This module is the first of a series of web-based tools that present the CanMEDS Roles as defined by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The CanMEDS physician competency framework seeks to improve care by articulating the competencies required for medical practice and education.

These CanMEDS Roles have been developed over more than twenty years beginning with the experiences and needs of citizens and health care consumers. The Roles are used nationally and internationally as standards and benchmarks in the "art" of medicine. They are the framework of your professional education and evaluation.













As a Physician you will function within the Roles of:

  • Medical Expert

  • Communicator

  • Collaborator

  • Manager

  • Health Advocate

  • Scholar

  • Professional





At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • describe the background and history of the CanMEDS 2005 Physician Competency Framework;

  • identify the 7 key CanMEDS Roles;

  • reflect on your "Ideal Physician" and how this relates to professional and societal expectations and responsibilities;

  • explain how the Role of  Medical Expert interacts with other physician Roles.


As a trainee in the Postgraduate Medicine program, you are expected to know and understand these Roles.  These Roles are relevant in your residency and are the standards of practice for your medical career.  Whatever area of medicine you practice in, you will be part of a health care team, you will be a medical expert, you will be an advocate.