Planetary health, online exams & small fire

July 20, 2022 | Author: Susan Moffatt-Bruce
2 MIN READ

Bite-sized information from Royal College CEO, Dr. Susan Moffatt-Bruce

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.

Take a look behind the scenes

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1. Entrance to the Royal College, looking up to scaffolding in the atrium
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2. Council room with in-progress repairs
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3. Council room with in-progress repairs
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4. Council room with in-progress repairs
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5. First floor, east side, facing south
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6. First floor, northeast workspace
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7. First floor, east central workspace
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7. First floor, east central workspace
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9. Fourth floor hallway
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Key dates

Travelling fellowships

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.

Research funding

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.

National awards

Nominations for our 2023 National Awards are due by September 30, 2022. This is a great opportunity to honour your colleagues.


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William Ross Prince FRCSC | July 21, 2022
From the pictures shown, it appears that the main damage was to the flooring and that would be as a result of the mounts of water that the Fire Hoses had poured into the building at the time of the fire. .Unfortunately, we were not shown the actual areas where the fire did burn which would have been extensive in an older building such as this and would have contained a larger amount of wood than a modern facility. This is not a complaint but simply a comment on the construction mechanics of years gone by. I would guess that there are areas that were completely destroyed by the fire and hence the longer reconstruction time which would also mean that there are areas that would have to be demolished prior to the reconstruction. The good news is that the new area would be more fireproof due to the modern materials. However, since there will have to be more tearing down/apart prior to the reconstruction, it might just take more than 5 months to do the complete job. But, the new areas will be more fireproof and more modern looking.
Royal College Staff | July 28, 2022
Dear Dr. Ross,
Together with our contractors, we are continually assessing the restoration efforts and completion timeline. We will keep members apprised of any changes to the current timeline, if applicable.

Kind regards,
Royal College Communications