Resources for Residents

As a resident embarking on your training through Competence By Design (CBD), you are on the vanguard of an entirely new approach to residency training.

In CBD, it’s not about how long you spend in a particular environment, rotation or activity. Rather, it’s about how well you are able to demonstrate your proficiency in a clearly defined and mapped set of skills.

CBD puts you in the driver’s seat. As a resident in the CBD program, you will know from the outset what knowledge and skills you must acquire at each stage of your training, and you will have access to the tools you need to track your progress. You’ll know what’s coming and be empowered to seek the experiences you need to progress.


For residents in the “traditional” PGY stream

If your residency training is already underway, you will not be following the CBD program yourself. You will continue in the traditional PGY2, PGY3, PGY4, PGY5 progression. However, you must make yourself familiar with CBD milestones, EPAs, and assessment protocols, as you will be teaching, supervising and assessing CBD residents coming behind you. Please avail yourself of the resources for residents and for faculty. In essence, you will play a dual role that will provide you with opportunities to hone your teaching abilities in the medical education paradigm of the future. Your program may also choose to offer you and your PGY peers the same kind of frequent low-stakes feedback received by CBD residents.

CBD Resident Resources

The PGME office offers resident town halls on a regular basis to bring residents from different program together to learn about CBME/CBD and share their experiences. The PGME office and your program director are also excellent sources of information and advice.

The Royal College has also developed a number of helpful resources for residents:

CBD: What you need to know: A resident’s guide  

CBD Residents: Key things you need to know infographic

CBD: The Rationale

Clarifying Myths, Misconceptions & Misunderstandings

Royal College’s response to FMRQ’s report “The Impact of Competence by Design”


Benefits of CBD

CBD provides many benefit to you, as a resident:

  • more frequent assessment and meaningful feedback from faculty will improve your performance faster
  • well-defined learning paths and a clear understanding of the competencies needed to progress to the next stage of training
  • a learning path that emphasizes your personal development
  • smooth transitions between stages
  • empowerment to direct your own learning progress
  • the opportunity to prepare for independent practice by honing skills and working more independently during the final stage of residency

Stay on top of your learning

In CBD, you are the director of your own learning experience. As such, you must take a proactive stance. For example, you must:

  • review and understand the stages of training and their associated EPAs and milestones
  • familiarize yourself with the required training experiences (RTE) and associated assessment strategies
  • stay on top of your learning—identify and take advantage of learning opportunities as they arise
  • reflect on the feedback/coaching you receive
  • seek opportunities to mentor peers and be mentored by peers, in terms of both performance and training opportunities
  • provide faculty with feedback—they also need to know how they are doing

Your program’s role in your learning

Of course, you are not solely responsible for guiding your own progress! Your program director or academic advisor will work closely with you to ensure you have all the information and tools you need. You can also rely on your supervisors to provide you with guidance and advice—and, of course, the learning experiences and ongoing assessment, feedback and coaching you require!

Resident wellness

Residency is an exciting and highly rewarding time, but it is also demanding and often stressful. If you are experiencing any academic or personal difficulties, do not hesitate to share your concerns with your program director or advisor. You can also seek assistance from the Office of Resident and Student Affairs and Assistant Dean, Dr. Carolyn Thomson

Professional support program

The Doctors Nova Scotia Professional Support Program (PSP) offers confidential help to practicing and retired physician, residents, and their families who are experiencing problems – whether they are personal or professional, financial or psychological, psychiatric or addictive.

More information on the PSP program

Instructions for Residents to Trigger EPA Forms and Track Progress