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Campus and community news: February 2019

Campus and community news: February 2019


[photo of flowers blooming on Queen's campus]

How building a culture of feedback is developing better doctors

For Julia Tai, a second-year resident in the Department of internal Medicine, competency-based medical education (CBME) is closely associated in her mind with a regular event in her department: Feedback Friday.

During Feedback Friday sessions, one resident must leave a team-wide meeting so that all the other members of the team – the attending staff, medical students, and other residents – can discuss the absent learner’s performance. After the meeting, the resident who left he room receives a detailed assessment based on the discussion.

[photo of Julia Tai, a medical resident at Queen's]
Julia Tai. Photo by Michael Ferguson

The first time Dr. Tai was the subject of Feedback Friday, she was terrified. After she walked out of the room, all she could do was wait and try not to think about what they might be saying. As scared as she was, though, Dr. Tai also says she was excited because she knew the assessments that were going to come out of the meeting were going to make her a better doctor.

Feedback Friday is one tool among many that Internal Medicine is using to implement CBME. The idea behind it is to give all the members of the program a chance to develop honest, constructive criticism for each resident. Dr. Tai sees Feedback Friday as evidence of the culture that CBME is creating at Queen’s – a culture in which everyone is comfortable asking for, giving, and receiving feedback.

When Dr. Tai was choosing which schools to rank for the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) process, she was attracted to Queen’s for many reasons, but one unique feature stood out: the fact that it would be launching CBME across all specialty training programs when she would start.

What makes CBME exciting for Dr. Tai is the fact that she is encouraged to take a leadership role in her own education. Under CBME, Dr. Tai and her fellow residents are always expected to ask their preceptors for feedback and check in as to whether they are progressing satisfactorily through the stages of the program. If they think they’ve worked on a case that builds one of the skills they are trying to develop, it is completely normal for them to ask a faculty member to provide an assessment on their progress.

The residents in the Department of Internal Medicine, though, do not always need to initiate the conversations about their progress. Every four months, Dr. Tai meets one-on-one with her academic adviser. In these meetings, the two of them review her work and evaluate how well she is moving toward her goals.

Based on these regular meetings, Dr. Tai’s adviser develops a report on whether or not she is ready to move on to the next stage of the program. This report is then submitted to the Competency Committee, the members of which make the final decision on a resident’s progress. There are four stages in the program: Transition to Discipline, Foundations of Discipline, Core Discipline, and Transition to Practice. Each one of these stages provides residents with different skills to focus on and different goals to reach. All residents progress through these stages at their own pace. the stage each learner is in is also kept confidential, which enables residents to focus on their own progress rather than on comparing themselves to others.

Halfway through her three-year program, Dr. Tai is proud of how much she has learned and how far she has come as a physician. And she believes that her growth has been greatly assisted by CBME, which has enabled her to have a sense of ownership over her education.

♦ Andrew Willson

The Review reported on the implementation of competency-based medical education at Queen’s in Issue 4-2017. Read “The evolution of medical education” online.

Supporting future success

New graduates have been given a unique opportunity for employment thanks to a donation from benefactor and parent of a Queen’s Arts and Science graduate, Alan Rottenberg. The funding has been used to create the Queen’s Career Apprenticeship: Kingston program.

Employers who commit to a one-year, full-time job with training built in for a new graduate are reimbursed for four months of the gross salary to a maximum of $4,000 per month. The ultimate goal is that the employees will continue on after the completion of the apprenticeship. In 2019, the program will provide funding for 35 new apprenticeships.

Designed for arts and humanities graduates, the apprenticeship program is a joint effort between Queen’s Faculty of Arts and Science and the Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO). The objective of the program is to help new graduates launch their career while retaining skilled talent in the Kingston community to support business growth.

"These students are talented, and Kingston businesses can benefit from keeping them here and helping them launch their careers. It really is a win-win for everyone,” says Rottenberg. “The pilot proved a great partnership that delivered amazing results and that is why we are ready to make it even bigger this year.”

The program was piloted last year with eight students starting their careers in Kingston with organizations such as VIVA Productions, Make Hay Media, Keilty International, BBD, and Meta Innovation Technologies. The participants graduated from various programs, including Film and Media, English, Psychology, and Global Development Studies.

”We know we have good students, so when Alan approached us about this idea of an apprenticeship program i said, ‘Absolutely, let’s make it happen.’" says Barbara Crow, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science. "And now, here we are poised to triple the program this year ensuring that our students are successful not only in the classroom but after they leave.”

For more information visitqueensu.ca/artsci/qcak.

Alumni honoured

[photo of Lyse Doucet in 2015]
Lyse Doucet in 2015, when she received an honorary degree from Queen's University. Photo: Bernard Clark

Lyse Doucet, CM, OBE, (Artsci’;4, LLD’59), was one of five Queen’s alumni named to the Order of Canada on Dec 27.

Ms. Doucet, the chief international correspondent for the BBC,was honoured for her commitment to journalistic integrity and for her achievements as an international broadcasting correspondent and presenter.

Brent Belzberg, CM (Com’:6), the senior managing partner for Torquest Holdings Inc. Management Services, was honoured for his contributions to Canada’s economic and social landscape as a business leader and philanthropist.

Ross D. Feldman, CM (Arts’:7), the medical director (cardiac science program) for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, was honoured for his leadership in the prevention and control of hypertension in Canada.

Gordon Gray, CM (Com’94), the former president and chairman of Royal LePage, was honoured for his contributions to Canada’s real estate industry and for his philanthropic commitment to education and wildlife initiatives. (Mr. Gray and his wife, Patricia,also established the Gordon and Patricia Gray Chair in Particle Astrophysics at Queen’s.)

Gregory Zeschuk, CM (MBA’48), the co-founder of video game company BioWare, was honoured for his revolutionary contributions to the video game industry.


[cover image of Queen's Alumni Review issue 1, 2019, showing a photo of Alfred Bader]