What Exactly Is the MCCEE Canadian Medical Exam?

Many medical students from around the world are eager to practice in Canada once qualified. In order for this to occur, they will need to sit for and pass the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE). Students who apply to write this exam must be in their final 20 months of their training program when applying to write it. The student’s school must be listed in the International Medical Education Directory (IMED) as well.

An Essential Prerequisite

All medical school graduates who have studied internationally as well as all U.S. osteopathic surgeons are required to undergo and write the MCCEE medical exam prep if they would like to be able to qualify to write the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examinations. The MCCEE is basically a general assessment of a student’s medical knowledge when it comes to the principal disciplines of medicine, and it has been created in order to assess the knowledge and skills that are essential for medical students to have before they will be permitted to enter their first year of fully supervised postgraduate training.

A Multiple Choice Examination

Unlike many other traditional medical examinations, the MCCEE is a computer based option that consists of 180 questions that are based on a multiple choice format. Each question lists five possible answers, of which students need to ensure that they select the best or correct option for each one. The ranges of topics that are covered in this particular exam include Adult Health, Maternal Health, Child Health, Population Health and Ethics and Mental Health. Quite a few of the questions have also been formulated to focus on general practice.

Processing Applications

Students who wish to write this examination will need to provide a certified copy of their non-expired passport, a certified identity confirmation form and a student attestation if they are medical students. Medical graduates will need to submit a copy of their final medical degree or diploma as well. It’s important for students to remember that the entire application process can take a long as three weeks. Although students can apply to take this examination at any time of the year, there are specified dates throughout the year when they will actually be written.

Preparing for Exam Day

Students who are involved in their MCCEE medical exam prep should ensure that they have at least two pieces of government-issued identity documentation with them, each of which has to contain a photo and signature. The names on these documents must match the name that the student has used to register their online MCCEE exam application. Students who arrive at the exam venue without the correct identification will not be allowed to write and will therefore also forfeit the fees that they have paid in.

Once students have written their examination, they will need to sign out of the venue so they can obtain a Test Completion Notice. This serves as proof that they have indeed written the exam and all they will need to do afterwards is await their exam results.

Lifelong Learning and Workplace Learning: Relevant Education for a Knowledge-Based Economy

Introduction

Education is a human right issue for both personal enrichment and development. The Namibian Constitution made a provision for all people to have access to education. This is also supported by goal 4 for Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Goal 4 aim to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Today’s world is ever changing rapidly, in terms of social, economic, political and digital connectivity and usage. The changes requires individuals to adapt and adopt by acquiring relevant new knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies in a wide range of settings to remain relevant and unlimited. Lifelong learning opportunities would enable the acquisition of such relevant new knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies, for individuals to meet life’s challenges, remain relevant and sustain their lives, communities and societies in this digital world.

According to Toffler (1970) “the illiterates of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn”. Lifelong learning is about learning, unlearning and relearning through acquiring and updating all kinds of abilities, interests, knowledge and qualifications from the pre-school years to post retirement.

Learning means the acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience, or being taught. Unlearning is seen as deleting and replacing obsolete knowledge. Relearning means learn material that has been previously learned and then forgotten. Lifelong learning activities promote the development of knowledge and competencies that will enable adaptations to knowledge-based societies, while at the same time valuing all forms of learning. Lifelong learning (LL) is therefore an indispensable guiding principle of educational development.

The commonly understood definition of lifelong learning is ‘all learning undertaken throughout life which is on-going, voluntary and self-motivated in the pursuit of knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies for either personal or professional reasons.

What is Lifelong Learning?

The provision of learning through formal, informal and non-formal learning opportunities throughout people’s lives with the purpose of fostering continuous development and improvement of knowledge and skills needed for employment, community service and/or personal fulfilment. As could be deduced from this definition, lifelong learning is all-encompassing and integral to the vision of a knowledge-based economy and/or society. Lifelong learning can enhance our understanding of the world around us, provide us with more and better opportunities and improve our quality of life.

Types/categories of lifelong learning learners

• Skill-seeking – Learners who need to attain new or improved skills for the purpose of bettering themselves and be able to solve the challenges they face (or meet in the future) in their lives.

• Problem-centred – Learners who only want to learn specific skills needed to deal with a specific problem that they have encountered or might encounter in their particular life situations.

• Task-centred – Learners who only want to concentrate on tasks directed towards reaching some specific goals or solving a specific problem.

• Life-centred – Learners with great experience background and faced with a variety of issues in their everyday life and want to focus their attention on real-world/life challenges/situations and solving real-world problems. They also want to focus on applying newly gained knowledge and/or skills to everyday and real-world situations.

