Ensuring Physician Competence
It is the mandate of the regulator to ensure that patients receive safe and effective care. To meet this mandate, the regulator is required at times to examine and understand a physician’s performance in practice.
Referrals for physician assessments come from a variety of sources, including our Professional Conduct Department and our Registration and Peer Review Committees.
We are grateful for our regular roster of supervisors and peer reviewers who are engaged with assessment as a requirement of our legislative mandate.
The training of our assessors is an integral feature of our programs, as is the development of objective, validated assessment tools. This is nuanced work, at times stressful for the physician involved, but important for patient safety.
College-directed practice assessments are designed to measure a physician’s global performance in practice.
Competencies assessed are linked to the relevant CanMEDS competencies of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
The workplace-based nature of a College-directed practice assessment is complex. The physician is assessed in “vivo” or while providing patient care under observation. These factors are taken into consideration in the delivery of the assessment plan.
The performance of a physician in clinical practice is influenced by the context and content specific to the conditions they treat.
To run a valid assessment, a clear purpose must be articulated. For example, is it to determine if a physician meets the appropriate benchmarks to practice independently? Or is it to assess for improvements in a focused area of remediation?
Workplace-based assessments are repeated assessments over time. The longitudinal nature of these activities increases the legitimacy and the validity of the assessment and supports robust conclusions.