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Linking Learning: Finding opportunities in day-to-day activities
Similar to formal educational activities such as conferences, seminars, and courses, Linking Learning allows you to earn Mainpro+ certified credits through your daily work. Here’s how:
- Access the online form in your Mainpro+ account.
- Use it to identify a question.
- Follow the critical inquiry and practice reflection exercises.
Each completed Linking Learning exercise is eligible for five Mainpro+ certified credits. There is no limit to the number of exercises you can complete in a cycle.
All Linking Learning forms are available on the Mainpro+ portal. You can find them under the Certified Assessment menu.
The form is designed to allow you to save a partially completed entry and finish it later. In fact, we recommend that you take six to 12 weeks to assess the impact of your activity and then return to complete the form.
This outline shows which Linking Learning exercise to use for various activities you may engage in as part of your day-to-day work life:
|Linking Learning Exercise||Clinical/Non-Clinical Activity|
|Linking Learning to Practice||
|Linking Learning to Research||
|Linking Learning to Administration||
|Linking Learning to Assessment||
|Linking Learning to Teaching||
Here are examples you can use as guides when you complete a form to link your daily learning to Mainpro+ certified credits:
- You recently attended medical rounds on breast cancer. You learned that the local breast cancer screening program is using a different set of recommendations than those used in your office. You ask yourself: “Which recommendations apply best to my patients, and how can I be sure that all of my eligible patients are being screened by either myself or the local program?” Document the process and resources you use to answer this question in a Linking Learning to Research form.
- You participated in a provincial quality improvement program as a coach/mentor. You spent time with a fellow physician, reviewing their CPD plan and helping them set learning goals. This required you to assess their CPD needs and provide feedback on their goals. Describe your assessment techniques in a Linking Learning to Assessment exercise.
- You would like to adopt the Patient’s Medical Home (PMH) vision for your clinic. You decide to lead your current colleagues and staff through the transition. Outline your plan to align with the PMH vision in a Linking Learning to Administration exercise to earn credits.
- You spent six months volunteering in the Philippines providing prenatal care to families with low incomes. Document how this experience will affect your current practice in a Linking Learning to Practice exercise.
- You conducted a two-hour, hands-on workshop on intrauterine device insertion at Family Medicine Forum. After reviewing the participant evaluations, you noted several attendees would have liked more interaction with the speaker. Use a Linking Learning to Teaching exercise to review the feedback and document how you could restructure the workshop to allow more time for participant interaction.
Want to see an example?
Here is an example of a physician’s response to question 4: Make a decision about your practice.
Linking Learning: Step by step
It’s easy to get started:
- Click “Enter a CPD Activity” in your Mainpro+ account.
- Select your Linking Learning exercise from the Certified Assessment menu.
- Complete the mandatory fields.
- Submit it, and you’re done.
Pearls™ is a program of evidence-based practice reflection exercises that facilitate the integration of new clinical knowledge into practice.
The exercises are available free of charge to College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) members, family medicine residents, and practice-eligible exam candidates.
How to complete a Pearls exercise
The Pearls template guides a five-step inquiry and reflective process that provides valid, reliable, and relevant answers to clinical questions. It also prompts physicians to develop a plan for putting new information to work in their practice.
Step 1: Formulate a specific question relevant to a practice
Step 2: Perform a literature search to identify evidence-based information to answer the question
Step 3: Evaluate the information by critically appraising the key article(s)
Step 4: Make a practice decision based on this information
Step 5: After an appropriate period of time has elapsed, evaluate the impact of this decision on the practice
Once complete, submit the Pearls form to the CFPC for review. Pearls is not a pass or fail activity; however, the CFPC reserves the right to withhold credit for incomplete submissions or for submissions that do not meet the requirements stated on the submission form. This assessment activity has been certified by the CFPC for six Mainpro+® credits. There is no limit to the number of forms that can be submitted in a Mainpro+ cycle.
You can find the Pearls exercise inside your Mainpro+ account, where you claim credits for continuing professional development (CPD) activities.
Once logged into your account, select the Mainpro+ logo at the top of the page to go to your Mainpro+ dashboard. From there, select ‘Enter a CPD Activity.’ Make the following selections on the Activity form to access the Pearls exercise:
Certification Type: Certified
Activity Type: Pearls
Once you start the exercise, you can save your progress and return to it at a later time before submitting for Mainpro+ credits.
Pearls is based on several guiding principles. Each exercise should be:
- Self-directed—allowing physicians to complete it at their own pace
- Practical—allowing physicians to explore information that is relevant to their practice
- Challenging—allowing physicians to examine their current practices, knowledge, and ability to provide evidence-based care
- Reflective—allowing physicians to assess the impact of their decisions after an elapsed period of time
Pearls should also challenge some of the traditional beliefs about CPD. In traditional CPD, physicians attend didactic presentations or read books and journals in a rather unsystematic way. Physicians are often presented with a quantity of largely unfiltered information—and from this information, they might extract only a few key items that could benefit their practice. Research has shown that few practice-based changes are made as a result of this type of CPD. A more effective way to integrate new information into your practice is to begin with a specific practice question.
Control in learning experience
The physician chooses the question and implements clinical decisions based on the results of an independent literature search. The pace of learning—determining when to initiate the activity, and when to complete the reflective component—is all up to the physician.