• Solution-driven – Learners who are interested in focusing their efforts to solving problems in real life situations, especially those found in their immediate communities and/or environments or dealing with tasks directed towards reaching specific goals or solutions.

• Value-driven – learners who require guidance why they should participate in learning endeavours and what benefit is there for them. These learners need to be motivated by other to explain to them why they should learn.

• Externally motivated – Learners who are motivated by such factors as better jobs, better salaries, and increased promotional opportunities.

• Internally motivated – Learners who possess strong internal motivation to learn, such as developing their self-esteem, confidence, recognition, career satisfaction, gaining skills to manage their time better or improving the overall quality of life for their families or communities or both.

• Active learners – Learners who are just willing to participate in the learning process (they could be internally or externally motivated or no motivation at all).

• Hands-on – Learners who prefer learning by doing rather than by listening and interested in being provided with opportunities to apply their newly gained skills right away.

• Self-directed – Learners who perceive themselves to be independent and responsible for their own learning, planning and directing their own learning activities. According to Fisher, King and Tague (2001) a self-directed learner takes control and accepts the freedom to learn what they view as important for them.

• Expert /experienced-based – Learners are practicing (working) in a specific field and want to gain knowledge/skills in that specific field for the purpose of improving their practice. These learners bring real-life experiences to the learning situations, thereby influencing the learning process and make it relevant.

• Independent – Learners who are more self-reliant and learn by utilising previously gained knowledge, skills and work experience in order to accomplish things for themselves. These learners rely on their own personal experiences, strengths and knowledge in seeking answers to problems and to solving such problems

Why do we need lifelong learning?

• Upgrade job

• Start a business

• Learn about a subject or to extend their knowledge

• Meet new people

• Develop self-confidence

• Participate in social networking

• Develop personal skills

Individual’s capacity for lifelong learning

• Capacity to set personal objectives in a realistic manner

• Effectiveness in applying knowledge already possessed

• Efficiency in evaluating one’s own learning

• Skills to locate the required information

• Effectiveness in using different learning strategies and learning in different settings

• Skills to use learning aids and resources, such as libraries, media and/or the internet

• Ability to use and interpret materials from different subject areas

The benefits of lifelong learning to society

From those critical statements regarding the importance of lifelong learning it emerges that lifelong learning holds both private and public benefits. The benefits of lifelong learning to society, business and the individual include, among others:

• The economic benefits of lifelong learning both for employment purposes and high earnings are regarded by many as the most important. People who have no jobs engage in lifelong learning in order to gain employable skills and to make a living. Those with jobs engage in lifelong learning so that they can upgrade their skills to be able to be promoted to higher positions in their jobs and earn more money.

• Enhanced employability which means lifelong learning adds value to the person’s ability to gain productive employment and make greater economic contribution to his/her organisation and to society as a whole. This is because lifelong learning enables more people to gain skills and competencies required for the job market.

• Reduced expenditure in unemployment and other social benefits and early retirement (in countries that have those benefits), which means if there are more people with skills and being productive government will concentrate the limited resources to developing infrastructure and create jobs rather than spending it on people who are unable to find work or not willing to work. Infrastructure development means more good educational and health facilities as well as roads and other transport infrastructure for promoting economic development. More jobs means there are more people contributing to government income through taxes and supporting the overall development of the country.

• Reduced criminal activities in societies that have high unemployment rates (Namibia is a good example) of which many of the criminal activities are due to citizens who have nothing productive to do, but having a lot of time on their hands to be idling and/or engaging in mischievous and unproductive activities. Lifelong learning opportunities enable people to gain useful skills and competencies so that they are more employable and there are plenty of opportunities for people to be engaged in productive and worthy causes. We are told that criminal activities are on the increase in societies where there is high unemployment, high illiteracy and /or less educated citizenry as well as where there are high levels of poverty.

• Increased high social returns in terms of civic participation and community involvement in activities that are aimed at improving the standards of living of all people in society. Lifelong learning enables citizens to be active in community development activities and thereby improving their health and well-being as well as generating and nurturing creative ideas for business and innovation development. Lifelong learning also increases high social returns in terms of civic participation and community involvement, for instance volunteering for good causes in their communities and societies thereby enabling government to save through increased civil society involvement.

Career development in the age of lifelong learning

Lifelong learning has been more linked to improving work activities through improving workers’ attitudes towards work and their productive capacities. Workplace learning whether formal, non-formal or informal is targeted to career development of employees. Lifelong learning helps people to develop their potential and the knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies required for the job market. They are required to constantly learn at the workplace. For the lifelong learning system to work at the workplace, where learning is mainly informal, there must be a self-regulating system that enable employees to access relevant information about the labour market and development in the economy. It has been proven across the world that people who are educated are more likely to find decent employment than those with no education. This mean that lifelong learning is currently being used for career development and progress in the labour market as much as it is being used for leisure and community development purposes.

