Learning the CanMEDS roles in a near-peer shadowing program: a mixed methods randomized control trial.
The development of competency frameworks, such as CanMEDS, has helped define professional behavior, but programs that translate their theoretical aspects into practical learning are lacking. To improve instruction of the CanMEDS framework, the University of Alberta implemented a program in which 83 first-year medical students shadowed a first-year resident for eight months. A randomized trial compared participants' attitudes and knowledge regarding CanMEDS to controls. A concurrent-triangulation mixed methods design with questionnaires and interviews provided a comprehensive understanding of program experiences. Students reported increasing their understanding of CanMEDS and increased their acceptance of the framework's importance and knowledge of its contents when compared to controls. Residents also reported that their knowledge of CanMEDS had increased. Participants considered the program to be effective for learning CanMEDS and developing professionalism, especially when paired with clinical encounters relevant to given professional roles. This simple, low cost, near-peer shadowing program can be useful for teaching professional behavior.DOI: 10.3109/0142159X.2012.716179