Our work Down Under

December 5, 2018 | Author: Dr. Andrew Padmos

Dear colleagues,

The Royal College has a history of working with our sister colleges in Australia and New Zealand. In fact, this relationship goes back many years starting as the Tripartite Alliance and growing to the Tri-nation Alliance.

What is new and noteworthy is that, this fall, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalize and strengthen this bond.

This agreement enables the sharing of information, experience and expertise among organizations. This aligns with our Royal College vision of being the global leader in specialty medical education and care.

The value proposition of the Tri-nation Alliance is centered on the similarities between our cultures and organizations and health systems, which make them worthwhile to compare; and the differences, which make them interesting and informative.

Global collaboration for the benefit of specialists, patients and populations

The Tri-nation Alliance is comprised of five organizations, of which the Royal College is one of the originating members. The other four are the

  1. Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP),
  2. Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS),
  3. Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP), and
  4. Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA).

The MOU will help us create a more formal structure for the alliance. In addition to an executive committee made up of the CEOs and presidents of the colleges, there is now a new management committee that focuses on delivering on a calendar of business projects, collaborative events and meetings.

As RACS President Mr. John Batten said, “Our objective supports a vision to be globally collaborative in developing high quality postgraduate medical education and lifelong learning opportunities….This vision leads us to our mission of advancing standards and programs in postgraduate medical education and in-turn, improving global health, health care for patients and populations.”

Other key elements of this new agreement

  • Create an effective network for collaboration, information exchange, research and analysis in postgraduate medical education, supervisor training and continuing professional development.
  • Provide a forum to discuss, debate, study and present information/data/positions on topics of importance to health care and health systems from the perspective of education and lifelong learning.
  • Develop, stimulate and inspire colleagues in health professions to contribute to global health and health care leadership, education, teaching, ethics and research.
  • Encourage and facilitate development, dissemination and publication of research studies, policies and position statements reflecting the consensus views and recommendations of member colleges and organizations.

Professional collaborations are a cornerstone of specialty medicine

As specialists, we collaborate each day with primary care providers, other specialists, members of the health care team, patients, learners and the list goes on.

We all benefit when information is shared; training and care are enhanced, efficiencies are created, voices are strengthened, we can better navigate common challenges and opportunities, and we can profit from our respective strengths and learnings.

The Tri-nation Alliance takes those same everyday touchpoints and applies them in a global forum.

I am looking forward to the work we will do.


Andrew Padmos, BA, MD, FRCPC, FACP, FRCP
Chief Executive Officer

About: Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

We formalize our engagements by negotiating and implementing service agreements that clearly define our collaboration objectives. A MOU outlines the terms and conditions of the work we plan to undertake with a partner organization. MOUs are not legal agreements; however, they demonstrate the goodwill between parties to collaborate towards common objectives.


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Mark Voysey | May 29, 2019
Not sure what, EXACTLY the goals would be here? However - reciprocity would be an excellent one. Without this it seems some sort of vague,(voyeuristic) "sharing" - and if every difference is going to end up with "Well, that;'s the way we do it here" (the "jurisdiction" retort), again, I 'm not sure what the goal is. By way of one small example - MOST FRANZCP (psychiatrists) have studied brain anatomy extensively (I dissected one weekly for a year as part of the Diploma of Psychological Medicine - an additional, non-mandatory, but generally pursued (2 year) course). In Canada, for my (5 years of) FRCPC training, I never saw a anatomical brain, although lots of "neuro-jargon" was used. Completing my American Boards in Adolescent Psychiatry, "brain development" was referred to extensively - but no developmental neuro-anatomy was ever studied. So the (academic) question would be - Does the study of actual brain anatomy produce "better" (clinical) psychiatrists? On the other hand, culturally, one could speculate that dissecting dead brains weekly, then interviewing patients can't help but "nudge" candidates to "think" of patients as brain functioning entities - the antithesis of "self determining selves" according to the American/Californian world view. What, exactly, will the College do with these views/liaisons, fascinating as they may appear in principle?
John Birkbeck | December 6, 2018
Important advance (albeit too late for me now retired). But I wonder how many specialists in the UK already have fellowships from one of your member organisations given that something like 20%+ UK specialists are from overseas. They need help and support to increase training and ensure overseas qualifications can be recognised where appropriate.
Dr. Andrew Padmos | January 4, 2019
Hi John, as noted in my response to your colleague (below), we do not currently have internationally recognized standards. Every country and jurisdiction has its own regulations. This discussion would necessarily have to include the medical regulatory authorities from across Canada, etc. Within our mandate, we do offer pathways for international medical graduates to have their training assessed and to access our exams and certification, including close to 30 jurisdictions whose training we have assessed and deemed to have met Royal College standards. – Dr. Andrew Padmos, CEO
Jennifer Brown | December 6, 2018
Collaboration with health care services that more resemble our own than does the American can only be a good thing. The UK NHS is also relevant. Well done!
mchristian99 | December 5, 2018
Why not make it easier for reciprocity and recognize each other's specialist qualifications between the three countries? Now THAT would be a benefit to members !
Dr. Andrew Padmos | January 4, 2019
It’s a compelling idea, though there are many complexities. The Royal College has no authority over licensure. We currently recognize some jurisdictions’ training for access to our exams and certification, and provide other pathways to have specialists’ qualifications recognized. Other countries and jurisdictions have their own regulations for recognizing foreign training — and it varies. For example, already it is easier for Canadian-trained individuals to have their credentials recognized in Australia than it is for individuals trained in many other countries. We will give some thought to how we might seek more reciprocity with our colleagues in other countries. This would be quite a project! – Dr. Andrew Padmos, CEO
Paul Missiuna | December 5, 2018