SubmissionId 30285

PCW - 4


  • Ivy Oandasan
  • Ivy Oandasan
  • Elaine van Melle
  • Glenda Eoyang


Reg Fee?

Length of Presentation
Half Day (4 hours)


Abstract (Rationale / Background / Purpose)

Background: In the 2001 Health Canada report: Social Accountability: A Vision for Canadian Medical Schools, one of the challenges posed was to advance a “definition and clarification of the concept of social accountability and the dissemination of methods for measuring responsiveness to societal needs”. Now 17 years later, the concept of social accountability has influenced the national competency frameworks used to guide medical education, the outcomes based approaches used to design curriculum and the recommendations for the future of medical education. But do we really know if the changes made are making any difference to our social accountability mandate? Do we understand what social accountability is and our specific medical education contribution? Do we know how to measure medical education’s role amidst the complexities of all others contributing to change in the healthcare system? Social accountability is a wicked problem waiting to be solved. Just by the nature of these questions we can see that social accountability poses a wicked problem for medical educators; it is a massively complex and entangled issue for which there is no one direct solution. In this workshop, using a lens of complexity we will explore and debate WHAT role medical education has in addressing social accountability; Define the SO WHAT has medical education done so far to address social accountability and; describe critical questions and methods to answer the NOW WHAT measuring medical education’s contribution to meeting societal need.

Instructional methods: Using a combination of large and small group interactive approaches, adaptive action methods will be used a as a framework to help participants achieve the following


  1. Explore concepts related to social accountability in medical education;
  2. Identify and apply strategies for addressing wicked problems
  3. Define questions and methods to address medical education’s contribution to social accountability

Target audience: Medical education administrative leaders, program planners, medical education researchers and program evaluators

Optional Literature References

1. Boelen, Charles. Building a Socially Accountable Health Professions School: Towards Unity For Health. Education for Health Vol. 17, No. 2, July 2004, 223 – 231.

2. Eoyang, G. and R. Holladay. (2013). Adaptive action: Leveraging uncertainty in your organization. San Francisco: Stanford University Press.

3. Van Melle E, Gruppen L, Holmboe E, Flynn L, Oandasan I Frank JR. Using Contribution Analysis to Evaluate Competency-Based Medical Education Programs: It's All About Rigor in Thinking. Academic Medicine. Acad Med 92 (6), 752-758. 6 2017.

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