Vol. 15, No. 5 — May 2015
Welcome to Dialogue, your link to the Royal College


Fellows’ procedure could restore sensation in the eyes of tens of thousands

A trio of Fellows never imagined a technique they developed to help a handful of patients in Canada, could potentially help tens of thousands of patients globally.

President’s Corner: Why Fellows should take a closer look at CanMEDS 2015

Dr. Imrie challenges Fellows to discover how CanMEDS 2015 is relevant to their day-to-day practice realities.

PER-Route B: Practice-based assessment of Psychiatry candidates

We conducted our first Practice Eligibility Route (PER) practice-based assessment and exam.

Initial discussions on competency-based CPD

Discussions centered on the purpose, benefits and challenges of transitioning to a competency-based continuing professional development (CPD) model.

The CanMEDS 2015 Diagram: Tweak or overhaul?

We received some great feedback regarding a new look and feel for the CanMEDS Diagram.

Trailblazing surgeon, researcher and educator named Honorary Fellows

Meet the three newest recipients of an Honorary Fellowship in the Royal College.

Members in the news

In memoriam

Other news bites

September 11 deadline to apply for a Royal College award or grant

Apply for a grant, scholarship or fellowship, or nominate an inspiring peer.

New pilot videos explain what specialists actually do

Our pilot video series aims to show Canadians the important and diverse roles of specialists.

Have a question about CBD? Tune into a webinar — get info and MOC credits

Our monthly webinars let you share your thoughts, learn more and earn MOC credits.

Conference news

International speakers, ePortfolios, wine & art: Some highlights of ICRE 2015

Some highlights of ICRE 2015 — grab your smartphone and save the date!

Break trail with the 2015 Simulation Summit

Meet the leading experts that make up this year’s strong plenary lineup.



Dialogue: Your link to the Royal College

Fellows’ procedure could restore sensation in the eyes of tens of thousands

Innovative Canadian procedure could restore sensation in the eyes of tens of thousands

Photo courtesy of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)

A couple of years ago, a trio of physicians at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Ont., determined that they could apply a nerve-grafting technique to help restore corneal sensation in the eyes of children with corneal anesthesia — a rare condition in Canada. They never imagined that the resulting procedure could potentially restore sensation in the eyes of tens of thousands of patients globally.

Relatively simple procedure proves to be an effective solution

“Corneal anesthesia is quite rare and often only seen in a handful of children in Canada each year,” said Asim Ali, MD, FRCSC, an ophthalmologist at SickKids.

This lack of feeling in the eye means that patients are not aware when they have a scratch or foreign body in their eye, making them more likely to delay detecting problems. The eyes of patients with this condition also do not heal as quickly, predisposing them to infection, scarring and distortion.

“Pain is the first alert to blink, to flush something away or to seek medical attention. Over time, most of these patients lose their vision,” he said, describing how some patients are born with this condition or may experience it as a result of a brain tumour or trauma.

Dr. Ali and his colleagues, Ronald Zuker, MD, FRCSC, FACS, and Gregory Borschel, MD, FACS, plastic and reconstructive surgeons and co-directors of the Facial Palsy Clinic at SickKids, developed a solution that is conceptually the same as a nerve-grafting technique that Dr. Zuker previously established to enable function in facial motor nerves (e.g. to facilitate the ability to smile for people with facial paralysis).

Dr. Borschel explained that their procedure involves taking a small piece of the sural nerve from the patient’s leg and connecting it onto a functioning sensory nerve in the face. They then tunnel that nerve to the surface of the affected eye where they “unpack it” and direct the nerve fascicles around the eye before Dr. Ali implants them directly into the affected cornea.

“Dr. Zuker is very experienced with the nerve-graft technique and in fact is a world authority in this area,” said Dr. Ali. “It’s the application of this procedure to the cornea that is new, so this is really a new approach to something that has been proven before in a different way.”

Learn more about this procedure and its impact in this video from SickKids »

International interest in procedure for patients with leprosy, herpes

Prior to this procedure, corneal anesthesia patients were limited to supportive treatments, such as lubrication of the eye or in certain cases, sewing the eyelid closed to enable healing. The team has so far treated 10 eyes in eight patients and most of the patients have gained near-normal feeling measurements.

