This month, I’d like to provide you with some important information about the progress that the Royal College made in 2012 to support Fellows and residents as well as share some thoughts about where we are headed in 2013.
Annual Meeting of the Members
On February 22, our annual members meeting provided Fellows with an opportunity to discuss Royal College activities. The meeting presented a positive picture of a healthy, vibrant organization that has grown to 43,000 members in 84 countries. We presented to members our financial statements as well as approved a modest three per cent increase in our 2013-14 membership fee that will offset operating expenses and bolster budget reserves.
We also welcomed new leadership to the Royal College. Cecil Rorabeck, OC, MD, FRCSC, became our 42nd President, replacing Louis Hugo Francescutti, MD, PhD, MPH, FRCPC, FACPM, CCFP, FACP (Hon), ICD.D. Dr. Rorabeck is an orthopedic surgeon and educator with a passion for humanitarian aid. He is the former chief surgeon at the London Health Sciences Centre and was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2012 for his advances in orthopedic care and prosthetics. Please join me in welcoming this eminent physician to our leadership team.
Release of our online 2012 Annual Review
Today we are pleased to release our online Annual Review titled, Fellowship: Value for Society. Each year, I invite Fellows to read it with care and this year I’d like to point to some impressive results we achieved in 2012 against our new strategic plan. As you’ll recall, we released the strategic plan in November 2011, which set an ambitious agenda over three years to move the Royal College forward as a health system leader. For those of you who prefer a guided tour, I’ve provided some brief thoughts below about last year’s most significant achievements under our five Key Result Areas (KRAs), based on our long term strategic plan:
Under this KRA, we prepared a series of white papers in 2012 as input to the Future of Medical Education in Canada Postgraduate Project. Called Competence by Design, the series provides recommendations that will be put into practice by Royal College staff and volunteers as well as our partners in medical education. We also continued our efforts to simplify the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program and to make MAINPORT more accessible and easier for members to use. In fact, over 36, 500 unique users logged into MAINPORT in 2012.
Health, health care and health systems
Last year, the Royal College took on an advocacy role on the challenging issue of specialist employment. We continued to work on our Employability Study — first started in April 2011, and which continued throughout last year, examining the impact of specialist unemployment on patients, the health system and physicians. We expect a full report on the study shortly. We also engaged in extensive public debate on the issue and will convene a national forum later this year.
Innovation, research and scholarship
Among our activities last year under this important KRA were the accreditation of two new simulation programs, one at the University of Ottawa and another at the University of British Columbia. Our approval followed a rigorous peer-review process in which we confirmed each centre’s commitment to high-quality, patient-safety driven, simulation-based learning. We also released two new bioethics modules for self-study and self-assessment: Organ Donation and Demands for Inappropriate Treatment.
Value of Fellowship
Last year, we launched an evaluation to identify areas for future enhancements to our MOC Program and MAINPORT. More than 5,000 Fellows responded, giving us valuable feedback about the new program framework, credit system and revised online system. We also developed MAINPORT apps for iPhone and iPad that complement MAINPORT Mobile for Blackberry and Android.
To further our international efforts, we expanded our reach, signing collaborating centre agreements with Peking University First Hospital, the China-Japan Friendship Hospital and the Kuwait Institute for Medical Specialization. We were active in Oman, Libya, Qatar, Italy and a host of other countries, participating in workshops and courses, all in the spirit of promoting global standards for medical education and increasing the capacity of countries to enhance their medical educational standards.
Once again, I encourage you to read the 2012 Annual Review, which provides more detail regarding our achievements and efforts on your behalf.
2013-14: The year ahead…
What do you value? A key initiative of 2013-14, will be working to better understand the needs of our Fellows, using a combination of surveys and focus groups. Your input will help to shape current and future services, programs and opportunities offered to our members.
We will continue to increase the visibility of the Royal College as a strong voice for Fellows, in areas such as physician employment, resident duty hours and the future of General Surgery.
We will be conducting a scoping review that will summarize the peer-reviewed and grey literature on what frameworks, theoretical models, policy structures, systems, contextual factors or evidence that would contribute to affirming the continued competence of Fellows in practice. This work will inform recommendations that will be presented to Royal College Council in October 2013.
We will also complete some long-awaited programming to support and recognize our volunteers, who are integral to our organization’s work. The new volunteer management program will provide a standardized orientation, enhanced support to new and veteran volunteers, as well as strategies to recognize the outstanding contributions of all of our volunteers!
Competency-based medical education (CBME) is an educational approach that is no longer an ideal on the horizon. CBME asks the question “Is there a better way to ensure competence other than the current time-based approach?” The Royal College expects to take a leadership role in conversations around CBME and how it will impact medical education across the continuum, for both residents and Fellows alike.
In terms of international outreach, we expect to engage more deeply with our international partners — and establish new partnerships — expanding our reach globally and helping to drive changes both around the world and at home.
Add your voice to the debate
As always, I am interested in your views about our milestones of success and our plans for the upcoming year. How would you respond to the following question?
What is the most important thing that the Royal College could do to enhance the value of your Fellowship?
Please share your ideas with us and read other Fellows’ perspectives by using the comment function below.
Andrew Padmos, BA, MD, FRCPC, FACP
Chief Executive Officer