Meet Doug

Andrew Padmos
September 27, 2017 | Author: Dr. Andrew Padmos

Dear colleagues,

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.

Leave a Comment

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Avatar Dr. Brian Taylor | September 27, 2017
Congratulations, Doug! Thoroughly enjoyed working with you at CUSEC...the College will really benefit from your people skills. I echo Don Taylor's point about being retired and facing the threat of losing the fellowship status....suggest you look at the issue of CME for us who are long in experience and judgement, but no longer directly responsible for patient care. Surely over 30 years of active practice counts for something!!! Welcome to the East!!!!...Brian
Avatar Douglas Hedden | September 29, 2017
Thanks Brian, I am looking forward this new role. With respect to the MOC program if you are completely retired you are exempt. If you are no longer involved in clinical practice but are involved in other related professional activities you still must participate. The types of credits that you record do not have to be related to your medical expert role but could be in the area of leadership, scholar or professional for example. If you have any further comments or questions please feel free to e-mail me at Thanks for taking the time to send in your comment.
Avatar Jack H Jhamandas | September 27, 2017
Dear Doug, Congratulations on your new position. You will make excellent contributions to the College as you did during your time at the University of Alberta, You will be missed. Regards to your family. All the best in your new career ahead. Jack
Avatar Douglas Hedden | September 28, 2017
Thanks Jack. I am looking forward to this next chapter of my life. All the best to you and your family as well. Doug
Avatar Susan Poelman | September 27, 2017
Welcome and best wishes in your new role. I would like to address your desire to make the Royal College relevant through our feedback. As a young (2009) Royal College Accredited and trained dermatologist, I spent 14 years post-secondary becoming an "expert" in my field. There are online programs (Cardiff, etc.) that provide those with a special interest in dermatology extra training. There are other new programs being set up right here in Canada such as the "Dermatology Learning Institute" that offer to train not only physicians but naturopaths, pharmacists, estheticians, nurses, and dentists. Once these "students" have paid and go through their training program, how can the general public differentiate between the caliber of training they have received vs our 5 year specialty with rigorous board examinations at the end? What is the point of all that training? We must protect the integrity of our specialty. What kind of public awareness campaign can the Royal College do not only to promote awareness of our training not only for dermatologists, but also to perhaps shift the focus in the media of physicians away from being "tax cheats" and portrayed as "wealthy doctors"? This is what I would like the Royal College do, to promote itself, to brand itself, and cast the net widely to the public arena so that people know what those letters FRCPC at the end of our name mean! Thank you for your willingness to listen. I think this is a critical timely issue that is definitely an area where the Royal College could become very relevant to practicing physicians of all specialties. Sincerely, Susan Poelman, MD, FRCPC
Avatar Douglas Hedden | October 1, 2017
Hi Susan: Thank you sending in a comment, I appreciate your best wishes. There is no easy response to this complex issue, but I can assure you that issues like the one you raised are on our radar. For example, I recently attended a meeting about enhanced surgical skills (ESS) for family doctors. In some ways, that is not a new idea, but how we partner with these groups and clarify training and credentials is yet to be settled. I mentioned in one of my answers above that many Fellows still don't know what the Royal College does - the public as well in not highly informed. I am hoping we can influence both. I know the Royal College has done some work in the past years to raise the profile of the FRCPC and FRCSC designations (i.e. Value of Fellowship Campaign from 2014). Future phases of this campaign are in discussion. The Royal College has raised the issue of the designation of "specialist" with the Provincial-Territorial medical regulatory authorities and these discussions will need to continue. I agree that these are critical issues and solutions will take some time.
Avatar Kam Rungta | September 27, 2017
Congratulations Doug, and thank you for taking on this challenge of engaging the membership and your focus on relevance. Beautiful, neat, uncluttered office; highly reassuring when you visit a surgeon.
Avatar Douglas Hedden | September 27, 2017
Thanks Kam. I think it will be fun and hopefully can make a difference. I look forward to seeing you and continuing to work with you. Doug
Avatar Graeme McDonald (Don) Taylor | September 27, 2017
To the attention of Dr. Doug Hedden, I would like the Royal College to consider the place or role of CME for retired Fellows who still use their knowledge (and new knowledge not related to their specialty but related to their current "job") in an advisory capacity. As a retired orthopaedic surgeon, now an advisor for the MOHLTC, keeping current with areas of medicine that I am involved in today has nothing to do with orthopaedic surgery delivery to the public. Over the last decade I have increased my medical knowledge significantly, my orthopaedic knowledge, some, but not so much as if I was practicing as a specialist. I am not a great fan of the College since they indicated because I am not doing CME in orthopaedics I am no longer an F.R.C.S. (C). Since going back on the CME trail I am again a recognized member and suddenly an FRCS(C) again! When I see what many "specialists" do to keep current, I roll my eyes and shake my head. When I see in my work, the daily conduct of many specialists, I again roll my eyes and shake my head, one must at least keep up appearances! Welcome and congratulations, unless you have changed over the years the College is better for your presence. Regards, Don Taylor, M.D. F.R.C.S.(C)
Avatar Douglas Hedden | September 29, 2017
Hi Don, thanks so much for responding, it is so nice to hear from you. Firstly let me thank you for all the teaching you gave me as a resident and the mentorship you provided when I joined the practice at Queen's. It is longer ago than i wish to admit but it was a very good time in my career. I am glad that you are still putting your knowledge and wisdom to good use. I am sorry that you had difficulties with the MOC program. If you are fully retired you are exempt from the program. If you are still involved in related professional activities then participation is still required but it does not need to be in the medical expert domain. I can see that ongoing development of orthopaedic knowledge and skills may not be how you would want to continue with the program since you are no longer involved in clinical practice. The credits could involve ongoing development in the roles of leader or professional for example. Many of my credits over the last few years have been related to these roles. If I can help at all or if there are any other comments you would like to make please contact me at I hope that you and the family are well and thanks again for contacting me and your kind words. Doug
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