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Med Teach. 2018 Feb 23:1-8. doi: 10.1080/0142159X.2018.1436164. [Epub ahead of print]

Remediation in Canadian medical residency programs: Established and emerging best practices.

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a Post-Graduate Medical Education, Clinical Research Centre , Dalhousie University , Halifax , NS , Canada.
b Department of Psychiatry , Dalhousie University , Halifax , NS , Canada.
c Department of Family Medicine , Dalhousie University , Halifax , NS , Canada.
d Division of Medical Education and Continuing Professional Development , Dalhousie University , Halifax , NS , Canada.
e Post-Graduate Medical Education , Dalhousie University , Halifax , NS , Canada.



Policies to guide remediation in postgraduate medical education exist in all Canadian medical schools. This study examines concordance between these policies and processes, and published "best practices" in remediation.


We conducted a literature review to identify best practices in the area of remediation. We then reviewed remediation policies from all 13 English medical schools in Canada other than our own and conducted interviews with key informants from each institution. Each policy and interview transcript pair was then reviewed for evidence of pre-defined "best practices." Team members also noted additional potential policy or process enablers of successful remediation.


Most policies and processes aligned with some but not all published best practices. For instance, all participating schools tailored remediation strategies to individual resident needs, and a majority encouraged faculty-student relationships during remediation. Conversely, few required the teaching of goal-setting, strategic planning, self-monitoring, and self-awareness. In addition, we identified avoidance of automatic training extension and the use of an educational review board to support the remediation process as enablers for success.


Remediation policies and practices in Canada align well with published best practices in this area. Based on key informant opinions, flexibility to avoid training extension and use of an educational review board may also support optimal remediation outcomes.

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