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Canadian Medicine Primer

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About

The Canadian Medicine Primer (CMP) aims to facilitate a successful transition to residency training and postgraduate education in Ontario for visa trainees (residents and clinical fellows). Courses are designed to provide an orientation to the Canadian health care system and prepare visa trainees to work effectively in Ontario health care environments.

All learners attend simulated patient encounters and facilitated in-class sessions. Large- and small-group simulations provide an opportunity to practise and receive feedback on communication, professionalism, patient management skills and medical expertise.

Visa residents will have the option to attend our core programming applicable for all specialties, those entering family medicine will also have the option to attend an additional week of family medicine specific sessions.

Visa fellows are guided into a supervisory role, exploring the theory and practice of providing feedback to residents in clinical settings.

Over 200 visa learners since 2014
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Program Dates:

2020 PROGRAM DATES:

CMP Core Programming:

April 13 – April 24

April 27 – May 8

May 25 – June 5

June 8 – June 19

 

Optional CMP Family Medicine Programming:

May 11 – 15

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Location

Touchstone Institute

145 Wellington St. W., Suite 600
Toronto , ON

Program Details

Practise Through Simulation

Sessions use simulated client encounters and facilitated discussions to enhance learning.

Large Group Simulations demonstrate how to navigate a patient encounter. Physician instructors debrief and discuss the encounter with the learner group.

Small Group Simulations allow learners to engage in directly with simulated clients in a clinical examination room. Learners will receive individualized feedback on their encounter from faculty physicians, simulated clients, and peers.

Online Learning System

The Online Learning System includes all session slides, tip-sheets, and session specific resources.

The Online Learning System also includes mandatory interactive modules which compliment didactic sessions to provide orientation to foundational topics.

Weekly Multiple Choice Quizzes are conducted on the Online Learning System to ensure learners are able to identify the key session objections from each week of programming.

Individualized Mentorship

To help support a learner’s transition into training, our programs offer individualized mentorship upon request. Confidential consultations with mentors can include generalized discussion on practice in Ontario, to recommendations and supports that will assist learners in future training.

Enrollment

All visa trainees beginning their training in Ontario are welcome to attend the CMP.

Please contact your PGME office for a referral, or contact us directly for referral information and payment options.

All visa trainees attending the program must be referred – whether by their PGME Office or Program.

ACLS Certification

CMP includes optional BLS & ACLS certification held over one weekend at the Michener Institute in Toronto.

Learners will receive a registration form from Touchstone Institute on confirmation of their attendance in CMP. It is the responsibility of each learner to complete the registration form and send it directly to the Michener Institute before the deadline of their preferred session.

 

Learning materials are provided to learners who elect to certify through Michener Institute and can be picked up from Touchstone Institute during business hours up to four weeks prior to their scheduled certification date. Please ensure to bring your proof of enrollment when picking up materials.

Feedback Methodology and Practice (Clinical Fellows Only)

In addition to attending core didactic sessions, visa fellows participate in the following dedicated sessions to prepare them for providing feedback:

  • Feedback methods – Methodologies, tips and techniques for providing effective feedback. Fellows reflect on their own skills and what they can expect in the Canadian context.
  • Managing a Clinical Team – a session focused on their unique role as a supervisor and manager of junior trainees in a clinical setting.
  • In-training evaluation reports (ITERs) and feedback tools – A session on ITERs and feedback tools used in practice with patients and junior trainees.
Evaluation

The CMP program provides learners with individualized feedback about their skills in relation to what is expected in postgraduate training.

For learners entering fellowship, the focus is on their readiness to perform a supervisory role in the Ontario health care system.

The goal is to ensure learners receive formative feedback on:

  • Unique strengths and opportunities to improve
  • Resources in order to ensure their readiness for postgraduate training in Ontario

Small Group Simulations (Visa Residents)

Small Group Simulations allow learners to engage in directly with simulated clients in a clinical examination room. Learners will receive individualized feedback on their encounter from faculty physicians, simulated patients, and peers.

