Medical Expert

Medical Expert


The central Role in the CanMEDS construct is Medical Expert as this is the key feature that distinguishes physicians from other professionals.  As medical experts, physicians integrate all of the CanMEDS roles and applying medical knowledge, clinical skills and professional attitudes in their provision of patient-centred care.  This role of the medical expert is often the role that is given priority during the medical education process.


The Key Competencies for the CanMEDS Medical Expert Role are as follows: 


Physicians are able to ...

  1. Function effectively as consultants, integrating all of the CanMEDS Roles to provide optimal, ethical and patient-centred medical care;

  2. Establish and maintain clinical knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to their practice;

  3. Perform a complete and appropriate assessment of a patient;

  4. Use preventive and therapeutic interventions effectively;

  5. Demonstrate proficient and appropriate use of procedural skills, both diagnostic and therapeutic;

  6. Seek appropriate consultation from other health professionals, recognizing the limits of their expertise.





The Key Competencies for the CanMEDS-FM Medical Expert Role are as follows:


Physicians are able to...

  1. Integrate all of the CanMEDS-FM Roles in order to function effectively as generalists;

  2. Establish and maintain clinical knowledge, skills and attitudes required to meet the needs of the practice and patient population served;

  3.  Demonstrate proficient assessment and management of patients using the patient-centred clinical method;

  4. Provide comprehensive and continuing care throughout the life cycle incorporating appropriate preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic interventions;

  5. Attend to complex clinical situations in family medicine effectively;

  6. Demonstrate proficient and evidence-based use of procedural skills;

  7. Provide coordination of patient care including collaboration and consultation with other health professionals and caregivers.



Why is the Role of Medical Expert felt to be the central one to being a physician?


Do you think this is the most important aspect of being a physician? Why? Why not?


How does the Role of Medical Expert as a specialist differ from a family physician? Is this distinction important?