Resident Manual

Expectations for Surgical Residents

In 1996, the RCPSC adopted a new framework of core competencies for all specialists, called the “CanMEDS Roles”. CanMEDS is an abbreviation of “Canadian Medical Education Directives for Specialists”. This framework of core competencies includes the different roles that physicians fulfill in their daily practice, namely the roles of Medical Expert, Communicator, Collaborator, Health Advocate, Manager, Scholar and Professional. A revised version of the CanMEDS framework was adopted in 2005.  This framework is now the basis for accreditation, evaluation and examinations, as well as objectives of training and standards for continuing professional development.

Medical Expert

This is the central role that integrates all of the CanMEDS roles: applying medical knowledge, clinical skills, and professional attitudes in the provision of patient-centered care.


Effectively facilitating the doctor-patient relationship and the dynamic exchanges that occur before, during, and after the medical encounter.


Working effectively as a member of a health care team to achieve optimal patient care.


Be an integral participant in health care organizations, organizing sustainable practices, making decisions about allocating resources, and contributing to the effectiveness of the health care system.

Health Advocate

Responsibly using expertise and influence to advance the health and well-being of individual patients, communities, and populations.


Demonstrating lifelong commitment to reflective learning, as well as the creation, dissemination, application, and translation of medical knowledge.


Being committed to the health and well-being of individuals and society through ethical practice, profession-led regulation, and high personal standards of behavior.