Trainees at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre are uniquely positioned to develop a comprehensive appreciation for the many different facets of cancer care, and in 2015, the Cancer Trainee Professional Enrichment Program (CT-PEP) was developed as a platform to do so. CT-PEP is a coordinated and accredited curriculum designed to complement individual professional training programs and build skills in such areas as evidence-based practice, professional practice, and collaboration & communication.
Structured as 10 lunchtime sessions over the course of the academic year, the curriculum was built to be approached as a series, encouraging ongoing networking and competency-building. Each session in this academic year included an interprofessional interactive exercise to highlight the value of collaborative approaches to improving cancer care at the level of the individual patient and the system. Where feasible, sessions were offered in concert with supporting online learning opportunities.
The series has had
representation of over 20 individual professional training programs within the Princess Margaret, from radiation therapy to nutrition and pathology to dentistry, at all levels of training. Jeff Winter, medical physics resident, noted the value of the "opportunity to interact with people who have different roles and perspectives during the interactive learning component" of each session. Fifteen trainees received CT-PEP certificates and University of Toronto Interprofessional Education Curriculum credit for having attended at least six sessions. Dina Khalaf (a fellow in the Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology) was one of those who made CT-PEP participation a priority, noting that the series "tackled aspects that are not usually discussed in regular educational rounds and courses. Things like public speaking and mindfulness were so unique."
With an average evaluation score of 4.5/5 for all speakers, the curriculum was uniquely geared to the perspective of those at the start of their careers, with the responsibility and opportunity to shape the cancer care of the future. As noted by Mariam Ebady (third year radiation therapy student), the Transition to Practice panel was "the most relevant to me at this time as a student hoping to transition into the workplace. The personal experiences and lessons shared by the speakers were valuable and the open discussion session where we had a chance to express our concerns was truly helpful". Recognition and support of health professions program directors helped to facilitate trainee attendance at these lunchtime sessions, each of which was well-attended and promised rich discussion over pizza.
Patel (left), Danielle Taylor, Colin Robertson, Schontal Halstead, Priya Patel
& Michelle Tremblay
Certificate Recipients 2017-2018
- Priya Patel – Radiation Therapy
- Maitry Patel – Physician Assistant, Radiation Oncology
- Colin Robertson – Radiation Therapy
- Samantha Polito – Pharmacy
- Michelle Tremblay – Radiation Therapy
- Schontal Halstead – Radiation Therapy
- Danielle Taylor – Social Work
- Leslie Oldfield – Graduate Student, Medical Biophysics