What is CanMEDS

What is CanMEDS?

The Canadian Medical Education Directives for Specialists, more commonly referred to as CanMEDS, was a project started in 1993 to identify the core competencies required by all physicians to successfully meet the needs of society. The resulting framework consists of competencies organized under seven major roles of a physician. They are:


  • Medical Expert (the central role)
  • Communicator
  • Collaborator
  • Manager
  • Health Advocate
  • Scholar
  • Professional

The CanMEDS roles framework was adopted by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) in 1996. Since then, it has been used as an educational standard by the RCPSC and has been incorporated into accreditation, evaluation and examinations. 

CanMEDS at UofT's Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program

The CanMEDS framework has been integrated in postgraduate medical education at the University of Toronto. The Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program educates the residents and faculty about the CanMEDs competencies and has integrated a CanMEDs curriculum into academic program. This includes formal lectures as well as involving residents in the day to day aspects of radiology training that involve communication, collaboration, advocacy, management, scholarship and professionalism. 

The Residency Program has modified the evaluations to specifically evaluate the residents on each of the CanMEDs competencies. The Program continues to integrate new and innovative ways to educate, integrate and evaluate the CanMEDs competencies.


  • CanMEDs Project Overview: Background information on CanMEDS from the RCPSC [pdf]
  • Key Competencies Table: A concise summary of CanMEDS roles and competencies. [pdf]
  • CanMEDs Framework Presentation [pdf]
  • Sample CanMEDs Portfolio: A sample portfolio from a PGY5 Radiology Resident [pdf]