Archive for the ‘Residents’ Category

A guest post from Dr. Kelly Caverzagie


Kelly Caverzagie

Dr. Kelly Caverzagie

When people ask why I attend ICRE every year, the answer is simple.  ICRE tackles the “big” topics in medical education.  The problems that confront us as a global community.  At ICRE, I am able to learn from friends and colleagues worldwide who are working on these issues and I learn new ways to address these problems at my own institution. 

By comparison, most conferences that I attend dedicate significant energy to update attendees about the latest regulatory changes or clinical updates about a disease or condition.  While they certainly have their place in education, these conferences don’t help me to advance my thinking or explore new solutions.  ICRE helps me to do the things that I want to do, as opposed to the things that I need to do.

At ICRE, the conference themes are fresh, timely and important. The conference pushes the envelope and helps the worldwide community actively advance a collective agenda as opposed to listen passively so that we can “check all of the boxes.”  In short, ICRE, with its diverse perspectives and viewpoints demands that attendees engage.

Recent conference themes have included the implementation of competency-based medical education, improving the clinical learning environment and our current meeting which focuses on promoting diversity and inclusivity in residency education and beyond.  Each is a frequent topic of discussion at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and I suspect the same can be said at your program or institution as well.

What makes ICRE so unique is its international flavor where attendees come from across the globe to contribute to the conversation.  In fact, the last five years have seen an average of 33 countries represented, a number that is certainly expected to continue to grow.  I’ve spoken with many of these attendees and they are very happy that they have chosen to attend.  They commend how ICRE provides an opportunity to think, engage, network with kindred spirits and most importantly, take steps to solving the “big” problems of medical education.

I strongly encourage you to attend ICRE 2019.   See you in Ottawa!

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2018-10-18-ICRE-033The Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) learning environment is a complex concept with many facets to consider in its critical exploration. Most interestingly, what differentiates this learning environment from others is the dually present, both synergistic and antagonistic relationship of the working and learning environments. Increased strains on healthcare systems, ever-increasing bodies of knowledge and procedural skills, and greater emphasis upon patient safety, bring the need to optimize the PGME learning environment to the forefront.

Despite being such a rich and complex topic for discussion, the PGME learning environment has been slow to emerge in the medical education academic literature – in particular, there is lack of evidence on how we may improve our learning environments to optimize outcomes for learners, teachers and, most importantly, patients.

The ICRE 2018 conference took a focused and critical look at the PGME learning environment through a variety of lenses and forums. In the two days prior to ICRE proper, the Royal College hosted an international consensus conference on the learning environment. The goals included to more clearly:

  • define and explore the learning environment;
  • capture some practical tips for optimizing the learning environment based on available evidence and informal consensus;
  • identify specific gaps in the current body of literature.

We were thrilled to host a group of MedEd enthusiasts from a variety of backgrounds and countries including ‘on-the-ground’ medical educators, local and national medical education leaders, postgraduate deans and training college representatives.

Prior to the meeting, a group of medical education experts, through a review of literature and informal consensus, developed the ‘avenue framework’ to approach the complex construct of the learning environment in postgraduate medical education (Fig. 1). The consensus conference program was then structured upon this framework as participants worked through large and small group sessions where theory and practical experiences were shared and discussed.

Consensus Conference

Figure 1: The Avenues Framework to approach the learning environment (Nordquist et al. 2019).

Ultimately, we had very fruitful and inspiring discussions that served as springboards for new ideas and research avenues. A set of consensus papers, including an editorial and a commentary piece, were developed based upon the work leading up to the conference and in-conference discussions, and published in a special edition of Medical Teacher this spring. These papers capture the themes of the discussions from the conference – and we hope they will provoke deeper thought and understanding into this important aspect of training that we are only just beginning to grasp. We also hope that the Avenues Framework provides a platform for future exploration and research. Links to each of the articles are included below for your review. We hope you enjoy the read!

2018_ICRE_ChiefResident_Hall_PhotoBy Dr. Jena Hall

on behalf of the consensus conference executive organizing committee

Dr. Jena Hall MD, MEd

Returning ICRE Chief Resident 2019

PGY3 OBGYN, Queen’s University

Published online:

Introductory Editorial: The clinical learning environment

The education avenue of the clinical learning environment: A pragmatic approach

Inclusion in the clinical learning environment: Building the conditions for diverse human flourishing

Learning and professional acculturation through work: Examining the clinical learning environment through the sociocultural lens

Psychology and learning: The role of the clinical learning environment

Examining the clinical learning environment through the architectural avenue

Communication, learning and assessment: Exploring the dimensions of the digital learning environment

Commentary by Dr. Larry Gruppen: Context and complexity in the clinical learning environment

Reference (Fig 1):

Jonas Nordquist, Jena Hall, Kelly Caverzagie, Linda Snell, Ming-Ka Chan, Brent Thoma, Saleem Razack & Ingrid Philibert (2019) The clinical learning environment, Medical Teacher, DOI: 10.1080/0142159X. 2019.1566601

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ICRE 2015 is taking place in beautiful Vancouver, B.C. This year’s host hotel is the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, directly across the street from the conference location.

