Tag: inclusive

Redefining excellence in health care: uniting inclusive compassion and shared humanity within a transformative physician competency model

KEY POINTS
  • The Canadian Medical Directives for Specialists (CanMEDS) revision project, due to approach completion in 2026, has identified limitations in the current framework’s ability to address the diverse needs of the Canadian population.

  • Presented here is a dynamic model — a transformed physician competency framework— that centres inclusive compassion and shared humanity and encompasses mechanisms to actively address existing systemic inequities in health care systems.

  • The model expands medical expertise and supports physicians to take an action-oriented stance and commit to equity, justice, and addressing health disparities, emphasizing the vital competencies that are required in both physician training and patient care to transform health systems.

The Canadian Medical Directives for Specialists (CanMEDS) revision project is at a crucial juncture, with implications for the medical profession in Canada. Expert groups have identified limitations in the current framework’s ability to address the diverse needs of the Canadian population, raising questions about its adaptability to concepts such as antiracism, social justice, artificial intelligence, and planetary health. Previously, we underscored the imperative to include antiracism as a foundational competency in any reimagining of CanMEDS,1,2 recognizing its pivotal role in combating health disparities. As the CanMEDS revision approaches completion in 2026, it presents a unique opportunity for transformative change in medical practice, informed by anti-oppression, cultural safety, and social justice principles. This prompts a critical examination of whether the existing framework can effectively integrate these vital competencies or if a comprehensive reimagining is necessary. The revision offers an unprecedented opportunity to envision a physician competency framework that not only facilitates, but propels transformative change within health care systems.

Transformative change in medical education and practice2,3 demands explicit integration of anti-oppressive competencies. This shift aims to redefine the physician’s role, moving from a neutral to an action-oriented stance committed

Advocates call for inclusive dementia care

When Sharon Hunter’s long time partner Stacy was diagnosed with dementia in 2020, “everything just kind of shattered,” she says.

Having fought and won the battle to change the laws against same-sex adoption years earlier, she says it’s been gut-wrenching to see her once formidable partner “sink in the quicksand” of dementia.

“I’ve exhausted myself throwing ropes … and doing everything I can to get her out, and I can’t. And so I’m sitting here and I watch her sink. And it’s devastating,” she says.

Along with contending with a life-altering diagnosis, Sharon says navigating the healthcare system for dementia care as a same-sex couple has been fraught with homophobia and heteronormativity.

“It has kind of been a nightmare on top of the nightmare. We came out years and years ago, but having to navigate the healthcare system for dementia meant that I had to come out over and over again to caregivers,” she says.

“They would always be asking us questions like, ‘who are you? Are you her daughter? Are you her sister? Are you her friend? Are you her mother? Are you her neighbour?’ And nobody, nobody asked us, ‘are you partners?’”

Sharon Hunter and her partner Stacy’s story is part of Egale Canada’s ‘Help Us Remain’ campaign advocating for inclusive healthcare. CITYNEWS/Dilshad Burman

With every instance of explaining their relationship came a fresh round of trepidation and anxiety.

“It’s already hard dealing with dementia, because it shreds your heart and you’re terrified about the future and what’s going to happen, but then you’re having to come out [repeatedly] and then you’re open and vulnerable because you don’t know how people are going to respond. Are they going to now treat us differently? Are they going to dismiss us? Are they not going to listen to what we

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