I’d like to introduce you to Doug Hedden who is joining the Royal College as Executive Director of Professional Practice and Membership. Doug is less than 30 days into a job that will directly impact your future interactions with the Royal College.
Get to know him via this brief Q&A and maybe leave a question for him in the comments.
He promises to write back.
Andrew Padmos, BA, MD, FRCPC, FACP
Chief Executive Officer
“‘Relevant’ is a word we’re kicking around a lot right now, but that’s really what this job is about: how can I help to make this organization more relevant to our members in today’s changing society?” — Dr. Doug Hedden, FRCSC
Short Q&A with Dr. Doug Hedden, Executive Director, Professional Practice and Membership, Royal College
What attracted you to this new position?
I’ve been quite involved with the Royal College for over 20 years in different volunteer roles. It’s an institution I really believe in. This was an opportunity that seemed exciting partly because it’s a new role – nobody’s ever done it before – and it’s an area the Royal College hasn’t really focused on and that’s ‘how do we help Fellows who are already in practice?’ We focus on training and assessment, for example, but how can we make membership valuable for our Fellows, other than MOC?
It’s still early days into this new role and portfolio, but what are your initial plans?
I think the first tactic is finding out what people would like from us, rather than us telling them what we can give them. It’s going to be a lot of networking and talking to Fellows. I want to find out from them what they feel would add value to their Fellowship and then also reach out to all the different specialties and see how we can help support their practice.
How will you be seeking this feedback?
It will be a mix. For example, I’m going to try to get invited to as many national specialty society board meetings as I can. My message is really: here I am; tell me what your issues are and if there’s anything that I [by way of the Royal College] can do to help you. I want to try and make the Royal College more a part of peoples’ everyday lives.
Are you looking at offerings that will be of broad value or more specialty-specific?
We are primarily thinking about those things that cross all specialties, though I won’t rule out more tailored contributions. ‘Relevant’ is a word we’re kicking around a lot right now, but that’s really what this job is about: how can I help to make this organization more relevant to our members in today’s changing society? On the practice side of things, one area that we might be able to help people with is this transition into practice and the transition out of practice. I’ve also heard from Fellows that maybe the College should be doing more around the development of educational materials.
Having moved to Ottawa for this job, what are you going to miss most about back home?
I loved my practice and I loved the kids and families that I interacted with. My clinics always ran late because I was always chatting with people. It’s very satisfying helping our patients and interacting with their family and friends; there’s no question I’m going to miss that. Edmonton is also a great city to live in. The weather’s not nearly as bad as people say it is. It’s got a lot going for it: the arts and festival scenes, beautiful river valley with trails — I could get on my bike and ride for four hours and never be on a street.
If you were to redo your career in a different specialty, what would you pick?
I honestly think I could’ve been happy doing a lot of different things. Medicine is cool. It’s intellectually challenging, it’s interactive with people….
It’s always changing.
Exactly! What I do now, I never learned. It just changes all the time, which is stimulating. I would never discourage anyone from going into medicine. I think it’s great.
If you look out a year from now, obviously knowing that there will be changes as this portfolio is developed, what does a successful year look like?
It’s a good question. I guess I would like to see more Fellows interacting with the Royal College and people feeling more pride in their Fellowship and seeing that we are doing good things to help them.
If you could change one thing about how we interact with our members, what would it be?
I’m going to come back to this relevance thing. We have to make the Royal College relevant to our members within the context of today’s society. A lot of Fellows don’t even know what we do, so hopefully we can influence that a little bit. I want to try to make us a more interactive organization so that Fellows know that there’s value in them opening our emails and visiting our website – and not just around the MOC deadline.
Do you have a message you’d like to relay to Fellows?
I’m here to help.