Dr. Yucun Liu, president of the Peking University First Hospital and new Royal College Honorary Fellow, stands with representatives of the Royal College at CCRE 2016.
Dr. Yucun Liu, president of the Peking University First Hospital and new Royal College Honorary Fellow, stands with representatives of the Royal College at CCRE 2016.

Dear colleagues,

I recently returned from Beijing where I attended the third China Conference on Residency Education (June 11, 12 and 13). This event was sponsored and developed by the Royal College in partnership with the Peking University First Hospital and the Chinese Medical Doctor Association.

This event keeps growing in attendance and stature. Immense credit for this growth and success goes to Dr. Susan Brien, FRCSC, regional vice-president for Asia/Pacific for Royal College International and Dr. Joanne Jia, FRCPC, regional director for China. There were more than twice as many participants as last year. The opening ceremony was attended by many VIPs and dignitaries. Among them, the Vice Minister of Education, Lin HuiQing, and Director Qin HuaiJin from the Ministry of Health.

To put that in perspective, this would be like having our ministers of Health and Foreign Affairs attend the opening of ICRE.

Their presence was an extraordinary reflection of the central government’s support. It also signaled the value they place on our college as a partner in their efforts to modernize and standardize China’s postgraduate medical education training system.

Our work in China: Educational standards, better care

The Chinese are breaking away from an old civil service model of doctor training to one that conforms more closely to our system of postgraduate medical education and residency training. Right now, residents are trained in different levels of hospitals. Some have formal training programs, while others learn in a mentorship fashion.

China is in the process of adopting a 5 + 3 + X model.

  • The five represents the number of years of undergraduate medical school.
  • The three represents the years of specialty training, including Family Medicine.
  • The X represents subspecialty training.

I have been told that there is high-level interest in Canada’s system for postgraduate medical education. Both our college and the College of Family Physicians of Canada’s models of residency training are likely to be the preferred exemplars for China as they work to standardize their own system of resident training. This is a sign of great respect for our respective colleges as well as our members, who bring to life our Canadian standards in their daily practice.

The Chinese are also looking to integrate more curricula on physician attributes that extend beyond medical knowledge and skills. We’ve been very pleased and impressed by the diligence and dedication of our partners at the Peking University First Hospital who have studied CanMEDS and incorporated it into their teaching, accreditation and examination processes.

In fact, our college’s work with the Peking University First Hospital and Chinese Medical Doctor Association was singled out as an example to be emulated and extended to the more than 500 training base hospitals in the country.

I am pleased that we can share Canada’s world-class system for postgraduate medical education with academic partners in China. The goal of all our international efforts is to improve standards, which in turn improve training, the local health system and patient care: a benefit for all citizens.

Call for volunteers (a proficiency in Mandarin is preferred, but not an absolute requirement)

Given institutional and governmental support, it seems likely that the Royal College will be asked to provide more educational services in China in terms of workshops, courses and exchange visits of educators, clinicians and scientists.

For this reason, I am once again calling for expressions of interest from Royal College Fellows who are interested in undertaking assignments on behalf of the Royal College in China. While fluency in Mandarin is ideal, there will be many opportunities for volunteer engagement and it is not an absolute requirement.

Please fill out our Volunteer Profile Form. Make sure to indicate your interest by selecting “yes” to the question “Are you interested in international opportunities?” and marking “Southeast Asia” as the geographic area of preference.


Andrew Padmos, BA, MD, FRCPC, FACP
Chief Executive Officer