Emerging Concepts in Medical Education IV: Social Media and $$

On Tuesday, Elaine discussed “systems thinking,” “handover,” and “global health” as emerging themes that impact a physician competency framework.  Today she suggests two more concepts that should be considered during the CanMEDS 2015 renewal.  Do these themes align or conflict with your understanding of physician competency?

–  Jonathan


Social Media
Social media is defined as “a set of web-based and mobile technologies that allow people to monitor, create, share or manipulate text, audio, photos or video, with others.”1 In 2005, more than one-third (33%) of Canadian adults used the Internet to search  for health information.2 Clearly, the web is rapidly becoming a source for medical information. Social media, however, is about more than sharing information; rather it  involves making a social connection. Consequently, there is rising concern  regarding the development of appropriate online professional persona and guidelines for virtual relationships with patients.3 Indeed, it is suggested that “e-professionalism” be  considered as a new competency within the Professional Role.

Financial Incentives

Financial incentives is a “catchphrase for a management tool that establishes incentives for clinicians and institutions (e.g. hospitals) that deliver health care services . . .  to achieve highest quality standards and best outcomes.”4(p.1797) Commonly referred to as “Pay-for-Performance” or P4P, financial incentives have been adopted primarily in response to the rising costs of health care.5 Currently, within the Manager Role, there are key and enabling competencies that relate to health care funding and financial management of healthcare resources.6(p.18) The challenge is to consider if these statements are explicit enough or need to be updated in light of the current emphasis on cost control.

In the next and final post in this series I consider one of the most challenging emerging concepts: complexity.

Image: Wes Schaeffer via flickr under Creative Commons License CC2.0



1. Canadian Medical Association. 2011. Social media and Canadian physicians: Issues and rules of engagement. CMA: Ottawa, ON. Available at: http://www.cma.ca/. Accessed May 27, 2013.

2. Statistics Canada. 2010. Canadian internet use survey. Available at: www.statscan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/111012/dq1110129-eng.htm. Accessed May 28 2013.

3. Kaczmarczyk JM, Chuang A, Dugoff L, Abbott JF, Cullimore AJ, Dalrymple J, Davis KR, Hueppchen  NA, Katz NT, Nuthalapaty FS, Pradhan A, Wolf A, Casey PM. 2013. E-Professionalism: A new frontier in medical education. Teaching and Learning in Medicine 25(2): 165-170.

4. Wodchis WP, Ross JS, Detky AS. 2007. Is P4P really FFS? Journal of American Medical Association. 298(15):1797-1799.

5. Pink GH, Brown AD, Studer MI, Reiter KL, Leatt, P. 2006. Pay-for performance in publicly financed healthcare: some international experience and considerations for Canada. Healthcare Papers 6(4):8-26.

6. Frank,JR. (Ed). 2005. The CanMEDS 2005 physician competency framework. Better standards.Better physicians. Better care. Ottawa:The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.