Promoting Social Accountability Through Interprofessional Continuing Development

jic  The June 2008 supplement of the Journal of Interprofessional Care is a special issue entitled Promoting Social Accountability Through Interprofessional Continuing Development: An Experience of the Canadian Medical Schools. There are two articles in particular that might interest readers of this blog [subscription required]:

Fleet LJ, Kirby F, Cutler S, Dunikowski L, Nasmith L, Shaughnessy R. Continuing professional development and social accountability: A review of the literature. J Interprof Care 2008;22 Suppl 1:15-29. 
The idea that health professionals should be accountable to the society they serve is not a new concept and by the 1990s, the continuing professional development (CPD) of health professionals was being seen as one way in which Canadians’ level of health could be improved. The public was, and is still today, increasingly demanding a system that is more responsive to regional and community needs. As a result, there is a need for more health professional education at all stages of the education continuum – undergraduate, postgraduate, and continuing professional development – that meets the health and social needs of the populations being served. The trend is now towards ‘socially accountable’ health care, meaning that the broader context of CPD must also include the personal, social, and political aspects of health care and as such, involve a widening of accountability to patients, the community, managers and policymakers. CPD planning must take into account local and national priorities as well as personal learning needs. However, the definition of social accountability and the stages at which it is addressed is sometimes vague and this added to the difficulty of identifying relevant studies in the literature. Nonetheless, there were some “best practices” evident via Canadian and American studies which focused on models of socially accountable CPD, as well as examples of interdisciplinary collaboration in Canada, the United States, Australia, Great Britain, and the United Arab Emirates. However, there is a definite need for increased research and publication of such “best practice” initiatives. There is also a need for Canadian health professional schools to facilitate this process by sharing their experiences and resources if possible. An extensive literature review was conducted between January and March 2004. (Click on the above link to read the full abstract.)

Delva D, Tomalty L, Macrae K, Payne P, Plain E, Rowe W. A new model for collaborative continuing professional development. J Interprof Care 2008;22 Suppl 1:91-100.
For collaborative patient-centered practice models to develop, improved collaboration in the workplace is needed. In this project we aimed to create a model of continuing professional development (CPD) using a case based approach that would allow the exchange of information between primary health care providers in the community. Over 60 participants from community care sectors including physicians, nurses and administrators participated in a planning group and two consultation workshops. Using participatory action research methods, themes contributing to and inhibiting communication, collaboration and coordination of care in the community were identified. Recommendations for solutions were prioritized and implemented. Evaluations suggest that the case scenario and consultation approach successfully focused participants to address relevant local issues to improve collaboration among community providers.
Link to this issue

Safe Surgery Saves Lives: WHO Surgical Checklist

The World Health Organization has issued its report on its Global Patient Safety Challenge in surgery, which involves the use of a checklist before surgery. Yesterday’s Globe & Mail reported on the use of the checklist in the University Health Network in Toronto, which comprises three major hospitals.  In the video clip below, UHN’s surgeon-in-chief and director of surgical services Dr. Bryce Taylor demonstrates the use of the checklist in the operating room.   Download the checklist.    A Surgical Safety Checklist to Reduce Morbidity and Mortality in a Global Population. New England Journal of Medicine January 14 2008.

IOM Committee on Planning a Continuing Health Care Professional Education Institute

The Institute of Medicine has formed a Committee on Planning a Continuing Health Care Professional Education Institute.

An ad hoc IOM committee is undertaking a review of issues in continuing education of health care professionals (in particular physicians and nurses) that are identified from the literature and from data-gathering meetings with involved parties. Based on this review, the committee is making recommendations for the establishment of a national inter-professional Continuing Education (CE) Institute to advance the science of CE by promoting the discovery and dissemination of more effective methods of educating health professionals over their professional lifetimes, by developing a research enterprise that encourages increased scientific study of CE, by developing mechanisms to assess research applications, by stimulating new approaches to both intra- and inter-professional CE, and by being independent and composed of individuals from the various health professions.
Committee members  include such CME notables as Paul Mazmanian and Bob Fox.    Project information

Read the ACCME’s  Statement from the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education for the Institute Of Medicine Committee on Continuing Medical Education, December 2008

See also  Continuing Education in the Health Professions: Improving Healthcare Through Lifelong Learning (Macy Foundation);  Hebert PC. The need for an Institute of Continuing Health Education [editorial]. CMAJ March 25 2008;178(7):805-806.

