Defining fitness for purpose in South African anaesthesiologists using a Delphi technique to assess the CanMEDS framework
Background: Training of South African anaesthesiologists is based on the Canadian Medical Education Directives for Specialists (CanMEDS). However, the applicability of CanMEDS in this context has not been assessed. An expert panel participated in a Delphi process to create an appropriate expanded list of CanMEDS competencies that may be used in the future to assess fitness for purpose of local graduates.
Methods: This descriptive study comprised a representative panel of 16 experts surveyed electronically over three rounds to assess the importance of the existing CanMEDS roles and enabling competencies and suggested additions deemed applicable locally. The primary outcome was the creation of a list of competencies applicable to South Africa.
Results: There was a 100% response rate for all three rounds. Based on the existing seven CanMEDS meta-competencies (Medical Expert, Collaborator, Communicator, Leader, Scholar, Professional and Health Advocate), respondents scored the importance of 89 enabling competencies and 19 additional competencies. Seven CanMEDS enabling competencies did not achieve consensus and were excluded. Nineteen new enabling competencies and two new meta-competencies (Humaneness, Context Awareness) achieved consensus and were added. Median ratings of importance of meta-competencies showed highest scores for Medical Expert and Collaborator and lowest scores for Health Advocate. Weighting of meta-competencies revealed highest scores for Medical Expert and Professional with all others equally weighted.
Conclusion: This study has formulated an adapted CanMEDS list of enabling competencies with the addition of the two new metacompetencies of Context Awareness and Humaneness for use in South African anaesthesiology. This provides a means with which future graduates may be assessed for fitness for purpose.
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