Expansion and growth: How Dr. Padmos changed the Royal College
Andrew Padmos, MD, FRCPC, is retiring this month after 13 years as CEO. In that time, he led transformations in medical education, introduced the Royal College as a global partner, revitalized the organization’s core business structures and extended the Royal College’s reach.
“Over his many years at the helm of the Royal College, he has not only embraced change but has been an agent of change,” says public member of Council Bill Tholl, OC, MA, ICD.D. “As CEO, he led some of the most profound changes in medical education since the Flexner report, including most recently ushering in CanMEDS 2015, turning the corner on Royal College International and moving steadfastly to implementing Competence by Design.”
Agent of change in Canada
Dr. Padmos came to the Royal College in September 2006 from Halifax, N.S. He previously worked as commissioner of Cancer Care Nova Scotia and head of the Cancer Care Program at the QEII Health Sciences Centre, among other roles at Dalhousie University and for Capital District Health Authority. A hematologist by training, he had earlier experience working in Kingston, Ont., Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Calgary, Alta. While a resident, he served as the president of both the Professional Association of Internes and Residents of Ontario (now, PARO) and the Canadian Association of Interns and Residents (since renamed Resident Doctors of Canada).
“Dr. Padmos has had as much or more of an impact on health care and specialty medicine as anyone else in his generation,” says Tom McLaughlin, MD, FRCPC, who joined Royal College Council in February. “Even before he was Royal College CEO, he was an effective leader who just got stuff done. He created the first union for resident doctors. Every resident doctor has him to thank for the fact that they have a stable income during residency and safe working conditions.”
Randolph Guzman, MD, FRCSC, who also joined Council this year adds, “Dr. Padmos has been instrumental in consolidating the educational standards nationally as well as elevating these standards to an international level. He has not only been the leader of the organization, but has been extremely supportive of members and committees in their quest for excellence in educational standards in training and accreditation.”
“And he has taken on major leadership challenges while building up reserves, building strong strategic partnerships with sister medical organizations and, above all, building an incredibly talented and committed team,” concludes Mr. Tholl.
Contributing to international peace, diplomacy and stability
A lesser-known contribution that Dr. Padmos made during his term as CEO was in strengthening ties with the Royal Canadian Medical Service and Fellows involved in military medical work, including medical simulation and Aerospace Medicine.
Major General Jean-Robert Bernier, MD, FRCPC (Hon), a public member of Council, reflects on this saying, “This support not only enhanced military medical readiness in preventing and treating casualties, but especially helped the armed forces enhance medical education efforts internally and internationally as a component of foreign military missions. Under his oversight, Royal College support was particularly critical to the armed forces in developing and implementing tailored residency training programs in eight specialties for Afghanistan’s armed forces, which were subsequently applied more broadly across the country and which, like other health-related initiatives, contribute to diplomacy, peace and stability.”
These efforts aligned well with Dr. Padmos’ bigger vision for the Royal College: sharing Canada’s exceptional postgraduate medical education training standards and programs with partners around the world. This idea culminated in the launch of Royal College International in 2012.
“His leadership of Royal College International efforts was important to the enhancement of medical education and health in many nations, the international credibility of the Royal College and Canada’s standing as a world leader,” says Major General Bernier.
Bill Pope, MD, FRCPC, a Council member from Winnipeg, Man., calls Royal College International “a memento of [Dr. Padmos’] imagination and thinking outside of the box.”
“[Dr. Padmos] was respectful of Council members’ opinions and always responsive to suggestions,” says GR La Roche, MD, FRCPC, a Council member from Halifax, N.S.
Major General Bernier adds, “In my perception, Dr. Padmos always led by example with reassuring calm, self-deprecation, collegial collaboration, unassailable logic, mission focus, and a profound concern for the welfare and recognition of his staff.”
“He will be remembered by his many actions and accomplishments, but his greatest legacy is in the values he promoted: pride in the Royal College, integrity and service to others,” recalls Immediate Past-President Franҫoise P. Chagnon, MDCM, FRCSC.
She adds, he was “the ultimate professional” and “an optimist with a deep commitment to the Royal College.”
“He has left huge shoes to fill,” says Dr. McLaughlin.
Dr. Padmos will continue in the role of president/ceo of Royal College International for a one-year term starting in January 2020.