Highlights of Council’s June 2019 meeting
The June 2019 Council meeting saw the first sitting of nine new Council members, the approval of a Royal College statement on positive work environments, adoption of the 2018 Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Code of Ethics and Professionalism, and the approval of a new award for Early Career Leadership in Medical Education.
Council welcomed a panel of educators and learners involved in Competence by Design implementation in residency education, to learn firsthand of their experiences. They also dedicated significant time to discussing the results of the Royal College Member Value Survey.
Welcoming new Council members
The new Council members taking their seats for the first time were
- Stéphanie Dufour, MDCM (Québec, Que.);
- Tom McLaughlin, MD, FRCPC (Vancouver);
- Clifford Yaffe, MD, FRCSC (Winnipeg);
- Randolph Guzman, MD, FRCSC (Winnipeg);
- Roy Kirkpatrick, MD, FRCSC (Huntsville, Ont.);
- Thomas Maniatis, MD, CM, FRCPC (Montreal);
- Kara Laing, MD, FRCPC (St. John’s, N.L.);
- Mary Wells, MD, FRCSC (St. John’s, N.L.); and
- JR Bernier, OMM, CD, QHP, FRCPC (Hon) (Ottawa).
Ethics and professionalism
The Royal College believes that positive workplaces are a critical component to a successful medical education and health care system in Canada. The Royal College Statement on Creating a Positive Work Environment, newly approved by Council, provides a Canada-specific statement that clearly articulates that mistreatment (including physical and verbal bullying, discrimination, and sexual or personal harassment) has no place in environments where physicians train, learn or work. In order to ensure currency, the statement will be reviewed every three years and renewed as required. Alongside approving the statement, Council requested further consideration of avenues to ensure mistreatment in Canadian medical education and health care environments is actively discouraged.
Following a precedence begun in 1989, Council also approved the Royal College’s adoption of the revised 2018 CMA Code of Ethics and Professionalism.
New award for medical educators
Council approval of the Early Career Medical Educator Award assures a new avenue of recognition for Fellows who have shown outstanding leadership, initiative, service and/or innovation in medical education and/or continuing professional development. The award recognizes Fellows who are in their first seven years post-training.
The first call for nominees for this award is open until September 13, 2019.
At its February 2019 meeting, Council approved four advocacy areas of focus: technology, pharmacare, advancing reconciliation and advancing research careers. In June, Council approved the advocacy plan, consisting of key messages and advocacy activities for each of these four areas. The Royal College will now proceed with engaging the public and decision makers, and empowering Fellows with toolkits to support them in their conversations with political candidates. The toolkit will comprise of backgrounders on the priority areas, FAQs and letter templates.
Competence by Design (CBD)
Council was delighted to hear from a CBD panel consisting of
- Joanne Hickey, MD, FRCPC, CBD lead, Internal Medicine, Memorial University;
- James Watterson, MD, FRCSC, vice chair education, Department of Surgery, University of Ottawa; and
- Annick Berard-Giasson, MD, PGY-2 resident in Anesthesiology, McGill University.
The panel provided insightful, helpful and balanced commentary on their experiences of CBD implementation in their local contexts. Outcomes from the discussion included confirmation of the need to improve the navigation of the rich array of Royal College CBD web resources, and to curate best practices to further facilitate and support implementation across programs and faculties. There were also some practical tips shared.
Member Value Survey
Council members participated in the first of a series of focused, deliberate discussions on the themes emerging from the Member Value Survey 2018.This first engagement focused on value received for money spent, and ensuring that members have a voice in decision-making. Outcomes of Council discussions will shape management’s action plan for addressing the main areas for improvement:
- a desire for a stronger Fellow voice and greater transparency in organizational decision-making,
- more continuing professional development activities and
- valuable communications.
Council was also honoured to receive a copy of the Indigenous Health Primer, written by a writing group of the Indigenous Health Committee of the Royal College. The primer also provides core information about Indigenous health through stories and case studies of Indigenous experiences, and essential knowledge for Fellows, health care providers, learners and educators in caring for Indigenous Peoples.
Standard financial matters addressed at this meeting included
- a briefing on the Royal College’s preliminary audited financial results for the year ended March 31, 2019, and the 2019-2022 financial forecast;
- approval of a two per cent rise for the 2020/2021 examination and assessment fees, in line with inflation;
- appointment of the public accountant for the Royal College employee retirement plan (ERP); and
- approval of the ERP audited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2019.
Related events: flag raising, Dr. Hodges’s lecture, award presentation
Complementary events that took place at the time of the Council meeting included the permanent raising of the first of two Algonquin flags in the Council Room; the 2019 Royal College Professor in Residence lecture, “The future with AI: What will we need (human) specialists for?” and remarks by Ronald Lett, MD, FRCSC, to mark his 2018 Royal College Teasdale-Corti Humanitarian Award.
Council will meet next in October 2019.