News from the October 2019 Council meeting

November 13, 2019 | Author: Royal College Staff

The Council of the Royal College met October 24-25, 2019, in Ottawa, Ont., for in-depth discussion on several key issues and important decision-making matters. The incoming Royal College CEOSusan Moffatt-Bruce, MD, PhD, FRCSC — attended as a guest of Council.

Council decisions

Appointment of the next Royal College President-Elect

Council appointed Richard Reznick, MD, FRCSC, from Kingston, Ont., as the next Royal College President-Elect. To be eligible for the position, a Fellow must have served one full four-year term on Council in the alternate division of the sitting President. Dr. Reznick will officially take office as the Royal College President-Elect on February 21, 2020, at the time of the Annual Meeting of the Members. A year from that date, Council will be asked to consider his appointment as President (2021-2023).

Pediatric residency training core competencies

Council approved that, concurrent with the specialty’s transition to Competence by Design, new entrants into Pediatrics must achieve all generalist competencies of the Pediatrics specialty, within the local context of program delivery, prior to certification in Pediatrics.

Pediatric subspecialists may be called upon to deliver a breadth of generalist care. Council’s decision provides that, as new pediatric subspecialists certify, they are equipped with the competencies they need to meet contemporary Canadian health care needs.

The decision by Council equips Pediatrics to move forward with its implementation of Competence by Design (CBD). The first cohort whose training will be shaped by this decision will be pediatric subspecialists who enter their specialty training with the planned launch of Pediatric CBD in July 2021.

Information about this Council decision is being sent to the community of involved stakeholders. Members with questions about this change are invited to email the Royal College at

Policy on investment in cannabis

Council approved a restriction on investing in cultivators of cannabis and affiliates of cultivators of cannabis in the Royal College and the Royal College employees’ retirement plan portfolios.

While the Royal College has a longstanding precedent of restricting investment in tobacco for ethical and social reasons, the question of investments in cannabis products has only arisen since its federal legalization in October 2018.

The Royal College will be undertaking a wider consideration of standards of environmental, social and governance factors in investing in the near future. The Royal College Foundation (RCF) previously agreed to an identical restriction at the meeting of the RCF Board in September 2019.

Additional governance business

In keeping with the Royal College’s Bylaw, Council also

  • appointed Mark Walton, MD, FRCSC, for an additional two-year term as chair of the Committee on Specialty Education and member of the Executive Committee of Council;
  • appointed Kaif Pardhan, MD, FRCPC, for an additional two-year term as chair of the Fellowship Affairs Committee and member of the Executive Committee of Council;
  • appointed Brian Cummings, MD, FRCPC, to fill a mid-term Fellow-at-large vacancy on Council; and
  • nominated Rose Carter, Q.C., for a first one-year term as a Public Member of Council for election by the members at the February 2020 Annual Meeting of the Members.

Council discussion

Competence by Design analytics

Brent Thoma, MD, FRCPC, gave Council a demonstration of a Competence by Design analytics dashboard. An emergency physician from the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Thoma has harnessed the metrics provided via this initiative to provide his program with an evidence base that allows them to proactively address areas of weakness, celebrate progress and, overall, support residents in their journey to certification.

The demonstration drew praise from Council members and recognition that a similar tool would be of value to all programs going forward. Council was keen to understand how the data was kept secure, aggregated and anonymized at a program level, while still being valuable to inform and support individual faculty member and resident growth.

Membership engagement

Council members participated in the second of a series of focused discussions on the themes that emerged from the 2018 Member Value Survey. In June, Council generated a prioritized list of practical options to improve the value proposition of membership for Royal College members.

In October, Council discussion built on these ideas. Members sounded out opportunities, in particular, to improve the flow of grassroots issues to Council and approaches to ensure the Royal College is meaningful for physicians across the full continuum of their careers. The direction and input provided by Council will continue to guide management’s action plan for addressing the main areas for improvement.

Council task forces

Council had the opportunity to engage with the early work of its two task forces ahead of receiving their final reports in winter 2020.

  • Kevin Imrie, MD, FRCPC, Royal College Past-President and chair of the Task Force on the Periodic Reaffirmation of Physician Competence, presented to Council draft recommendations.
  • Richard Reznick, MD, FRCSC, chair of the Task Force on Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Digital Technologies, presented to Council on the nature of the task force’s discussions to date and emerging directions.

Governance education sessions

Council members also participated in the first of three targeted governance education sessions designed and delivered in partnership with Telfer Executive Programs of the University of Ottawa. This first in-depth session of approximately three hours focused on the fundamentals of corporate governance (its basic anatomy). The next two sessions of the curriculum will be delivered at the February 20-21 and June 18-19, 2020, Council meetings. These sessions will become standard curriculum for future members of Council.


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