For more information, visit the ICRE website.

Book and stay at our conference hotel and your name will be entered in a draw for a free registration to ICRE 2016 in Niagara Falls!

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This year’s conference features five provocative plenary presentations with internationally renowned experts. The ICRE 2015 lineup includes:

Royal College Lecture in Residency Education – Opening plenary
Thursday, October 22, 2015
David A. Asch

David A. Asch

Dr. David Asch is Executive Director of the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation. He is Professor of Medicine, and Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine and Professor of Health Care Management and Professor of Operations and Information Management at the Wharton School. He is Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Asch teaches health policy at the Wharton School and he practices internal medicine at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where he created, and from 2001-2012 directed the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion—the Department of Veterans Affairs’ national center to support vulnerable populations and reduce racial disparities.

His research aims to understand and improve how physicians and patients make medical choices in clinical, financial, and ethically charged settings, including the adoption of new pharmaceuticals or medical technologies, the purchase of insurance, and personal health behaviors. His research combines elements of economic analysis with psychological theory and marketing in the field now called behavioral economics. He is the author of more than 250 published papers, and has received numerous teaching awards.


Closing plenary
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Helen Bevan Helen BevanDr. Helen Bevan is acknowledged globally for her expertise in large-scale change, and ability to translate it into practical action and deliver outcomes.

In the 1990s she led the ground-breaking “Business Process Reengineering” transformation programme at The Leicester Royal Infirmary. As a result, she was asked to become a national leader of initiatives to reduce waiting time for the English National Health Service (NHS) care for which she was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2001.

Throughout her career, Dr. Bevan has been at the forefront of NHS improvement initiatives that have made a difference for thousands of patients.

In 2000 she introduced the first nationwide collaborative programmes to improve the delivery of cancer care across England. In 2010 Dr. Bevan and her team launched a call to action, using social movement leadership principles, which contributed to a 51% reduction in the prescription of antipsychotic drugs to people with dementia across the country. Dr. Bevan also initiated NHS Change Day, in partnership with a group of young clinical and managerial leaders, which in 2014 was the largest ever voluntary collective action for improvement in the history of the NHS.

On the 60th anniversary of the National Health Service, Dr. Bevan was recognised as one of the 60 most influential people in the history of the NHS.


John Cox John CoxCaptain John Cox is the Chief Executive Officer of Safety Operating Systems. He is a 44-year aviation veteran with experience as a corporate pilot, airline pilot, instructor, test pilot and safety professional. In 2005, he retired from US Airways after 25 years and 14,000 flying hours to found Safety Operating Systems, which has grown into a dynamic company with clients worldwide including airlines, business flight operations, legal firms, manufacturers and government regulators.

He holds a Masters in Business Administration from Daniel Webster College, and is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s Aviation Safety Program and the US Navy’s Post Graduate Aviation Safety Command Program. For the last 4 years he has taught aviation safety at the University of Southern California.

Captain Cox brings both operational knowledge and academic training to the business of aviation safety. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a member of their Flight Operations Group, a Liveryman in the Honorably Company of Air Pilots and a member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators for over twenty years.


The ICRE 2015 lineup will also include two panel sessions, featuring internationally-recognized experts, as well as the official launch of the CanMEDS 2015 Physician Competency Framework and Milestones Guide.

 Visit www.royalcollege.ca/icre to learn more.


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ICRE recently connected with Dr. Lorelei Lingard, professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario and the inaugural Director of the Centre for Education Research & Innovation at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, to get insight into changing medical education and what we can expect from her ICRE 2013 plenary lecture. (more…)

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Want to better understand competency-based education? We have dynamic and challenging sessions that will help you move forward. Below are just samples of some of ICRE’s most engaging and innovative learning tracks!


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Want practical ideas to improve your educational practice? ICRE’s Teaching and Learning in Residency Education track offers dynamic sessions on everything from handovers to teaching safety competencies. Below are some of the challenging sessions you’ll find at ICRE. (more…)

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