Career development is an important aspect for the labour market as all employees aim for higher salaries, promotions and other incentives that comes with one’s job or employment contract.

Eraut (2007) found that most of the workplace learning of mid-career professionals is largely done in an informal way through consultation and collaboration. The joy of learning and the opportunity to apply the newly acquired skills to the workplace are the best sources of motivation for learning in one’s life.

Approaches to learning at the workplace

Eraut (2004) have identified five approaches for the knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies for lifelong learning at the workplace.

• Group learning: participation in group activities such as team-working towards a common goal or outcome or group set up to work on special projects or for a special purpose. These circumstances will force members of the group to learn communally in order to accomplish their tasks.

• On the job training through social learning activities allows employees to observe others and learn as they learn new practices, new perspectives as they work alongside each other on a routine task or specific project.

• On the job training through understudy / deputizing allow employees to learn from those with more expertise than them but working in the same organisation / institution.

• On the job training by external expertise (consultants) through performance audits, consultancies, workshops.

• Assessment activities such as monitoring and evaluation are some of the approaches used by organisations to enable employees learn about their progress and address gaps.

Work processes through which employees learn better

• Group participation process: through asking questions and participating in decisions;

• Tackling challenging assignments/tasks/ roles;

• Through being supervised, coached and being mentored, shadowing and or reflecting;

• Working alongside colleagues, locating resource persons within the organisation as well as listening and observing others;

• Through problem solving, trying things out, suing models or mediating artefacts and learning through mistakes;

• Consultation with other employees and management;

• Visiting other sites/attending conferences and participating in short courses;

• Working with clients;

• Consolidating/ extending/ giving and receiving feedback;

• Working/studying for a qualification, working for a reward.

Factors affecting modes of learning in the workplace

Learning factors

The factors that enable employees to be proactive in seeking learning opportunities

• Challenging and value of the work: under challenged and over challenged might impact negatively on the person’s ability to learn;

• Feedback and support;

• Confidence and commitment; and

• The ability to recognise learning opportunities

Work context factors

The factors that attract the employees to the organisation and motivate them to learn and contribute to the goals of the organisation.

• Feedback and support (especially during the few months in a new job);

• Allocation and structuring of work;

• Encounters and relationship with people at wok; and

• Expectations of each person’s role, performance and progress.

Suggestions for employers

Promote Media and Information Literacy (MIL) to enables employees to be informed readers in today’s hyper connected world.

MIL enables employees to interpret the complex messages they receive in today’s hyper connected world.

References

Eraut, M. (2007). Learning from other people in the workplace. Oxford Review of Education, 33 (4), pp.403-422.

Eraut, M. (2004). Informal learning in the workplace. Studies in Continuing Education, 26, pp. 247-273.

Fisher, M, King, J., &Tague, G. (2001). Development of a self-directed learning readiness scale for nursing education. Nurse Education Today, 21, pp. 516 -525.

Toffler, A. (1970). Future shock. New York: Random House.

Reassessing Worksite Wellness After All These Years: Still Medical or Blossoming Into REAL Wellness?

INTRODUCTION

One advantage of stayin alive beyond expectations (i.e., reaching a state of perennialhood) is increased wisdom and, sometimes, witnessing desired changes. That’s the hope, in any case, attributable to decades of increasingly prescient observations and greater openness to alternate experiences. What better time than later life to reexamine opinions and beliefs? Why finish with that old time religion or other fossilized attachments political, social and so on? Oftentimes, these hardened impressions are outdated or otherwise ripe for reforms. Or not.

In any case, many might benefit from periodic scrutiny of long held views. On occasions, some opinions, even biases, could be in need of amendments, or at least refinements.

A personal example is a long held claim that worksite wellness programming has been and remains overly medical, dating back to the modern restart of the wellness movement in the early 1980’s. Particularly with respect to three of the four dimensions of REAL wellness, worksite programming has ignored systematic efforts to promote positive mental skills, such as reason (critical thinking), exuberance (joy and added meaning) and liberty (expanded personal freedoms). The other dealing with exercise and nutrition (Athleticism) has received ample attention at worksites and elsewhere.)

Is there credible evidence of a turn toward REAL wellness, recognizing that such initiatives might be addressed by other terms?

