Phoenix Fellows and Grantees

Ayelet Kuper

2012 AMS Phoenix Fellow
Co-sponsor Organization
University of Toronto
Research Theme

Teaching the Non-Medical Expert CanMEDS Roles: Broadening the Curriculum Beyond Bioscience

The standard education that medical students and residents receive in medical school is focused almost entirely on biomedical science. Over the past three decades, Canada has led the way in identifying many non-scientific areas in which physicians and other health professionals need to be competent in order to practice effectively and be responsive to the needs of patients. These non-scientific areas include communicating effectively with patients, establishing good working relationships with other health professionals, and advocating for patients’ needs.

Phase 1 of the project involved identifying the forms of knowledge beyond bioscience (from the social sciences and humanities [SSH]) that need to be in the medical curriculum to best support the development of physicians who are fully competent in all the CanMEDS Roles. Fifty-eight non-clinician faculty members with doctoral training in the SSH were interviewed. The data were coded both top-down (by CanMEDS Role) and bottom-up (thematically), which yielded a rich trove of potential curricular content linked to and underpinning each Role. Phase 2 is now underway to understand how the provision of SSH knowledge underpinning the non-Medical Expert CanMEDS roles is implemented in different systems, institutions, and curricula.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Integration of the results of this work into medical education programs across the province (and beyond) with a focus on broadening the social science and humanities contents in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education.
  • Translation of findings into programs focused on the education and training of nonphysician healthcare professionals.
  • Advocacy for incorporating findings into national policy documents (as well as highlighting their utility for meeting current accreditation requirements).