It’s been more than five years since Royal College International (RCI) was founded to facilitate the Royal College’s international work and collaborations with educational and health care partners around the globe. Each year, I like to reserve one of my CEO messages to update our members on those endeavours.
As Nelson Mandela famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” This was cleverly put another way by Benjamin Franklin, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
Royal College International has been strengthened by a focused approach on long-term academic-focused partnerships. In 2015, RCI experienced its busiest year — making meaningful progress with partners in Latin America, Asia-Pacific and the Gulf States — and is close to achieving full self-sufficiency: a founding vision for this wholly-owned Royal College subsidiary.
The Royal College’s vision of the best health and care for all doesn’t stop at the Canadian border. There is a positive by-product of Canadian-trained physicians and professionals interacting with global citizens employed in similar work: exchanging viewpoints and experiences. We join forces with our international colleagues to promote Canadian standards in medical education, and in turn help to build local capacity in medical education and training, and the creation of sustainable health systems.
Andrew Padmos, BA, MD, FRCPC, FACP
Chief Executive Officer
January: Visit from Shanghai researchers
February: CME/CPD accreditation system development (Qatar)
March: International partners in Australia, New Zealand (The Tri-partite Alliance)
April: Humanitarian work (Nepal), Support for Francophonie
May: Collaboration service agreement in Saudi Arabia with KAMC (Makkah)
June: More work in Qatar, service agreement in Chile
July: Visit from delegation from Kazan, Tatarstan (Russian Federation)
August: Second China Conference on Residency Education
September: Development trip (Haiti), RCI strategic planning
October: Meetings in Mexico, IMELF in Vancouver
November: Work in Senegal, conference in Saudi Arabia at University of Dammam
December: Consultation visits in Chile and UAE
Researchers from Shanghai take learning back to China
For two months, a trio of researchers from the Shanghai Health Commission took up residence at the college to learn more about our accreditation standards, Canadian residency training system and continuing professional development. They prepared a report of their learning to present to the commission upon their return to China.
Program consultation visits: Three programs at the University of Dammam in Saudi Arabia were reviewed by four Royal College International volunteers and staff.
Development of a national CME/CPD Accreditation System in the State of Qatar
Royal College International continues to work with the Accreditation Department of the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners to establish a national continuing medical education/continuing professional development (CME/CPD) accreditation system in Qatar. The third face-to-face meeting took place this February in Doha where, among other activities, they discussed a proposed plan and timeline for a Surveyor Support Program and reviewed CPD accreditation activity standards.
Continued work on international accreditation
The International Program Review Committee and management continue to implement the Royal College’s policy on International Accreditation. The committee met by teleconference in March to discuss the practical feedback received from staff and faculty who conducted on-site institutional and program reviews. This continuous feedback is used to inform and improve the policies and processes of the committee.
Maintaining strong ties with partners in Australia and New Zealand
The Royal College is a founding member of the Australia-Canada Tripartite Alliance with the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. This March, several Royal College representatives attended the third International Medical Education Symposium in Melbourne, Australia, that was coordinated in association with the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (these two associations were both newly-accepted into the alliance). Planning is underway for the 2016 symposium that will be held in March 2016.
Humanitarian support for colleagues in Nepal
Following this spring’s distressing earthquakes in Nepal (late April-May), Susan Brien, MD, FRCSC, vice president, Asia-Pacific, for Royal College International, touched base with our colleagues in Nepal to help them respond to their most immediate health care and training needs. Since then, Dr. Brien has continued to coordinate our humanitarian efforts with our Nepali partners that began in 2013. The Royal College works in particular with one of the largest teaching hospitals in Kathmandu, the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, which has strong and deep connections to Canada. The focus for most of the year has been to work with medical education and government leaders to set up a new system of medical education in Nepal to overcome years of insurgency, corruption and complications from the recent earthquakes. One of our first actions will be to create a coalition of Canadian organizations interested in improving the Nepalese health care sector or medical education system.
Supporting the Francophonie community
The Royal College is a key contributor to medical education in the international francophonie community thanks in part to our active involvement in the annual meetings of the SIFEM (Société internationale francophone d’éducation médicale) and CIDMEF (Conférence Internationale des Doyens et des Facultés de Médecine d’Expression Française). This April, Dr. Jean-François Lemay, FRCPC, Dr. Lucie Brazeau-Lamontagne, FRCPC, and Mrs. Danielle Fréchette, MPA, executive director, Health Systems Innovation and External Relations at the Royal College, represented the organization at the SIFEM meeting and workshops in Brussels, Belgium. On April 10, Dr. Lemay was unanimously elected to the SIFEM Board of Directors for a three-year term, joining Dr. Brazeau-Lamontagne who is currently a member.
Saudi Commission for Health Specialties International Conference 2015
Royal College International hosted a booth at the second Saudi Commission for Health Specialties International Conference that was held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in mid-April. Jason R. Frank, MD, FRCPC, director, Specialty Education, Strategies and Standards at the Royal College led a workshop titled, “Implementation of CanMEDS: from theory to practical reality.”
2015 Latin America Conference on Residency Education (LACRE)
The second LACRE was held April 15-17, 2015, in Santiago, Chile, under the theme “Better residency education for better patient care.” Royal College President, Kevin Imrie, MD, FRCPC, attended along with seven Royal College International (RCI) faculty members who contributed by way of numerous workshops, plenary sessions, symposiums and a panel discussion: Dr. Oscar Casiro, FRCPC, regional director, Latin America, RCI; Dr. Ming-Ka Chan, FRCPC; Dr. Jason Frank, FRCPC; Dr. Marcio Gomes, FRCPC; Dr. Roberto Mendoza-Londono, FRCPC; Dr. Denyse Richardson, FRCPC; and Dr. Linda Snell, FRCPC. Planning for the 2017 conference has already started.
