I recently had an exchange with a Fellow about Royal College membership dues.
At issue was where membership dollars are being spent.
After several emails, a phone call and a face-to-face visit to the Fellow’s nearby office (yes, I do make house calls) I knew that what we were really discussing was the value of Royal College Fellowship.
One Fellowship, many values
The value of Fellowship does not hinge on one thing, nor is it the same for all Fellows.
- On one end of the spectrum, there is our shared “noble purpose”: setting and sustaining high standards for Canadian postgraduate medical education and continuing professional development to ensure patients will receive the highest quality care today and in the future.
- On the other end of the spectrum, there is the more functional aspect of membership: compliance with the Maintenance of Certification Program – a licensure requirement for specialists in practice.
How you perceive the value of your Royal College Fellowship probably falls somewhere between these two ends.
But Fellowship is more than just MOC
The Royal College works to ensure public safety by certifying residency programs, accrediting the schools that deliver postgraduate medical training and assessing residents to ensure they have met those standards.
The Royal College contributes to key discussions, and monitors and synthesizes specialist employment data to help individuals who shape our health care system connect with the information they need to make better and more informed decisions.
The Royal College promotes your Fellowship designation (FRCPC or FRCSC) as an internationally-recognized hallmark of excellence and, through its global efforts, contributes to health systems improvement.
Being part of a network of care
I have been a Fellow for more than 40 years now. I have seen this organization safeguard traditions and adapt to address modern practice realities. Beyond those achievements and the day-to-day work carried out by our dedicated volunteers and staff members, I believe that Royal College Fellowship is about being a part of something greater than myself.
It is about being part of a network of colleagues who hold each other accountable to high standards and aspire every day to give the best possible care to their patients.
It is about striving to be better than you were the day before, staying up-to-date, continuously learning and innovating.
It is about helping to shape future generations of doctors, being a role model, feeling pride at the title “Royal College Fellow” and building up and supporting each other in this diverse but unified profession.
It is about giving back and improving patient care, across Canada and around the world.
Your dollars at work
Health care keeps changing; not surprisingly, training standards must keep pace. We need to make the investment into residency training and into professional development across the learning continuum for the next generation of specialists and health care workers. Your Fellowship dues enable us to do this.
Each year, over 40,000 Fellows complete their MOC program requirements. This is both our public commitment to our peers, as well as our commitment to our patients.
What does Royal College Fellowship mean to you?
Please email me or post in the comments section.
Andrew Padmos, BA, MD, FRCPC, FACP
Chief Executive Officer