Competency Based Medical Education (CBME) offers a way forward for residency programs. It is a new a way of rethinking how we educate our learners that reduces our reliance on time and chance. It begins with the outcomes we need our learners to achieve by the end of their training, and then works backward to ensure that our curriculum design affords them the opportunities they need to achieve those outcomes, and that our assessment strategies allow us to trust that they have done so.
CBME is socially accountable education. Patients and their families must be able to rely on the competence of our graduates — to make the right diagnosis; to facilitate shared, patient-centred decision-making; to communicate with clarity and empathy; to navigate multidisciplinary teams; and to enlist help when needed. CBME responds to our pact with society; it is a way of assuring the public that our medical education system is earning their trust.
CBME is a new frontier. There is no roadmap for success; we must chart our own path. But we have all the tools we need to succeed: engaged faculty and learners, curricular guidance from our certifying colleges, and significant local expertise in education innovation and research. If we all work together, we can lead the way in bringing CBME to life. We owe it to our patients. We owe it to our communities. We owe it to our learners.