“At three months, patients start to feel sensation at the donor site. This means if you touch their eye, it feels like you’re touching their forehead initially,” said Dr. Borschel. “At around six months, the brain starts to reconfigure itself and patients begin feeling sensation in the eye as coming from the eye.”

The team has published their results in medical journals (JAMA Ophthalmology and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery) and presented findings at national and international meetings. To their surprise, it is the international crowd that has attracted the most attention.

“All of a sudden there’s a host of other conditions that might benefit from this procedure,” said Dr. Zuker.

Dr. Borschel elaborated, “We just got back from a meeting in India and the surgeons there tell us that they have tens of thousands of patients with this condition from leprosy, which carries a huge disease burden worldwide. We had no idea that it would take off in this direction.”

The group also recently learned that herpes infections of the eye, which affects thousands of patients in the developing world, could also potentially be treated using this technique. By a stroke of luck, Dr. Zuker and Dr. Borschel are currently training a Plastic Surgery Fellow from Colombia who is from the same town as an ophthalmologist who is training at Toronto Western Hospital.

“They’re actually going to learn this procedure and then go back and do this operation for their patients with herpes in Colombia,” said Dr. Borschel.

“We’re very open to teaching anybody who wants to come in and learn about this,” Dr. Ali affirmed.

Specialist collaboration key to novel treatment

“Specialist collaboration key to novel treatment

Photo courtesy of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)

This project was supported by SickKids’ Surgical Innovation Program that is run through the hospital’s Surgeon-in-Chief. The team of colleagues submitted a written proposal outlining what they planned to do, including an overview of the known risks, benefits, patient population and evidence of their training/ability to perform the procedure.

“It’s interdisciplinary so it took some time and coordination to get everyone together,” said Dr. Ali who noted, along with his colleagues, that the environment at SickKids was also a facilitator of this cooperation.

“By bringing our two subspecialty interests together and having expertise in microsurgery and corneal surgery, we came up with this relatively easy, straightforward operation,” said Dr. Zuker.

Dr. Borschel added, “It’s a nice story of collaboration and how different specialties worked together to address this unusual but difficult problem.”

Dr. Borschel and his team in the nerve regeneration laboratory at SickKids are studying the condition in animal models. They hope to determine exactly how the technique works, how it may be improved further, and how other patients may benefit from similar approaches.



Dialogue: Your link to the Royal College


Why Fellows should take a closer look at CanMEDS 2015

Kevin Imrie, MD, FRCPC

Kevin Imrie, MD, FRCPC

I understand that for some of you, the Royal College’s three-year project to update the CanMEDS Framework may seem somewhat removed from your day-to-day practice realities. I hope to challenge that perception.

A lot has changed in the 10 years since CanMEDS was originally created, not the least of which are the demands on physicians and the expectations of modern health care. The CanMEDS Framework is being updated to reflect those changes. A perfect example of this is patient safety.

As students, as residents and as clinicians we talk a lot about patient safety. Entire conferences, research papers and projects are devoted to this theme and what can be done to create better measurements, tools and safeguards to ensure the best patient outcomes.

This is not a coincidence or a reflection of bad care, rather of patient safety’s importance as a core value of physician practice. This importance is something that the Royal College recognizes and actively promotes.

Patient safety has been added as a new content area focus in the CanMEDS 2015 Framework (the final version of the Framework will be launched this October at ICRE 2015, but you can view draft versions of the Framework and Milestones Guide online). This means that the Medical Expert Role will openly state the expectation that physicians “Recognize and respond to harm from health care delivery, including patient safety incidents,” as well as “Adopt strategies that promote patient safety and address human and system factors.”

These same principles are reflected in the Choosing Wisely campaign that was launched in Canada three years ago following lengthy anticipation and with much-deserved fanfare. I hope you are all familiar with it, but if not, I encourage you to check out their website.

Choosing Wisely Canada focuses on challenging past behaviours to focus on practical actions that will contribute to the value of care. This is the same kind of thinking that has gone into CanMEDS 2015. More than just a model to support the shift to competency-based medical education at the postgraduate level, its goal is also to reflect, guide and support the modern practice of medicine at all stages of a specialist’s career. Patient safety is just one aspect of a comprehensive whole.

