Planetary health, online exams & small fire
Planetary health/ sustainable health care
The second season of our Specialty Scoop podcast has launched. I invite you to listen to episode 1 on a very important topic: planetary health and sustainable health care.
Listen as host Dr. Guylaine Lefebvre welcomes guest and colorectal surgeon Dr. Husein Moloo, FRCSC, director of planetary health in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. They talk about the health threat of climate change, what we can do now and how the Royal College can help enable system change.
Virtual exams: two successful years
Like many organizations, we had to unexpectedly pivot during the pandemic and swiftly move our paper-based, in-person examinations online in 12 weeks. It was a daunting process that considerably sped up our plans to move our exams online in stages over several years.
While we didn’t get everything perfect, we did achieve quite a feat. A lot of time, effort and attention went into this work — and we received valuable feedback from many of you, which we continue to use to keep improving our processes moving forward.
We have now successfully completed two years of exams under our new model. Candidates sit their online written and applied exams at 17 sites across Canada in cities where universities have postgraduate medical programs. We no longer require candidates to travel to Ottawa to sit Royal College exams. This new approach, introduced in the early part of the pandemic, was well-received and we therefore envisage this model remaining.
I wish to thank everyone who is contributing to this important work.
Fire at 774 Echo Drive
On June 10, there was a small fire in our main building at 774 Echo Drive. I am grateful that no one was onsite at the time and that the damage was primarily limited to some sections of the basement, and first and second floors, including the Council Room.
Clean-up efforts are ongoing; equipment replacement is likely to be needed and we are completing air quality testing before the building can once again welcome visitors and staff. I am very pleased that there was no significant damage to any of the unique elements within our historic building, such as our archives or the artwork.
Like many others, our clean-up efforts are facing some supply and service delays. To ensure adequate time to get everything back in top shape, we have made the difficult decision to suspend all onsite, in-person meetings at the 774 Echo Drive building until January 2023. If we can welcome visitors back earlier, we will.
Some of our upcoming meetings this fall were planned to be in-person. Where a virtual meeting option is not feasible, we are exploring the opportunity to have these hosted at external locations. Dr. Bandiera and Dr. Lefebvre have been engaging with their teams to ensure a seamless experience for all our committees.
I thank you for your understanding throughout this process.
The call for applications for our travelling fellowships closes on September 6, 2022.
Apply for the Detweiler Travelling Fellowship and you could receive up to $25,000 for additional training.
Applicants for the Harry S. Morton Travelling Fellowship in Surgery could be eligible for up to $50,000 for additional training.
You can now apply for the Robert Maudsley Fellowship for Studies in Medical Education. Successful applicants are eligible to receive $40,000 (total) for up to two years of study.
The call for applications for the Strategic Initiative Grant is also open. Funding allocations range from $1,000 to $30,000.
The deadline for submissions is September 27, 2022.
Nominations for our 2023 National Awards are due by September 30, 2022. This is a great opportunity to honour your colleagues.