We knew we were doing a good job training our residents. The 29 programs and streams that house our 448 residents have always been popular and well evaluated. But we didn’t know just how good they really were, until a few days ago.
Last week, the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada came to Queen’s for a formal accreditation visit. Accreditation is a very rigorous process wherein our teaching programs are reviewed in detail, our teaching sites are inspected and analyzed, and our medical school and its postgraduate education office are put under the microscope. A team of about twenty physicians and educators spoke to dozens of residents, had hundreds of interviews and read thousands of pages of material.
And the verdict was spectacular! The lead accreditors spoke to a gathered crowd at the exit interview. They started their presentation with the words “small is beautiful” and went on to say that they “came away from the review just blown away by Queen’s.” The team was impressed by the level of pride our faculty have in being “Queen’s doctors. We were praised for our creativity. Our efforts in simulation were thought of as “cutting edge.” They were really impressed with our Program Directors about whom they said: “ [we were] struck by their energy and commitment…taking a ‘parental’ view of their responsibility to their residents.”
The accreditation team will report its findings and recommendations to committees of the two Colleges, and then a final decision will be sent back to the University. The ultimate category of an excellent program is “full approval.” The reviewers who came to Queen’s will be recommending such a status for 27 of our 29 programs. For two programs, the recommendation will be provisional approval.
This is the best result at Queen’s in recent memory. But better than the raw, results were the smiles on the reviewer’s faces as they complimented us virtually each and every time we met with them. How much sweeter does it get than when you hear from the surveyors that, “education is not just an add-on, it is in the air that is breathed by the faculty at Queen’s.”
Of course there is a long list of people who deserve credit. Absolutely, our faculty. Our teachers are, simply put, the best. Thanks to each and every one of them. Our Program Directors and their administrators put their heart and soul into the training of our future family physicians and specialists. And it shows! Our more than ten partnering hospitals commit to Queen’s energy, talent and resources. And finally, Ross Walker, our Associate Dean of Postgraduate Education and his wonderful team seen here in the photograph; well they are incredible. They work so hard each and every day on behalf of our trainees, but this last year their true colours shone through. And those colours are brilliant indeed.
If any of our readers want to celebrate with us, send a note to a Program Director, write to the Head of a Department, email Ross, respond to this blog, please do…or better yet, stop by the Macklem House, my door is always open.