Learners will receive feedback on their specific competencies related to:

  • Patient-centred communication skills
  • Professionalism
  • Health advocacy
  • Overall Medical Expertise

Small-Group Simulations (Visa Fellows)

Learners entering fellowship are evaluated on their ability to provide effective feedback to residents based on their performance in one-on-one simulated client encounters.

Online Quizzes

Each week, you will complete online MCQs.  Questions are based on the key concepts from session material. The answers will be provided to you immediately after you finish the quiz for reference.

Learner Evaluation Report

A report – which includes your simulated client qualitative and quantitative feedback, MCQ results, online module completion and detailed attendance – is provided to your program director and/or sponsoring agency to ensure they are able to tailor your residency experience accordingly based on your strengths and opportunities to improve.

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FAQ

More about this program

Who is eligible for the Canadian Medicine Primer?

The CMP is offered to foreign sponsored and non-sponsored visa trainees studying at the University of Toronto, Western University, University of Ottawa, Queen's University, Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) or McMaster University.

How can I apply?

Visa trainees and fellows at participating institutions will receive an email offer from Touchstone Institute to participate in the CMP after receiving a referral from the associated medical school. At that time, you will be asked to confirm your interest in attending the program. All confirmed participants receive a welcome letter with additional program details approximately two weeks prior to the start of classes.

Please review the program date offerings online and with your Program and Postgraduate Offices; they will work with you in determining which program iteration is best suited for your training.

I know the Canadian Medicine Primer is meant to help me succeed in my training. If I am unable to attend the Primer, will it affect my entry into postgraduate training?

The CMP has been designed to prepare new international residents and clinical fellows for a successful transition to postgraduate medical training in an Ontario medical school clinical setting. Enrollment criteria for the CMP are program specific. Once you have enrolled in the CMP, attendance is mandatory. However, if issues arise that prevent you from attending the program, there will be no penalty or impact on your entry to training.

Will I receive any advance documents to help me get the papers I need to enter Canada?

We can provide you with a letter of invitation upon request, if you need one. You do not require a work permit/visa to attend the Canadian Medicine Primer; you will require a work permit/visa for your postgraduate training.

Will I be able to access the interactive online modules before I arrive in Canada? Are there any other learning materials that I can review online before my arrival?

We will be contacting you via email to provide you with the necessary details to access our online Learning Management System (LMS) at least two weeks before you begin the program. You can expect to retain access to the LMS well after your participation in the program for up to 365 days after completing the program.

Online modules are available once the program begins. If applicable, a pre-reading list will be issued to you along with your schedule and syllabi two weeks prior to the program beginning.

Can I select the elective content that interests me? How does the elective content become part of the curriculum?

The majority of our programming is designed to be applicable for any physician entering training in Ontario. In addition to our core and family medicine curriculum, we are pleased to offer six elective in-class sessions:

  • Communication & Conflict
  • Cross Cultural Communication & Competency
  • Foundations of Allied Health
  • Internal Medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry

We also provide you with optional sessions over lunch to meet with the CPSO, PARO and OMA during the program.

What is my daily time commitment to the program?

Programming runs Monday to Friday, typically from 9:00 am to 4:00 or 5:00 pm. You will engage in one session in the morning and a different session in the afternoon, with a break in each session.
You will find out specific timing for your iteration of programming at least two weeks prior to the start date.

Can I miss a day of programming?

In order to attain full benefit from the program, your attendance for the full 2 weeks (or 3 weeks if you are attending the optional Family Medicine specific programming) is mandatory. All absences from scheduled programming are documented and included in your learner evaluation report provided to your program and PGME office.

When the program details refer to “facilitation”, what does that mean?

The integration of physician facilitators in our program is a key aspect of your learning in the program. Physicians are integrated in a multitude of ways, leading to a very blended model.

