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Transitioning from residency: Making practice management mandatory

Over the years, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has developed a number of programs and resources that provide practical information, guidance and direction to help residents with the transition from residency to practice. One of these is the Practice Management Curriculum (PMC) program. Now offered by Joule, the CMA’s newest company, the PMC program consists of a series of informal, interactive seminars that help residents evaluate future practice opportunities and understand the principles of personal and professional financial management.

Compulsory PMC at the University of Manitoba

The PMC is considered such a valuable program that some medical schools, including the University of Manitoba, have made the seminars mandatory for their residents.

“A number of years ago, a group of physician teachers at the University of Manitoba developed a core curriculum of courses that are compulsory for all residents,” explains Dr. Fraser. “That core curriculum includes the PMC program. We believe that the information within the program is crucial to our residents’ future success as physicians and stipulate that they must take it before completing their residency/fellowships.”

Toward the end of each educational year, all University of Manitoba Program Directors/Program Assistants receive a notice listing the core curriculum courses their residents/fellows are required to take along with a timeline by when the courses should be completed. If there are no changes requested by the Program Directors, these requirements then appear on the residents/fellows VENTIS page (the computer tracking system used at PGME, U of M). The resident/fellow will see credits for their courses appear on their VENTIS page as they complete the courses.

“When we made PMC mandatory, we knew that we also had to alleviate any issues with residents being unavailable to attend on the day of the course due to out-of-province electives or other prior commitments,” continues Dr. Fraser. “So, we increased the number of PMC courses to two a year from one, and gave residents two years to take it. This makes it easier for residents to fit it into their busy schedules. Any resident who still doesn’t manage to complete the PMC course must review the online PMC modules and send to me a summary of each one. If those summaries are satisfactory, I’ll award the PMC credit.”

The Program Directors/Program Assistants get a notice in February or March of any residents/fellows who expect to graduate at the end of June, but have not yet completed all the requirements of the core curriculum. Any make-up assignments are included in this notice so that this information can be passed on to the residents giving them ample time to earn the necessary credits. The University of Manitoba Diploma, which shows that residents have successfully completed all of the requirements of their residency/fellowship training program, is withheld until all core curriculum courses have been completed.

Benefiting residents and fulfilling mandates

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada require residents be exposed to the elements of practice management. PMC seminars enable postgraduate medical departments to fulfill those mandates and benefit from knowing that residents/fellows across all programs have been given a basic knowledge of Practice Management. Residents benefit from the help and advice they receive on how to start in a practice, manage their finances and negotiate effectively.

Find out more about the PMC program.

“The mandatory core curriculum courses at the University of Manitoba include the Practice Management Curriculum seminars because we believe the information within the courses is crucial to our residents’ future success.”

Dr. Virginia Fraser
Faculty Lead, Core Curriculum Post Graduate Medical Education, University of Manitoba