In November I sent you a message about a campaign in the works to educate Canadians about the value of Royal College Fellowship. I explained that while those in the health care community recognize Fellowship as a hallmark of competence, research tells us that many Canadians lack a clear sense of what distinguishes a Fellow — and why patients should take confidence in being treated by specialists like yourselves.
I am pleased to announce that the Royal College officially launched the Fellowship Matters: Find Out Why campaign this week to better inform Canadians about the high standards created and met by Fellows nationwide. I’d like to take this opportunity to explain more about the campaign, our plans and how you can take part.
Engaging patients online and through social media
Many of you responded to my November message with positive comments, agreeing that a national campaign is a worthy undertaking. A few of you, though, expressed concerns about the cost of a national promotional campaign. Fellowship matters will unfold online and through social media. This is the most cost-effective way for us to promote ourselves nationally—significantly less costly than using print and television promotion but still reaching patients engaging in our health system at the current time.
Patients today more than ever before go online to find information about their physicians’ backgrounds and qualifications. That’s why we’ve launched a new public microsite that explains what Fellowship is and why it matter to patients. You’ll also soon notice Fellowship matters ads and banners on CBC Health, WebMD.com, Facebook and other venues encouraging patients to learn more about Fellowship and to visit our directory. We want Canadians to see our directory is a reliable, trusted and proven information source.
Highlighting the value of your Fellowship
We encourage all Fellows to participate in the campaign. We have designed new resources that you can use to promote your Fellowship and explain its benefits for patients. For example, several Fellowship posters and printable graphics can easily be displayed in your office or waiting room. If there are other resources that could help you showcase your expertise, let us know.
A purely positive approach
Let me be clear that our intent is to speak positively about Royal College Fellowship. At no point are we raising an alarm that family physicians and specialists who are not Fellows are less qualified and trustworthy.
Instead, we are delivering strong messages about your training, your commitment to pursuing learning throughout your careers and to ensuring that medical education in Canada is at the forefront of training worldwide.
Fellowship matters is just one element in our ongoing work to highlight and promote your work as Royal College Fellows and the high standards that Fellowship requires. Are there other ways in which we can help you showcase your expertise? Are there additional key messages that we should be sending Canadians about the value of Fellowship?
I am interested in hearing your ideas and feedback on this new approach.
Andrew Padmos, MD, FRCPC, FACP
Chief Executive Officer