The CanMEDS framework: Relevant but not quite the whole story

Nadine van der Lee*, Joanne P. I. Fokkema, Michiel Westerman, Erik W. Driessen, Cees P. M. van der Vleuten, Albert J. J. A. Scherpbier, Fedde Scheele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Despite acknowledgement that the Canadian Medical Educational Directives for Specialists (CanMEDS) framework covers the relevant competencies of physicians, many educators and medical professionals struggle to translate the CanMEDS roles into comprehensive training programmes for specific specialties. Aim: To gain insight into the applicability of the CanMEDS framework to guide the design of educational programmes for specific specialties by exploring stakeholders' perceptions of specialty specific competencies and examining differences between those competencies and the CanMEDS framework. Methods: This case study is a sequel to a study among ObsGyn specialists. It explores the perspectives of patients, midwives, nurses, general practitioners, and hospital boards on gynaecological competencies and compares these with the CanMEDS framework. Results: Clinical expertise, reflective practice, collaboration, a holistic view, and involvement in practice management were perceived to be important competencies for gynaecological practice. Although all the competencies were covered by the CanMEDS framework, there were some mismatches between stakeholders' perceptions of the importance of some competencies and their position in the framework. Conclusion: The CanMEDS framework appears to offer relevant building blocks for specialty specific postgraduate training, which should be combined with the results of an exploration of specialty specific competencies to arrive at a postgraduate curriculum that is in alignment with professional practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-955
JournalMedical Teacher
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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