Some colleagues more attuned to workplace best practices and innovations have urged a reassessment. I’m told there are REAL wellness priorities and programs underway that promise results.

Spurred on by an invitation to appear on a webinar of a leading worksite wellness organization to discuss the book Not Dead Yet (NDY). I decided, in true stayin alive fashion, to explore what’s new in corporate wellness.

A WEBINAR

On October 30, I participated in a hour-long webinar with Dr. Paul Terry, senior fellow and editor of the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO). The theme was Thriving & Flourishing (At Any Age)! The initial focus was the 56 tips for successful aging described in the book. Sharing the webcast podium with me was Susan Bradley Cox, one of the eighteen world triathlon champions over age 75 profiled in NDY.

A CAUTIONARY NOTE ON PERSPECTIVE

Under the best of conditions, the impact of worksite wellness will necessarily be incidental relative to the larger issues employees face. Social determinants such as deficient educational levels, poor housing conditions, dysfunctional cultural influences, economic pressures, crime, mental and physical disabilities and much more are more consequential but not malleable by worksite wellness. While important, it’s helpful to realize that macro changes in society and the environment should be a priority, not to be overlooked while promoting worker wellbeing. A few health promotion classes and other initiatives to encourage good health skills and practices during the few hours per week available for worksite programming should not distract from the larger issues that most affect quality of life.

This point was made by economist Thierry Malleret at the 2019 Global Wellness Summit in Singapore October 15-17:

Skyrocketing costs of healthcare, housing and education are decimating the US middle class and causing rising inequality and anxiety-and the phenomenon is not limited to the US. But when it comes to social and environmental progress, the US appears as a significant, underperforming outlier. According to the Social Progress Index, the US is the only developed country that is backsliding, both in absolute and relative terms, compared to its peers. It now ranks 26th in social progress, while Norway comes first.

Many (e.g., Benjamin Libet, Dan Wegner, Thalia Wheatley, Sam Harris and a majority of contemporary scientists) marshal evidence to support the view that free will is a myth, that determinism prevails. If so, this takes the zing out of oft ballyhooed enthusiasm for self-responsibility, and witticisms such as P.J. O’Rourke’s crack that no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.

THE HEALTH ENHANCEMENT RESEARCH ORGANIZATION (HERO)

HERO is a national think tank whose mission is to advance best practices in employee health promotion. HERO provides leadership in research and education on the impact of worksite wellness, on best practices for positive health outcomes and on the role and nature of healthy cultures for successful employee performance.

Over the course of several years, Paul Terry has extended polite and always collegial invitations to consider more charitable assessments about worksite wellness. In the weeks leading to the webinar, while seeking to better appreciate positive (i.e., REAL wellness-like) programming, I reviewed HERO’s archived interviews with worksite leaders, as well as the organization’s annual forum proceedings, research studies, think tank meetings, scorecard initiatives, briefs, blogs and news releases. All impressive, to be sure.

After receiving an advance partial draft of this article, Paul offered the following:

It’s a tall order to summarize all the ways that workplace health is aligned with REAL Wellness as it’s been occurring for a long time and has already apparently eluded your observant proclivities. I’ve pasted an editorial below that will be published in January. I think the ‘Pillars’ exemplify the liberty and reasoning aspects of your philosophy. My editorials are open access. In the past years I’ve written about voluntariness and autonomy (liberty), about parsing between facts, truth and empirical evidence (reason and liberty) happiness and meaning and life purpose in an interview with Richard Lieder and Vic Strecher (reason and exuberance). In each editorial I feature cases and examples of how the private and public sector are increasingly collaborating to achieve these REAL approaches.

All that strikes me as encouraging and welcome news. The theme of the recently concluded HERO forum was Thriving Organizations Achieving Well-Being Through Collaboration. Much attention was focused on the Federal government’s Healthy People 2030 initiative, a science-based rendering of 10-year national objectives. The goal of Healthy People continues to be improving the health of all Americans.

Based upon short (under six minute) expert interviews conducted at the last HERO conference with national figures in worksite wellness, a further glimpse into REAL wellness-related initiatives in corporate programming can be sensed.

EXCERPTS FROM EXPERT INTERVIEWS

Krystal Sexton, head of Human Performance and Care at Shell, identified psychological characteristics of employees who most impact organizational performance. Such Individual qualities include hope, optimism, resilience and self-confidence; team dynamic factors that matter most are those that tend to lift people up, provide role clarity and find common ground.

Unfortunately, this and the other interviews did not identify specific company wellness programs that addresses these drivers of company success. I’ll look on the bright side and assume there must be training for all that promotes specific agendas.

