Co-Learning Curriculum in Quality Improvement

Many residency programs are committed to teaching quality improvement (QI) to their trainees, but lack the faculty capacity to deliver a formal QI curriculum. The Faculty-Resident Co-Learning Curriculum in QI – created by Dr. Brian Wong, Dr. Jeannette Goguen and Dr. Kaveh Shojania – addressed this need by taking the innovative approach of teaching faculty and residents together. The dual goals were to teach residents, and to develop a cadre of expert faculty who could mentor QI projects and eventually teach QI. The idea was that faculty could attend the curriculum, observe how QI was being taught, receive coaching on mentoring and teaching QI, and then develop the necessary skills to become project mentors and teachers themselves.

Based on positive participant feedback, the program saw rapid expansion from a pilot program for three subspecialty medicine programs in 2011-2012 to 15 subspecialty programs in 2015-2016 in the Department of Medicine, and six subspecialty programs in the Department of Pediatrics. As of January 2016, we have taught over 80 faculty members from the Departments of Medicine, Paediatrics, Surgery, Ophthalmology, and Palliative care, and successfully trained 29 faculty mentors, 14 of whom have also become faculty teachers. The emergence of these skilled QI teachers and mentors illustrates both the positive impact that the curriculum has had from a faculty development standpoint, and its long-term sustainability.

Many of the projects carried out as part of the co-learning curriculum have been extremely successful, and have been presented as abstracts at national (13 projects) and international meetings (eight projects). Three projects have won conference awards, the most notable being the Presidential Poster Competition Award Winner awarded to the residents in the endocrinology training program at the international Endocrine Society meeting in 2014. The co-learning curriculum was also recently awarded a 2016 University of Toronto Helen P. Batty Award For Excellence and Achievement in Faculty Development in the category of Innovation in Program Development and Design. This award speaks to the impact the program has had on faculty expertise in QI, not just on resident education.

Examples of projects that have emerged from program participation have included:

"Improving Outcomes in Patients with Reported Allergy to Beta-Lactam Antibiotics"

  • Division of Infectious Diseases

"Promoting Laboratory Resource Stewardship in Endocrinology: Reducing Unnecessary Free Thyroid Hormone Testing"

  • Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism

Participating Programs:

Subspecialty Program Faculty Mentor(s)
Clinical Immunology & Allergy and Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology Yasmin Moolani Merchant
Coronary ICU-UHN Adriana Luk
Endocrinology & Metabolism Julie Gilmour & Geetha Mukerji
Gastroenterology & Hepatology Michael Bernstein, Natasha Bollegala, Jeff Mosko, & Adam Weizman
General Internal Medicine Eshan Fernando
Geriatric Medicine Richard Norman & Katrina Piggott
Hematology Sita Bhella & Jacob Pendergrast
Infectious Diseases Phil Lam
Internal Medicine Anna Goulding
Medical Oncology Charles Lim & Mary Mahler
Nephrology Bourne Auguste & Lisa Dubrofsky
Neurology Charles Kassardjian, Houman Khosravani, & Sara Mitchell
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Christian Fortin, Meiqi Guo, Alex Lo, & Amanda Mayo
Rheumatology Natasha Gakhal, Shirley Lake & Medha Soowamber