Dear Colleagues,

In January the Royal College launched phase II of its Fellowship Matters public awareness campaign. This is the continuation of a promotional undertaking in 2014 to educate Canadians about the value of specialist care. In January, I said that although the healthcare sector recognizes Fellowship as a hallmark of excellence, our patients typically are unaware. Our campaign has worked hard over the year to bring a message of excellence and pride about the Fellowship designation to average Canadians.

This message emphasizes the importance of our continuing work to assess specialist physicians against a common standard of competence. Over the past decade, the provinces have increasingly turned to physicians other than Royal College certified specialists to fill gaps in their physician work force. While we do not wish to raise an alarm about specialists who are not Fellows, it is important for the Royal College to assert its leadership and role in defining Canada’s national standard for medical expertise. Actively raising public awareness about the importance of Royal College Fellowship is one of the ways by which we are doing this.

A successful beginning

With the first half of phase II behind us, I am pleased to report that Fellowship Matters has exceeded even our most optimistic expectations for reaching Canadians. The online campaign reached 6.6 million people and inspired 54,000 visits to our Fellowship Matters website. Our online banner ads have beaten all industry standards for click-throughs (a measure of how well we have engaged visitors and of their motivation to learn more) at three times the rate of similar promotional materials. Our Fellowship Matters videos have done even better, at four times the click-through rate of the industry standard for similar materials. We improved our metrics in every category over phase I, demonstrating that we have been able to refine and improve our process as we go.

Partnering with national specialty societies for a new video pilot project

Our positive experience positions us well for the next major step in phase II. The Royal College has partnered with national specialty societies (NSS) to produce three promotional videos that explain to Canadians what physicians working in specific specialties actually do, and why our high standards matter to the health of Canadians.

We have started with three specialties—General Surgery, Internal Medicine and Psychiatry—as a pilot project. If the promotion succeeds in educating Canadians about specialty practice (and we have every expectation that it will) we will expand the project to promote the importance and roles of other specialties and sub-specialties. Once we have results from this new phase of our promotional campaign we will share them with you, likely in June.

Join in promoting the Fellowship through your networks

We invite all Fellows to share our Fellowship video links with your networks and patients. For example, the British Columbia Anesthesiologists Society has linked to our original campaign video, helping us spread the word. We encourage all Fellows and NSSs to do the same, and also to link to new specialty videos as we continue to produce them.

Finally, I invite you to participate in our project by sending a video that explains why you love your specialty. Take a few moments to tell us

  • What is it about your job that you most enjoy?
  • Why does your discipline matter to Canadians?

It’s easy to submit. Just shoot a quick video on your smart phone, computer or any other device and upload it here. We’ll use it to create a video that captures for Canadians the ideas, passions and dedication of Fellows from across the country.

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to share a comment on the blog or email me at

Best wishes and warm regards,

Andrew Padmos, MD, FRCPC, FACP
Chief Executive Officer