A video of and follow-up telephone and e-mail communications with Jessica Grossmeier, HERO’s Vice-President of Research, revealed the nature of the HERO scorecard. The instrument is designed to help organizations discover best practices for promoting workplace wellbeing. It identifies opportunities to improve and measure progress.

However, Ms. Grossmeier noted that the current version of the tool only addresses the Athleticism element, but invited suggestions about future iterations of the Scorecard. One resource was cited as an effort to help industry professionals develop more critical thinking skills. HERO has since provided more detailed examples of how to apply these critical thinking tips to findings in a number of research studies.

The Expert Interview Series on HERO’s YouTube Channel features additional short videos of national leaders who spoke at the recent HEROForum19′ gathering on the Achieving Well-being through Collaboration theme.

• Nico Pronk, Dushanka Kleinman and Mary Pittman on Healthy People 2030: Objectives for the Nation and the Role of Business.

• Sara Singer, Stanford professor on four pillars of a culture of health and the role of internal and external collaboration.

• Brian Castrucci, President and CEO of the deBeaumont Foundation on the business case for private sector and community partnerships and collaboration.

• Andrea Walsh, JD, President and CEO HealthPartners on the benefits to business of community health, on reducing stigma of mental illness and the imperative of partnerships.

• Matt Steifel, Kaiser Permanente on the relationship between social determinants of health and the role of these factors in workplace health and well-being initiatives.

• Karen Moseley, President, HERO on the role of collaborations and measurement development on what’s next and mission critical for HERO.

• Paul Terry, Senior Fellow, HERO, on new study findings released for the first time at HEROForum19′.

WHAT TO MAKE OF WORKSITE WELLNESS AFTER CONDUCTING THIS CURSORY, SKETCHY AND YES, PERFUNCTORY REASSESSMENT?

Before going any further, let me express gratitude to Paul Terry for extraordinary assistance that made possible this quick tour of contemporary developments and meaningful advances in the art and science of worksite health promotion. The links alone should be of value to many who might not otherwise have discovered these informative resources.

What’s amazing is that Paul provided this guidance while hiking down and out of the Grand Canyon, communicating only by carrier pigeons and mirrors to relay data to HERO headquarters in Minneapolis. (The part about hiking in the Grand Canyon is true.)

So, did I benefit from this periodic review of my notion that worksite wellness has done too little to promote wellbeing while focusing too much on identifying and modifying risky habits? It seems so. As all study authors note at the conclusion of their research reports, further studies (and generous grants to fund same) are imperative.

It was certainly beneficial to learn more about the work the HERO organization is doing in this field. HERO is to worksite wellness what the National Wellness Institute once was to the promotion of the wellness concept and the Global Wellness Institute is for the concept today — a worldwide promoter of research, initiatives, roundtables, annual summits, discussions, gatherer of wellness evidence and sponsor of bold initiatives, such as The Wellness MoonshotTM: A World Free of Preventable Disease. In their own words, the GWI informs and connects key stakeholders capable of impacting the overall wellbeing of our planet and its citizens. Not incidentally, GWI makes all of its valuable information and resources available at no cost, which allows anyone, anywhere, access.

In conclusion (at last), this review has made me more informed and much more interested in learning more about new developments in worksite wellness relative to REAL wellness. Again, thanks to all who contributed, directly and otherwise.

A REFRESHER ON THE CONCEPT OF WELLNESS

Wellness initially took root as a lifestyle, a way that individuals make informed choices to establish and sustain positive levels of mental and physical health beyond the absence of illness and disease. The lifestyle is founded on personal responsibility, disciplined habits and skills related to effective decision-making, enjoyment of life, exercise, nutrition, stable emotions, personal freedoms of mind and body, ample meaning and purpose, a supportive culture and environmental awareness, among other life-enriching qualities. In a work setting, safety might also be promoted, in the form of freedom to speak freely without fear of retribution.

This meaning of the word is consistent with REAL wellness, the difference being that the modifier REAL introduces four specific categories or dimensions in which vital skills and positive outcomes are organized. These four dimensions can encompass all venues in which we function, such as the social, occupational and other life areas commonly put forth as wellness dimensions. (As if different skills were required for optimal functioning in varied spheres of life.) The four REAL wellness dimensions are reason, exuberance, athleticism (exercise and nutrition) and liberty.

REAL wellness should encourage and guide people to think and function rationally, to live exuberantly, to maintain physical fitness, to dine wisely consistent with factual nutritional knowledge and to live as freely as possible. The latter means becoming liberated from cultural or circumstantial elements such as superstitions, irrational dogmas and other mental and social limitations that add constraints on personal liberties.

And that’s about it, folks.

The end.