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Thoughts on the new FM Rubric?


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Credits to @ana_safavifor bringing light to this issue

So it appears this year, FM programs will evaluate applicants on rubrics instead of traditional LORs. It was widely criticized on MedTwitter and begs the question, who are making these decisions at the higher level? CCFP & CARMS distanced themselves from it, but we know all 17 FM Program Directors were involved.

Now they've agreed to revise it, but I have many quesitons:

1. How did 17 program directors get it so wrong, yet so many regular FMs were able to pick up on the flaws of this form right away? Some controversial questions include "Being able to live away from loved ones", "tearfulness", "being a burden to admin", "disagreements with other colleagues"

2. Why wasn't notice given to applicants in a timely fashion? It's not clear how long they spent on this decision - a few weeks? a few months? But clearly they need more than a few weeks to make sure the form is able to stand on its own. 

3. I think it's a little disappointing that FM reduced evaluations to checklists and boxes? There's basically no room for text in the form - how does every other program see the value in reference letters and FM doesn't? It just contributes to the identity of FM being a specialty you don't need to be passionate about 

Not sure if they still plan to roll it out for the 2021 match (it looks like they do, yay, another stress on top of electives being a mess with the pandemic). 

Thoughts? Is the FM SLOR salvageable? Or should they just scrap it and start over from scratch for 2022?

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Yeah tearfulness shouldn't be in there and it should be changed to "inappropriate emotionality", as its very much ok to show compassionate emotion to patients and to cry it out once you're out of the room, but you also need to be able to be composed under pressure and stoic if that's what your patient's need you to be. The rest I think is ok, I mean it's what was discussed in letters before. If you have a conflict here just like everyone else its not gonna make in into a letter but you and I both know people who conflict seems to follow around, and that's a helpful thing for a program to know. Being a burden to admin is a 100% legit question to ask.

Now I know the rural questions are controversial but I think its actually really important. Obviously if you're applying downtown Toronto they will just disregard it, but if you're backing up with rural and there's no way you're going to hack it, and will try and transfer out or drop out ASAP, that's not really fair to the applicants who are actually interested in rural medicine, and its something that should be commented on.

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Carms sent an email today saying that they will be holding off on using it until the 2022 cycle now. It seemed to come out of nowhere. From the perspective of students going through the cycle this year, it does feel a bit rough that carms is now open and we still don’t have program descriptions. And now, given this FM rubric came very unexpectedly, there’s the added uncertainty of whether there will be further big changes to how we are evaluated and what the requirements will be this year. It feels uncomfortable to send out reference letter requests now because what if there’s going to be another big change before the descriptions are out? I totally appreciate that the programs have had to quickly adapt to the challenges of covid, and I know there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes that we don’t see or know about. But I wish we were given a bit more info or at least a firm deadline for when things will be finalized. 

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On 11/9/2020 at 6:33 PM, bread said:

Carms sent an email today saying that they will be holding off on using it until the 2022 cycle now. It seemed to come out of nowhere. From the perspective of students going through the cycle this year, it does feel a bit rough that carms is now open and we still don’t have program descriptions. And now, given this FM rubric came very unexpectedly, there’s the added uncertainty of whether there will be further big changes to how we are evaluated and what the requirements will be this year. It feels uncomfortable to send out reference letter requests now because what if there’s going to be another big change before the descriptions are out? I totally appreciate that the programs have had to quickly adapt to the challenges of covid, and I know there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes that we don’t see or know about. But I wish we were given a bit more info or at least a firm deadline for when things will be finalized. 

The programs are doing an absolutely terrible job in my opinion, regardless of COVID. How far  is your head in your own ass that you don't realize that a significant portion of students had already asked for early letters - something that CARMS emailed about in September. "oh now this form is mandatory." Ok, the student thinks, now that the portal is open and the instructions are clear, I will go ahead and ask my preceptor to disregard the previous letter and fill out the rubric. "JK, twitter is upset that uncontrolled tearfulness (who TF openly weeps with patients... definitely a red flag in my book) might impact their chances... let's go back to the old form." So the student, potentially for the third time, needs to ask their preceptor to go back to the original instructions.  

 

Also, where are the program descriptions?! Why does it take until November when basically nobody was doing anything during lockdown pandemic (chill phone clinics from your home etc..)

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