Canadian Association of Continuing Health Education (CACHE) Web Site


Welcome to the latest version of the Web site of the Canadian Association of Continuing Health Education/Association canadienne d’éducation médicale continue (CACHE/ACEMC)!  This site has been around for a number of years, and was created by Fred Murray of Calgary, Alberta.  CACHE/ACEMC recently hired Dave Jackson, also of Calgary, who has mounted the site on Joomla, an Open Source content management system.

There is lots of content now, and I invite you to view in particular the Web Resources and Online Library sections.

Dave has created a search system in Joomla whereby you can search the links we place on our site, as well as the content of those off-site links.  This is quite extraordinary and provides medical educators with a rich collection of Web resources.

The Online Library is equally outstanding. The question I get most in my work is, “But where is the full text of the article?”  So I decided to create a library of free, full text articles, arranged in such categories as Effectiveness of Continuing Health Education; Physician Competence; Health Provider / Industry Relationship; Reflection in Learning/Thinking/Teaching/Practice; Knowledge Translation: Research into Practice; Internet Continuing Health Education; Evidence-Based Health Care; Rural Health; Journal Impact Factor … and more. Wherever possible there are links to PubMed records, so that users can use PubMed’s Related Articles feature to locate further publications.

This Web site has a decidedly Canadian flavour, but I think there is much of interest here for all medical educators. Soon a parallel French version will be up and running. Do pay us a visit, and be prepared to learn!

Banished Words

Since 1976 the Lake Superior State University has issued its annual list of banished words. Here is their introduction for the 2008 offering:

Lake Superior State University “maverick” word-watchers, fresh from the holiday “staycation” but without an economic “bailout” even after a “desperate search,” have issued their 34th annual List of Words to Be Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness. This year’s list may be more “green” than any of the previous lists and includes words and phrases that people from “Wall Street to Main Street” say they love “not so much” and wish to have erased from their “carbon footprint.”

Some examples from the current list:

  • Maverick [of course]
     “The constant repetition of this word for months before the US election diluted whatever meaning it previously had. Even the comic offshoot ‘mavericky’ was terribly overused. A minimum five-year banishment of both words is suggested so they will not be available during the next federal election.”
  • Bailout
    “Use of emergency funds to remove toxic assets from banks’ balance sheets is not a bailout. When your cousin calls you from jail in the middle of the night, he wants a bailout.”
  • Staycation
    “Occurrences of this word are going up with gas prices.’Vacation’ does not mean ‘travel,’ nor does travel always involve vacation. Let’s send this word on a slow boat to nowhere.”
  • Winner of Five Nominations
    “It hasn’t won an Academy Award yet. It has only been NOMINATED!”

Here are some random choices from previous years:

  • 1976: Implement and Viable – Gobbledygook disguised as intelligence: as in “that is not a viable alternative which we can implement.” Meaning: “We don’t want to do it and think you have a crazy idea here.”
  • 1985: Near miss – should be ‘near hit’ because it didn’t nearly miss, it actually did miss.
  • 2001: Negative growth – As opposed to positive shrinking. ‘Gifted’ from the world of “morons in three-piece suits trying to sugar-coat their incompetence”

Kaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences

kaohsiungjmedsci    This is a a peer-reviewed, Open Access publication of Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan. The July 2008 issue contains a number of articles of interest to medical educators:

Kaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences July 2008; 24(7)
Journal Link       PubMed Records


  • Neuroplasticity and Critical Thinking [editorial by Dr. Peter H. Harasym, Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary (p. 339 – 340)
  • Review Article: Current Trends in Developing Medical Students’ Critical Thinking Abilities [by] Peter H. Harasym, Tsuen-Chiuan Tsai, Payman Hemmati (p. 341 – 355)
  • The Role of Case Presentation for Teaching and Learning Activities [by] Hirotaka Onishi (p. 3560360)
  • Use of Portfolios by Medical Students: Significance of Critical Thinking [by] Samy A. Azer (p. 361 – 366)
  • Reflection and Critical Thinking of Humanistic Care in Medical Education [by] Shu-Jen Shiau, Chung-Hey Chen (p. 367 – 372)
  • Community-oriented Curriculum Design for Medical Humanities [by] Duu-Jian Tsai (p. 373 – 379)
  • Physician Self-directed Learning and Education [by] Masami Tagawa (p. 380 – 385)