Tips for Implementing Individualized Learning Plans
An Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) should be developed for all residents.
The ILP is an interactive process for the resident to:
Define professional goals and realistic steps to achieving those goals
Document current learning needs
Report on progress toward meeting their goals and objectives
The ILP is an iterative process involving the resident and faculty advisor and/or coach.
ILPs should be reviewed and discussed at least twice a year.
The resident should fill out the ILP prior to each meeting with the faculty member.
Each ILP builds on the previous ILP by addressing progress towards professional goals, incorporating feedback that has been received.
The ILP “How To:”
Individual: Define long term career goals and incremental objectives that must be met to achieve those goals.
Learning: Review previous ILPs and assessments and comment on whether previous objectives have been achieved or are still in progress.
Plan: Reflect on 2-3 growth areas and 1 wellness objective to focus on for the next few months. These should be written in the SMART(IE) format and linked to the Core Outcomes of Family Medicine Education. Each objective should be:
S = Specific: What needs to be accomplished?
M = Measurable: It should be noted how success (i.e. achievement of the objective) will be measured.
A = Attainable: The objective needs to be realistic.
R = Relevant: The objective should help the resident progress toward meeting career goals and the Core Outcomes of Family Medicine Education.
T = Time-bound (or time-based): When is the deadline for accomplishing the objective?
Consider and note how objectives can prepare residents to address the unique and often disparate health needs of patient populations (I = Inclusive; E = Equitable).
The ILP template available in this CBME toolkit (above) is meant to be a starting point for residencies. It can be modified and expanded on based on the culture and educational needs of individual residency programs.
Published Papers on Individualized Learning Plans
Learn more about developing and implementing individualized learning plans.
Family Medicine Requirements for Individualized Learning Plans
Here's what the ACGME family medicine program requirements say about assuring resident competence through individualized learning plans.
... elective experiences should be driven by each resident’s individualized education plan and address needs of future practice goals.
The elective experiences should be developed with the guidance of a faculty mentor. These experiences should be evaluated through a structured approach by faculty members or other appropriate supervisors using multiple assessment methods, in different settings, and have systems for tracking and monitoring progress toward completing the individualized learning plan.
The program director or their designee, with input from the Clinical Competency Committee, must:
assist residents in developing individualized learning plans to capitalize on their strengths and identify areas for growth;
create and document an individualized learning plan at least annually; and,
provide a system to assist residents in the individualized learning plan process, including:
faculty mentorship to help residents create learning goals, as well as educational experiences to meet those goals; and,
systems for tracking and monitoring progress toward completing the individualized learning plan.