As many know, I have been fortunate to be able to continue a part-time clinical practice in Hematology since coming to Ottawa in 2006 for my administrative-leadership appointment at the Royal College. In fact, this was also my experience when I served as the commissioner for Cancer Care Nova Scotia and when I served as CEO of the Regional Cancer Centre in Kingston, Ont.
I am convinced that grounding my work life with a continuing commitment to patients and medical practice has been fundamental to my satisfaction and whatever success I have enjoyed in these administrative roles.
Staying connected by way of Windsor, Nova Scotia
I practice out of Hants Community Hospital in Windsor, Nova Scotia. Even though my clinical practice is limited to about two days per month to see outpatient consultations in so-called “benign” Hematology, I am able to help address a backlog of patients with disorders such as cytopenias, monoclonal gammopathies, coagulation and thrombosis, and myelodysplasia. Because Hematology is one of the specialty disciplines in short supply, the divisional booking office in Halifax has no difficulty in keeping my clinic list full.
I am always amazed and impressed by the patients who come to see me, often after long waits. They are usually accompanied by family and friends, and often have significant social, medical and financial challenges. The patients are forthright about their conditions, grateful for being seen and tend to be very loyal to their treatment regimens. I am also impressed by the clinic staff members who, together as a team, are so crucial to the welfare of patients.
Through this clinical role, I am able to keep my connection with patients, colleagues, coworkers and the health system. This work informs me about the challenges and deficiencies in health care that you, the Fellows and members of the Royal College, deal with every day.
This viewpoint is essential.
Fellows on staff at Royal College ground decisions with the realities of patient care
When the Royal College is working on its many priorities to modernize and improve postgraduate medical education, to develop healthy public policies or improve our continuing professional development program, we take into account the realities of patient care. It’s for this reason that I have made it possible for Fellows in Royal College administrative positions to continue part-time practice. By keeping their limited clinical commitments, they maintain perspective and relevance.
Two years ago, I supported the addition of a senior position to handle issues in the domain of “professional practice” so that the Royal College would be better in tune with the challenges and experiences of Fellows and members. Doug Hedden, formerly chair and chief of surgery at the University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services, has taken on that huge responsibility. With the support of the team here at the Royal College, we welcome your suggestions and insights as to how the Royal College can improve the health of patients, families, communities and the health system.
Although I will retire from my role at the Royal College at the end of this year, I plan to continue my clinical practice at Hants; I may even expand it a bit. I am looking forward to helping develop and promote various electronic aids to improve practice, especially physician availability and responsiveness. I am impressed at the helpfulness of “e-consults” to assist physicians’ management of patient concerns and questions. Anything that brings medical expertise and experience to patients better and faster will help our beleaguered health system cope and thrive.
Andrew Padmos, BA, MD, FRCPC, FACP, FRCP
Chief Executive Officer