Program consultation visits: Six program consultations and an institutional review were conducted by eight Royal College International faculty members at the King Saud University in Saudi Arabia.
Collaboration service agreement: A three-year agreement was signed with King Abdullah Medical City in Saudi Arabia to establish an educational partnership to support accreditation of the health care facility’s programs and faculty development.
More work to support a national CPD accreditation system in Qatar
Another meeting between the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners Accreditation Department and the Royal College International CPD Accreditation project team took place in June. Among other items, this meeting focused on training (on accreditation and on the delivery of CPD accreditation activity standards), as well as the launch of the pilot CPD Provider Accreditation Standards.
Collaboration service agreement: A three-year agreement was signed between Royal College International and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile to work towards accreditation of their programs.
Exploring a partnership with delegates from Russia
The Royal College hosted a delegation from Kazan State University of Russia in July to discuss ways Royal College International could support their work, as well as international accreditation.
Welcoming a Chinese delegation from Shanghai
The Royal College and Royal College International welcomed a delegation from the Chinese Medical Doctor Association in August. The association is one of the organizations responsible for residency education reform in China. Discussions focused on how Royal College International could support the association’s ongoing work.
Peking University First Hospital
Two Royal College International faculty members conducted an institutional review at Peking University First Hospital in August. This year, the hospital also renewed its collaboration services agreement with RCI for another three years, focusing on an educational partnership and accreditation of their programs.
2015 China Conference on Residency Education (CCRE)
The second CCRE was held in Beijing on August 13-16, 2015, in partnership with the Peking University First Hospital. The theme for this year’s conference was “Standardized Residency Training: Enhancing your Program,” and included numerous workshops, plenary sessions, symposiums and a panel discussion. Two Royal College International faculty members participated: Dr. Susan Brien, FRCSC, and Dr. Fady Balaa, FRCSC.
Development trip to Haiti
Haiti remains among the poorest countries in the world and is still rebuilding after the devastating earthquake in 2010. Led by Dr. Lucie Brazeau-Lamontagne, FRCPC, Royal College staff and volunteers returned to Haiti in September to continue their work to strengthen internship leading to residency, establish academic partnerships with teaching hospitals, and build faculty development. Next steps include partnering with Université de Sherbrooke and other willing partners to reinforce the internship year, and to seek funding to plan the pilot at the Université Quisqueya. There is also an agreement pending with the university to create a joint centre of excellence for medical education and continuing professional development in the country.
Royal College International plans target-outcomes
The Royal College International (RCI) Board of Directors met on September 25, 2015, to discuss RCI’s future strategic directions. Following discussions, the group is working to establish new, target-outcomes for RCI and an updated and fiscally-balanced business case.
Royal College presence at meetings in Mexico
Dr. Jason Frank, FRCPC, was invited to speak at the 2nd International Conference for Educational Innovation in Mexico City. Dr. Kevin Imrie, FRCPC, Royal College President, and Dr. Oscar Casiro, FRCPC, were speakers at the meeting of the Mexican Association of Faculties and Schools of Medicine in Monterrey.
Global medical education leaders meet for rich dialogue
The Royal College hosted the eighth annual International Medical Education Leaders Forum (IMELF) in Vancouver on October 21, 2015. It brought together more than 100 leaders from 24 countries to share unique and common challenges in medical training and professional development in their respective health care jurisdictions. The program featured the 2010 Lancet Commission Report, Health professionals for a new century: transforming education to strengthen health systems in an interdependent world. Report co-author, Dr. Lincoln Chen, delivered a plenary where he spoke about the need for transformative leadership to achieve harmony between the educational and the health care systems.
Memorandums of Understanding: Memorandums of Understanding were signed with the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico and Kazan State University in Russia.
World Bank – African Center of Excellence – Accreditation in West Africa
The World Bank and Association of African Universities selected the University of Dakar in Senegal to house a Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health. One of the objectives of this centre is to train a sufficient supply of quality health personnel who will contribute to improving the health of mothers and children. The university has selected to work with the Royal College towards Royal College international accreditation. A first visit to begin consultations occurred this month.
Conference in Saudi Arabia
Royal College International (RCI) conducted the First Conference on Residency Education in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, from November 11-12, 2015, in partnership with the University of Dammam. There were approximately 100 participants, including Dr. Karim Qayumi, FRCSC – conference co-chair and moderator of a panel discussion on the CanMEDS Roles – and Dr. Derek Puddester, FRCPC, who delivered a workshop and plenary titled “Competency-based education: Introduction to the CanMEDS Framework.” Drs. Guy Brisseau, FRCSC, and Maria del Rosario Corral, FRCPC, as well as Ms. Marg Kennedy, MA, associate director, International Outreach, RCI, also presented workshops.
Program consultation visits: Six program reviews were conducted in Saudi Arabia: two at the King Abdulaziz University (KAU) and four at the King Abdullah Medical City health care facility. Four faculty members conducted each visit. A program directors workshop was also presented at KAU and simulation centre consultation visits were performed at both sites.
Program consultation visits: In December, and to close out the calendar year, Royal College volunteers (two for each activity) will be conducting a program directors workshop and an institutional review of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and two program reviews and a workshop for residents at the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company in the United Arab Emirates.