New awards recognize importance of administrative staff

Guest blog by Greg Power, Chief Operating Officer

With this blog, it’s my great pleasure to introduce you to new college-level administrative staff awards being launched at the CoM. Three new awards will support our efforts to recognize, reward and thank our administrative staff for their critical role in the success of our college. Every day, staff support our learners, our faculty and our administrative leaders, and ensure the smooth running of our sites and offices throughout Saskatchewan.

The awards are specifically for administrative staff (not learners, academic leaders or faculty). All administrative staff supporting the CoM are eligible for nomination. Whether you are a USask employee on the USask main campus or at another location, one of our Regina campus staff employed by the SHA, or one of our growing number of employees around the province in clinical locations, you are eligible. These awards add to—but do not replace—existing awards like the Sydney Inskip Service Award and those given out at unit and department levels.

We are starting with three awards, which could expand to more in the future. The awards process will follow a nominations and selection committee approach. More details, including a nomination form, are available on the CoM website.

First and foremost, I want to encourage everyone, including learners, to consider participating in the nominations process for any deserving administrative staff members on your teams, at your site, or who you have worked with or been supported by in some capacity. Through these awards, we want to recognize and showcase the breadth of support and leadership administrative staff provide to our college across all our Saskatchewan sites, departments, units and research teams.

I think we can agree that we don’t recognize this group within the CoM enough, and with these awards we hope to improve on that. Let’s celebrate our amazing staff!

Here’s a brief description of the three awards:

Living Our Values Award – awarded annually to a staff member who exemplifies one or more of the college’s values in their day-to-day work. The college values are: collegiality; fairness and equitable treatment; inclusiveness; integrity, honesty and ethical behavior; and respect.

Team Achievement Award – awarded annually to a team of staff members (two or more people) working together to achieve a goal that supports the College of Medicine strategic plan objectives. We recognize that teams can be formal and non-formal, and encourage nominations for any type of team, working towards any type of goal for the CoM.

Create-it Award – awarded annually to a staff member or team nominated for an achievement that may not fit within the scope of other awards. Nominators will suggest a fitting name for this award based on the achievements of the individual or team they are nominating. With this award, you might choose to recognize commitment to professional development, new work, leadership, or mentorship, for example. But this award gives nominators room to be creative and identify other achievements we should be celebrating!

Nominations are open now and the deadline for submission for the 2022 awards is March 18, 2022—so don’t delay. Fill out a nomination form and submit it any time before the deadline. As mentioned, more information, including the nomination form, can be found on the CoM awards web page, with reminders following this blog in the CoM E-News.

Thank you in advance for nominating one or more of our fabulous administrative staff members for an award!

Postgraduate program moves forward despite pandemic

Guest blog by Dr. Anurag Saxena, associate dean, Postgraduate Medical Education

In this follow-up to my December 2021 guest blog, I want to highlight the important work the Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) office continued despite the many pandemic challenges also being managed. This includes our ongoing work to implement Competency-Based Medical Education (CBME), accreditation of all programs and the central PGME office, and the newly developed PGME strategic plan.

I’ll start with this great news: all our residency programs are accredited, with the next follow-up by regular review in November 2023. Currently we are engaged in internal reviews of all our programs, started in fall 2021 and continuing through spring 2022. This includes a review of the PGME office. Thank you to all our reviewers and the internal review team leads in engaging in this exercise, which is extremely important for continuous quality improvement of residency education.

Of course, identifying and addressing areas for improvement is an integral part of this work, but the primary intent remains striving for excellence. Upon completion of these internal reviews, the second phase will begin, to address areas for improvement and enhance the quality of our programs, both individually and collectively, under the leadership of the academic programs enhancement committee. We will be sharing the common themes and the emerging, leading and best practices identified in each program with all programs, so that we can learn from each other.
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The CAnERA accreditation standards can be found here: General Standards of Accreditation for Residency Programs and General Standards of Accreditation for Institutions with Residency Programs.

 CBME is now the norm in our programs, either formally in Family Medicine and most Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) specialty programs or by incorporating its principles in the remaining handful of our programs where it hasn’t yet been formally adopted. It will be launched in Diagnostic Radiology in July 2022. We continue our work in transitioning to Elentra as the electronic platform for housing resident information and as an initial step for ultimate integration of curriculum and program administration on one platform. This transition exemplifies true collaboration between Elentra, our CoM and USask information technology professionals, CBD leadership and programs. We are continuing the work in ensuring implementation fidelity and evaluation of CBD components and outcomes.

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We undertook the PGME’s new strategic plan development this year. This process involved extensive stakeholder consultation through surveys and focus groups. This work commenced with assessing the current state (i.e., progress on the previous strategic plan, PGME’s key contributions to the CoM and SHA strategic directions, SWOT analysis), updating existing priorities and drafting new ones, validating and refining the strategic priorities, and highlighting areas of alignment and potential collaboration. We look forward to building on these conversations and emerging partnerships as we move this important work forward.

I would like to thank all of the residents, faculty, staff and leaders and the working group members who informed and developed the plan. A very special thank you to Catherine Delaney, CoM project manager, for her highly effective facilitation of this strategic planning process. The final version of the plan, approved by the PGME planning committee, includes an updated vision, mission and set of strategic priorities and affirms our alignment with the CoM values and principles. The key strategic directions are shown below, and more plan details can be found on our website.

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That we have been able to complete all these important areas of work while navigating the many challenges of the pandemic speaks to the many great people involved directly and in supporting roles in medical residency in Saskatchewan. Thank you to all our residents, program directors, program administrators, administrative team staff, department heads, senior academic and administrative leaders and of course, the PGME unit staff. It indeed takes a village to offer residency education. It is a privilege to work with all of you.