|Forging standards and approaches worldwide|
|Monday, 21 May 2012|
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada is looking beyond its borders to form partnerships and share innovation, so writes Dr Louis Hugo Francescutti
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada serves as the home for specialty medicine in Canada. The Royal College is unique in that it represents all medical and surgical specialties except Family Medicine, with more than 43,000 Fellows practicing in Canada and worldwide. Today, our organisation recognises 73 disciplines, granting Fellowships in 29 primary specialties, 34 subspecialties, 3 special programmes and 7 areas of focused competence.
Canada’s healthcare system is among the world’s best, but the current models of training and service delivery face significant challenges. These include wait times, tensions between generalism and specialisation, length of training and access to care. Health is a provincial and territorial responsibility, but with 10 provinces and three territories, low population density and a landmass spanning three time zones, pan-Canadian standards and approaches are crucial to patient health.
“Canada’s healthcare system is among the world’s best, but the current models of training and service delivery face significant challenges”
Achieving this collaboration requires energy, coordination and, most importantly, leadership. The Royal College has embraced this responsibility, assuming a leading role in several key areas. We have launched a national injury prevention campaign, a groundbreaking examination into specialist under-employment and revised the Maintenance of Certification programme to better support lifelong learning. A Royal College-led task force has also begun working to achieve a national consensus on residents’ duty hours that all jurisdictions in Canada can use to replace the patchwork quilt of rules, regulations and conventions applied countrywide.
What’s more, the Royal College also helped lead a consortium of healthcare stakeholders in the Future of Medical Education in Canada Postgraduate Project – an ambitious reimaging of how medical education is conducted. We also produced 11 white papers examining key policy issues in postgraduate training, including generalism, competency-based medical education, addressing societal health needs and others. Together, these articulate a clear vision for improving the future of postgraduate education in Canada.
Of course, countries worldwide are being challenged to advance medical education, health policy and service delivery. That’s why we have begun proactively forming partnerships to share innovations across borders. Recently, the Royal College signed agreements with healthcare organisations in Australasia, China, India and the Gulf states that will allow us to share leading practices and expertise.
Our organisation will also host three dynamic international educational events in late October: the International Medical Education Leaders Forum (IMELF), the International Conference on Surgical Education and Training (ICOSET) and the International Conference on Residency Education (ICRE). These events attract thousands of physicians, residents, healthcare and CEOs from across the globe for practical, provocative discussions on advancing medical education.
Ultimately, the Royal College exists to advance the goal that matters the most – better health and care for all. We are acting boldly to support this goal, and will look across our country and the globe to achieve it. Want to learn more? Join us at our international events. We would welcome the expertise and perspectives of physicians and educators worldwide.
Dr Louis Hugo Francescutti, President, The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada