Program Level Objectives

Program Level Objectives

The MD Program's program level objectives identify the general professional competencies required for successful transition to practice.


A faculty wide retreat was organized by the MD Program curriculum committee. During this consultative event draft program level objectives were developed by faculty members. To facilitate further faculty input, the draft objectives were made available for review and comment by stakeholder groups. Final revision and unanimous ratification was by the MD program Curriculum Committee.

The CanMEDS framework outlines the essential competencies required to function well as a socially accountable physician was used as a scaffolding for the MD Program Objectives.

A draft version of the program-level objectives were developed by faculty members at this consultative event. The draft objectives were then presented to the entire faculty for review and comment. The MD Program Curriculum Committee made final revisions and unanimously ratified the Program Level Objectives.

The MD Program Objectives were developed considering the general professional competencies required for successful transition to residency and to serve as a foundation for lifelong learning.

The overarching objective of the MD program is the graduation of physicians who are competent, to the satisfaction of the faculty and the standards of the profession, in the following areas:

  • Collaborator

    The medical graduate will:

    Compare and contrast the roles and responsibilities of all members of an interdisciplinary team that are required for optimal patient care, research and education.

    Explain the benefits of teamwork in training and patient care.

    Collaborate with patients, their families and all team members.

    Be able to participate in negotiation and facilitation of conflict resolution in the context of the learning setting, patient care and/or team functioning.

    Demonstrate an understanding of effective team processes and functions.

    Function effectively both as a leader or a team member (switching between roles when appropriate).

  • Communicator

    The medical graduate will:

    Communicate in a manner that maintains compassionate, professional and ethical therapeutic relationships with patients, their families, and the community. This is achieved by developing rapport, understanding, trust, while maintaining respect, integrity, empathy, confidentiality and acknowledging uncertainty.

    Communicate effectively and in a non-judgmental manner with patients, their families and the community through verbal, written and other non-verbal means of communication.

    Demonstrate effective information-gathering and be proficient in communicating with patients in a variety of situations, including where communication challenges or sensitive topics may occur within the profession.

    Deliver information to patients and their families in a compassionate manner such that it can be easily understood, encourages discussion,and promotes patient participation in the process of shared decision-making.

    Cooperate and communicate effectively among health professionals involved in patient care to ensure patient safety and optimize outcomes.

    Present and discuss "bad news" with patients or families in an empathic manner, including discussions of advance care planning and goals of care.

    Be able to maintain clear, accurate and comprehensive records of patient care and disseminate appropriately in a timely manner.

  • Health Advocate

    The medical graduate will:

    Respond to individual patient health needs and issues as part of patient care.

    Respond to the health needs of the communities in which they serve.

    Identify the determinants of health in the population they serve.

    Promote health and well-being of individual patients, communities and populations.

    Articulate and apply the determinants of health and disease.

    Articulate and apply the principles of health promotion.

    Articulate and apply the principles of disease prevention.

    Articulate, synthesize and apply the diverse factors that influence health, disease and disability.

    Synthesize and apply the factors that influence access to health services

    Demonstrate the ability to advocate for patients and communities

    Identify and access community resources related to health promotion, disease prevention and illness management.

    Describe the ethical and professional issues inherent in health advocacy (altruism, social justice, autonomy, courage, integrity, idealism) and conflict.

    Demonstrate an integration of advocacy into his/her understanding of professional duty to patients and communities.

    Be able to discuss the possibility of conflict in their role as a health advocate for a patient or community.

    Demonstrate the ability to advocate as a medical professional for health and patient safety.

  • Manager

    The medical graduate will:

    Recognize the different roles and responsibilities in healthcare organizations, ranging from individual clinical practices to academic health sciences centres.

    Be able to describe the basic governing structures within health care organizations and how they influence patient care, research and educational activities at a local, provincial, regional, national and international level.

    Demonstrate knowledge of how information technology can be used to impact patient care.

    Demonstrate knowledge in principle of quality improvement/assurance in health care.

    Describe how economic and cost perspectives impact decision-making.

    Be able to compare and contrast the variety of practice options and settings within the practice of medicine and in order to make informed personal choices regarding career direction.

    Demonstrate effective time management in personal and professional roles.

    Be knowledgeable on the absolute and relative levels of resources in various components of the health care system and will be able to discuss the rationale for stewardship of available resources within the overall allocation framework.

    Describe the need for planning, budgeting and evaluation of outcomes of a patient care program.

    Describe principles of change management as they apply to innovations in clinical care.

    Describe the principles of effective leadership.

    Demonstrate knowledge of cost/benefit issues in the context of health care resource allocation and population health.

  • Medical Expert

    The medical graduate will:

    Demonstrate clinical decision-making skills that integrate best evidence and acknowledge patient values.

    Apply basic knowledge of the etiology, pathogenesis, clinical features, complications, principles of prevention and management with emphasis on common and life- threatening illnesses across the age spectrum.

    Demonstrate knowledge on approaches to diagnosis and treatment with emphasis on common and urgent problems.

    Perform both complete and organ system-specific examinations appropriate to the age of the patient and nature of the clinical problem(s).

    Recognize and prioritize the urgency of a patient's clinical problems.

    List and prioritize a meaningful differential diagnosis with emphasis on common and urgent clinical presentations.

    Demonstrate the ability to select and interpret commonly-employed investigations.

    Demonstrate appropriate use of selected procedural skills (diagnostic and therapeutic).

    Apply the principles of pharmacology and evaluate options for safe, rational, appropriate and optimally-beneficial drug therapy.

    Understand the scientific principles underlying evidence-based approaches to health maintenance, preventive screening, therapeutic, rehabilitative, and palliative interventions.

    Demonstrate a basic understanding of the psychological, interpersonal, family, cultural, societal, and environmental determinants of health and illness across a diverse population.

    Recognize and cope with uncertainty and ambiguity in clinical decision-making and care.

  • Professional

    The medical graduate will:

    Demonstrate key values required in the profession including honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, compassion, respect, empathy, cultural awareness, altruism, maintaining confidentiality and a commitment to patient well-being.

    Honour the privileges and responsibilities of the medical profession. This includes responding to the societal and community needs (social accountability), commitment to public service and carrying out the principles of social justice (access to care, free of discrimination, finite resource allocation).

    Recognize and knowledgeably respond to ethical and legal challenges.

    Demonstrate reflective practice with patients to achieve a sustainable and current practice while maintaining appropriate boundaries with patients.

    Demonstrate self-awareness through reflection, and a commitment to balance professional and personal priorities.

    Demonstrate that the self-regulation of the profession is a privilege and that each physician has a continuing responsibility to merit this privilege and to support its institutions including peer assessment and self-assessment as applicable.

  • Scholar

    The medical graduate will:

    Demonstrate critical reflection and inquiry to enable practices of life-long and self-directed learning.

    Assist in teaching others and facilitate learning where appropriate.

    Demonstrate knowledge of forms of rigorous inquiry in research methodologies and describe an appropriate methodology to a specific research question.

    Demonstrate an understanding of ethics as it relates to medical research.

    Demonstrate knowledge of the professional practices and scholarly activities required of the profession. Activities include, but are not limited to: participating in the development of practice guidelines and health policy development.

    Receive, incorporate, and provide feedback in an appropriate and timely manner in their daily learning and practice.