Your dollars at work

Andrew Padmos
February 1, 2018 | Author: Dr. Andrew Padmos

Dear colleagues,

I recently had an exchange with a Fellow about Royal College membership dues.

At issue was where membership dollars are being spent.

After several emails, a phone call and a face-to-face visit to the Fellow’s nearby office (yes, I do make house calls) I knew that what we were really discussing was the value of Royal College Fellowship.

One Fellowship, many values

The value of Fellowship does not hinge on one thing, nor is it the same for all Fellows.

  • On one end of the spectrum, there is our shared “noble purpose”: setting and sustaining high standards for Canadian postgraduate medical education and continuing professional development to ensure patients will receive the highest quality care today and in the future.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, there is the more functional aspect of membership: compliance with the Maintenance of Certification Program – a licensure requirement for specialists in practice.

How you perceive the value of your Royal College Fellowship probably falls somewhere between these two ends.

But Fellowship is more than just MOC

The Royal College works to ensure public safety by certifying residency programs, accrediting the schools that deliver postgraduate medical training and assessing residents to ensure they have met those standards.

The Royal College contributes to key discussions, and monitors and synthesizes specialist employment data to help individuals who shape our health care system connect with the information they need to make better and more informed decisions.

The Royal College promotes your Fellowship designation (FRCPC or FRCSC) as an internationally-recognized hallmark of excellence and, through its global efforts, contributes to health systems improvement.

Being part of a network of care

I have been a Fellow for more than 40 years now. I have seen this organization safeguard traditions and adapt to address modern practice realities. Beyond those achievements and the day-to-day work carried out by our dedicated volunteers and staff members, I believe that Royal College Fellowship is about being a part of something greater than myself.

It is about being part of a network of colleagues who hold each other accountable to high standards and aspire every day to give the best possible care to their patients.

It is about striving to be better than you were the day before, staying up-to-date, continuously learning and innovating.

It is about helping to shape future generations of doctors, being a role model, feeling pride at the title “Royal College Fellow” and building up and supporting each other in this diverse but unified profession.

It is about giving back and improving patient care, across Canada and around the world.

Your dollars at work

Health care keeps changing; not surprisingly, training standards must keep pace. We need to make the investment into residency training and into professional development across the learning continuum for the next generation of specialists and health care workers. Your Fellowship dues enable us to do this.

Each year, over 40,000 Fellows complete their MOC program requirements. This is both our public commitment to our peers, as well as our commitment to our patients.

What does Royal College Fellowship mean to you?

Please email me or post in the comments section.


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

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Avatar Alistair Duncan | February 1, 2018
The "value" for money that we receive for enforced "membership" is small at best.....the huge increases that were imposed a few years back, despite assurances that CME monitoring would not increase fees, far outstripped the cost of living and the increases that various provinces imposed upon us. I see the RCPSC as another money grabbing organization that supports MDs who could not have survived in the real world of actually practising medicine! Similar in nature each provincial college........we need one body to licence us all, after all we have to do our LMCC as a national exam. Take the fees back to the days of the mid 80s, and apply a cost of living only or what the average specialist increase was and get back to me.
Avatar Dr. Andrew Padmos | March 26, 2018
Hi Dr. Duncan, I would be interested in hearing your ideas. Please let me know if you would like to arrange a call to discuss. -Andrew
Avatar Robert Krusehl | February 1, 2018
While I agree with and continue to support the stated intentions and functions of the Royal College I am not convinced that members are receiving good value for their membership dues. I believe that there is room for substantial reductions in Roayl College operating costs. Sincerely
Avatar Dr. Andrew Padmos | March 26, 2018
Hi Dr. Krusehl, I would be interested in hearing your ideas. Please let me know if you would like to arrange a call to discuss. -Andrew
Avatar Dr Anthony Petrasek | February 1, 2018
Royal College dues continue to rise despite the fact that Ontario specialists have worked without a contract now for 4 years and despite the fact that we have endured a unilateral 7% cut to our fees. We are now waiting until May 25th to start binding arbitration that may last well into Oct, 2018. None of my CME cost or lost work time is compensated by the Ontario Ministry of Health. CME may be a professional obligation but it is hard to feel like you are a professional when your payor treats you so poorly. As you mentioned the Royal College does vital work certifying new grads and residency programmes but why do the fellows have to carry that cost? What about government providing some support? So much money is currently wasted in managing the healthcare system basically to reduce cost and decrease utilization at a time when need for care is continuing to rise. Fellows want a reduction in their dues because our renumeration has dropped. Doesn't it seem fair that the College should reduce fees by cutting its own costs? Also why does the College not speak out against the Ontario gov't and its decision to withdraw CME funding for specialists? Apparently CME funding for Family MDs was partially re-instated when they protested. Healthcare in Ontario has really suffered until Wynne. It would be nice to hear our College speak out in support our Fellows who struggle everyday to deliver best care in a clearly broken, underfunded, poorly managed system. Also why not hold the Feds accountable for their declining healthcare transfer contributions?
Avatar Dr. Andrew Padmos | March 26, 2018
Dear Dr. Petrasek, these are indeed trying times for physicians in Canada and especially in Ontario, where barriers to good patient care remain and physicians have been treated very poorly. I would be pleased to speak to you directly about Royal College work, value and dues and have asked my assistant to arrange a call soon. - Andrew
Avatar Dr. Jonathan Doe | February 1, 2018
RCPSC dues are much too expensive and physicians are being gouged. To see how one's dollars are being spent, one need only visit the College's beautiful stained-glass-and-marble palace atop Echo Drive in Ottawa, and count the number of catering staff. To say that the funds are spent on quality control for Canadian physicians is risible; trainees spend thousands of dollars for these exams, and yet the MDs actually creating the exams are unpaid. Physicians administer their own MOC through a website, and pay thousands annually for the privilege. The college is no more or no less than another unaccountable authority in Canada's medical regulatory-industrial complex. For shame.
Avatar Dr. Andrew Padmos | March 26, 2018
Dear Dr., I gather from your comments that you have visited the College building on Echo Drive and it is beautiful, historic and well-maintained to standards that our Fellows would expect. Perhaps you are unaware of the 1,200+ meetings each year, hosted by the College to manage and support the work of over 90 specialty committees and an equal number of examination boards, in addition to regular College business in curriculum, accreditation, policy and membership support. Catering staff do provide lunch service to our visiting volunteer Fellows and guests who attend these meetings and work in behalf of all members. I would be happy to discuss our expenses and revenues in a telephone conversation at your convenience. - Andrew
Avatar Brian Clapson | February 1, 2018
Andrew, nicely stated. The issue of value can be cloudy at best when so many of our fellows are busy with the practice of medicine, family and involvement with other medical organizations. It is easy to not be up to date with everything in the world of our college, so your discourse is an excellent reminder that our member fellows are well served and the money / resources of the RC thoughtfully applied to the many areas that require attention. Keep up the great work!
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