  • Didactic Sessions: All sessions are developed and delivered by practising physicians and healthcare professionals who understand learner’s unique needs, and are considered to be subject matter experts in their field. Many of these classes also involve various aspects of facilitation, which can include discussions with your peers, large group simulations and small group simulations.
  • Large Group Simulations: Large Group Simulations are utilized in an in-session setting to model patient scenarios, allowing learners to observe and engage interactively in a larger setting.
  • Small Group Simulations: Small Group Simulations are structured similar to an OSCE, prompting learners to rotate through cases to engage in simulated patient scenarios. Unlike formal assessment, small group simulations are a formative learning experience providing learners with individualized feedback on their encounter from faculty physicians, simulated patients, and peers.
  • Online Modules: Three online modules will be released once the program has begun and will need to be completed by learners by the end of the program.
I understand the interactive learning sessions will include feedback. How will I receive this feedback from the physician leader or facilitator?

Feedback is integral to our programming. Physicians use a form to provide you with feedback on your:

  • Patient-centred communication skills
  • Professionalism
  • Health advocacy
  • Overall as a medical expert

If you are the learner involved in the patient encounter, you will be provided with a copy of all the feedback that is captured by a physician facilitator. Additionally, the physician facilitator will verbally debrief the encounter with you.

Will there be a final evaluation report or exam? If so, who will have access to my results?
Will there be a final evaluation report or exam? If so, who will have access to my results?

The program does include various forms of evaluation; however the evaluation is formative in nature.

Our goal is to ensure we provide you with:

  • Information on your strengths
  • Opportunities to improve
  • Resources in order to ensure your readiness for your residency or fellowship training here in Ontario

The following program evaluations are designed to enhance your understanding of your skills in relation to those that you will continue to develop in residency.

Small Group Simulations

Throughout the program, you will participate in small group simulations which provide you with specific feedback on your skills.

Online Quizzes

Each week, you will complete online MCQs.  Questions are based on the key concepts from session material. The answers will be provided to you immediately after you finish the quiz for reference.

Learner Evaluation Report

A report – which includes your simulated patient qualitative and quantitative feedback, MCQ results, online module completion and detailed attendance – is provided to your program director and/or sponsoring agency to ensure they are able to tailor your residency experience accordingly based on your strengths and opportunities to improve.

What happens if I have difficulty with some of the core curriculum or online modules? Will my instructor or facilitator be able to help me with parts of the curriculum that I may find challenging?

Our faculty are dedicated to your success both in the program and as you progress onward. If you ever have challenges or questions, the faculty will be pleased to provide you with support.

Additionally, you have the option to request a mentor. To help support a learner’s transition into training, our programs offer individualized mentorship upon request. Confidential consultations with mentors can include generalized discussion on practice in Ontario, to recommendations and supports that will assist learners in future training.

How much does the Canadian Medicine Primer cost? Is there a registration fee?

The Ontario university where you will be training may absorb the fee for your enrollment in the Canadian Medicine Primer to help you optimize your success as a postgraduate medical trainee. However, if you are a referred trainee who is responsible for covering the program fee, we will work with you to arrange programming costs. You may also need to consider associated costs for participation in the program in Toronto, such as accommodation and transportation.

Will the Canadian Medicine Primer prepare me for my specific specialty?

With over 80 specialties and subspecialties in Ontario, the CMP focuses on addressing core competencies and subject areas that are applicable for all specialties during your transition to residency or fellowship training in Ontario. Accordingly, the sessions are not designed to provide you with details about your specific specialty, but they will provide you with the core competencies required to successfully transition into your training. If you match or are interested in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, or Psychiatry, we welcome you to attend the associated electives that will provide you with more specialty specific information to compliment your core learning.

Will I be receiving information about my residency position or site-specific training?

Touchstone Institute maintains strong relationships with all of the medical schools in Ontario and our staff are pleased to assist you with any questions that requires the involvement of your matched school. If you approach or email any members of the team, we are happy to work with you in connecting you to the appropriate individuals to answer specific queries regarding your residency position or site.

Reflections