Keynote speakers

Failing to Cross boundaries: Is remediation possible and how much extra training is needed?

Students and trainees often underperform during summative assessments. Additional training is often offered, be it for, say, three months, six months or a year before resitting exams, both for undergraduates and for specialty trainees. An undergraduate taking finals has already studied for five years, so how much might an extra three months help? Few quantitative analyses are available, and this talk will try to provide some. A situation of particular interest is for able IMGs who may have come from an impoverished undergraduate training environment but in the UK find themselves in a much richer training environment. The key to any such calculations is being able to estimate absolute amounts of medical knowledge rather than merely assessing relative knowledge compared to other trainees.


Chris trained as a doctor in Cambridge (1969-72) and Birmingham (1972-75). He returned to Cambridge to do a PhD in the genetics and neuropsychology of handedness and cerebral dominance (1976-79). Since 1979 he has worked in various medical schools and colleges of the University of London.

Professor Chris McManus

Professor of Psychology and Medical Education
University College London, UK

The route to crossing boundaries: If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there.

The greatest challenge to medical education is, arguably, the unpredictability of future health care. Shifts in population needs, globalisation, climate change, political and economic upheaval all bring uncertainty, ambiguity, and potential chaos. As boundaries become increasingly fluid, the hurdles needed to cross them are more difficult to define. Do we know where we are going? The linearity of progression, on which our current assessment frameworks rely, may prove no longer fit for purpose as skill sets for medical practice alter. The globalisation of health care requires the values lying “within” us to be nurtured. Yet these lie often “without” the traditional curricula frameworks of knowledge, skills and professional behaviour. Assessment has the formative potential to support change. Ironically as competence testing hurdles are increasingly established to address challenges of global migration, educational opportunities simultaneously arise to modernise the route to arriving there. As we proceed into a new “Wonderland”, let us reflect on the advice offered to Alice that in actuality “any road will take you there”.


Val Wass has dedicated 20 years to developing an holistic approach to medical student learning: developing an increased focus on primary care; patient centred communication; professionalism and cultural awareness.

Professor Val Wass, OBE

Emeritus Professor of Medical Education
Keele University, UK

Realizing the Promise of Outcomes-based Medical Education through More Effective Assessment.

The Association for the Study of Medical Education is delighted to be a partner in this event, including sponsoring the ASME Guest Lecture and keynote presentation by Dr Eric Holmboe: Realizing the Promise of Outcomes-based Medical Education through More Effective Assessment.

Outcomes-based education (OBE) has become a driving philosophy and approach for many medical education systems around the globe. Major reasons for the interest in OBE by policy makers and health system leaders are persistent concerns about the quality, safety and costs of healthcare. However, implementing OBE using competency models has proved to be very daunting for educators and training programs due in no small part to significant challenges in assessment. OBE and competencies require a greater emphasis on work-based assessments, organized within programs of assessment and should include group process for making judgments. This session will explore some newer approaches in assessing competencies that are designed to promote better professional development and bridge professional boundaries in assessment.


Dr Holmboe, a board certified internist, is Senior Vice President for Milestones Development and Evaluation of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Prior to joining the ACGME in January 2014, he served as the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the ABIM Foundation. He is also Professor Adjunct of Medicine at Yale University, and Adjunct Professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Dr Holmboe was selected by the National Board of Medical Examiners as the recipient of the 2016 John P. Hubbard Award. The award is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the pursuit of excellence in the field of evaluation in medicine.

Dr Eric Holmboe

Senior Vice President of Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, USA

Crossing Boundaries in Assessment in Medical Education

One could classify most of our assessment practices as being very modular and providing marginal information on a learner. This rather behaviouristic approach to assessment collides with modern constructivist views on (competency-based) education. From a constructivist perspective we need more longitudinal assessment that provides rich information on learner progress. In this talk such a new perspective on assessment is sketched from a theoretical point of view based on an interpretation of assessment research. Subsequently an illustration will be given of an assessment practice that has implemented some of these notions.

If our assessment approach is not able to cross the boundaries of a traditional view on learning, modern constructivist education programs will fail in their intent. We should reverse the often-heard mantra of “assessment drives learning” to “learning should drive assessment”.


Cees was Professor of Education and chair of the Department of Educational Development and Research in the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, until 2014. He is also the Scientific Director of the School of Health Professions Education.

Cees van der Vleuten will be presenting the Calman Lecture on Friday the 14th October.

Professor Cees van der Vleuten

Professor, Department of Educational Development and Research
Maastricht University, The Netherlands

Closing remarks

Building the ark: Can we help our teachers & learners to survive the assessment demands of competency-based medical education?


Erik is a Professor of Medical Education and chair of the Department of Educational Development and Research in the Faculty Health Medicine and Live Sciences. He is editor in chief of Perspectives on Medical Education.

Professor Erik Driessen

Chair, Department of Educational Development and Research at the Faculty of Health Medicine and Life Sciences at Maastricht University
Editor in Chief of Perspectives on Medical Education