas which were complex were sent to two other investigators for analysis until a consensus was reached. Results: Residents report learning about interprofessional collaboration by watching their faculty who modeled collaboration both positively and negatively. However, there was no formal teaching on the role of collaborator. Faculty also did not receive any instruction on how to effectively teach this role. Despite the lack of formal teaching, residents and faculty highly valued the role of collaborator. Our participants identified two main areas in need of improvement: conflict management and intraprofessional collaboration. Lastly, both groups agreed that current methods to assess residents on their performance as collaborators are suboptimal. Conclusions: The CanMEDs role of collaborator is highly valued by residents and faculty. Given its importance and the fact that residents are assessed on this skill on a regular basis, it needs to be a formal part of the residency curriculum. We also need to design curriculum to better educate residents about how to manage conflict and how to navigate intraprofessional relations. Lastly, we need to create innovative methods of assessing residents on this non-medical expert role so that they can receive valuable advice on how to improve their performance and enhance their practice as physicians.