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Acad Med. 2000 Feb;75(2):113-26.

Educating future physicians for Ontario: phase II.

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Faculty of Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.


In 1990, a collaborative project was launched to determine what the people of Ontario expect of their physicians and how the programs that prepare future physicians should be changed in response. The project, called Educating Future Physicians for Ontario (EFPO), brought together the five Ontario medical schools, the Council of Ontario Faculties of Medicine (COFM); a nonprofit, charitable organization, Associated Medical Services (AMS); and the Ontario Ministry of Health. The first phase ran for five years and was described in the November 1998 issue of Academic Medicine. After an external review, the project was continued for a second phase (EFPO II) for four more years until December 1998; that second phase is the topic of this article. EFPO II (1) focused more on residents' education; (2) emphasized four of the EFPO I-created physician roles in project activities; (3) maintained the province-wide, inter-institutional medical education framework of phase I, but fostered greater involvement of the seven sites (five medical schools and two regional health centers) in project activities; (4) stressed five project components (e.g., needs assessment and community partnerships) and worked for collaboration among components at all sites; (5) enhanced the original EFPO I Fellowship Program by adding residents and community fellows to the existing fellowships and by initiating leadership development activities, all of which bode well for the future leadership of medical education in Ontario. Students and residents played a vital role in EPFO II. Most of EFPO II's objectives were met, but the overall view of external reviewers was that the project was less successful than EFPO I. For example, the impact on clinical education, especially residency education, was less than anticipated. On the other hand, the project helped encourage the wide adoption of the eight physician roles that originated in EFPO I and advanced faculty development and assessment activities based on these roles. A third phase of EFPO concerning continuing medical education was planned, but support was not available. However, one of the funders will continue to support the successful fellowship and leadership program and the provincial education network for the next three years. Overall, the two phases of EFPO substantially modified medical education in Ontario to make it more responsive to evolving social needs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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