I challenge all Fellows to read the draft CanMEDS 2015 Framework. Does it reflect the competencies needed for your practice? I’m interested to hear your thoughts.

-Kevin @kimrie

More information on CanMEDS 2015 is available at www.royalcollege.ca/canmeds2015



Dialogue: Your link to the Royal College

PER-Route B: Practice-based assessment of Psychiatry candidates

PER-Route B: Practice-based assessment of Psychiatry candidates

Just under a dozen candidates participated in the inaugural Practice Eligibility Route (PER) – Route B practice-based assessment and exam that was held from March 4-7, 2015, at the Royal College in Ottawa, Ont. With the support of Royal College staff, this review was designed by the Royal College Specialty Committee in Psychiatry and intended to act as a thorough evaluation of candidates’ skills, knowledge and abilities.

About the Royal College’s Practice Eligibility Route (PER)

In February 2010, Royal College Council approved the Practice Eligibility Route (PER) to certification, which is targeted to internationally-trained physicians who are already licensed and practising as specialists in Canada, but who are not certified by the Royal College. PER offers two equally rigorous routes for examining candidates’ competencies in primary specialties:

Route A is currently open to candidates in most primary specialties; two last specialties (Dermatology, Vascular Surgery) are in the process of developing their scope-of-practice documents for the 2016 exam cycle. To date, Route B in-practice examination has only been piloted with candidates in Psychiatry.

Prior to the pilot, Paul Dagg, MD, FRCPC, chair of the Specialty Committee in Psychiatry, declared his confidence in this method of assessment saying,

“We believe that we have been able to construct a very robust and rigorous assessment process that is more suitable for psychiatrists who are mid-career, and will assess not only knowledge but those important competencies that are not easily measured through traditional post residency examinations. At the end of the day, we need to know that people are competent to practice as psychiatrists, and so have developed a process that includes comprehensive and normed multisource feedback, and a variety of in-the-moment assessment tools including OSCE’s, chart reviews and case discussions, and an observed consultation.”

All of the examiners who conducted the assessment confirmed the route’s rigour in their post-PER Route B evaluation survey, indicating that they felt this route was as strong as the traditional Royal College exam in examining candidates. Both candidates and examiners also felt that this assessment was at the appropriate level of difficulty.

An implementation plan to expand PER-Route B to candidates in other specialties will soon be developed.

PER-Route B: Many points of evaluation

Psychiatry candidates who were interested in participating in the first PER-Route B assessment were invited to submit their applications in late July 2014. This pilot was capped at 12 individuals. Selected candidates were informed in early August, marking the start of the final phase of the credentials review process and paper-based assessment.

The credentials review consisted of an evaluation of each candidate’s postgraduate medical education and practice for the past five years. The paper-based assessment consisted of multisource feedback and verification of the candidate’s good standing with his or her medical regulatory authority. In partnership with Pivotal Research, multisource surveys were sent to the candidates’ patients, coworkers and colleagues. A questionnaire was also sent to each candidate’s supervisor. Individuals who were successful at this stage were invited to register for the assessment. In late November 2014, the accepted candidates were given instructions on how to prepare for the assessment in March 2015, including the necessary submission of patient charts and other required documentation.

To conduct the assessments, the Royal College recruited 12 assessors from a pool of retired Royal College examiners and current peer assessors from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Each assessor participated in a mandatory two-day training session that included an overview of all sections of the assessment and the scoring scale.

Standardized patients were also used during the observed consultation section of the assessment in Ottawa, to allow for further standardization between the individual assessments and also so that assessors and candidates from outside of Ontario could be assessed in-province without implications for licensure.

All of the assessors participated in the final deliberations that confirmed which candidates passed the assessment.

As the post-evaluation survey showed, the examination proved to be a rigorous and discriminating assessment of Psychiatry candidates’ knowledge and skills. Candidates who were unsuccessful in their attempt were provided with a summary of their assessment results, which indicated areas for further improvement. To support their future success, candidates who did not pass the initial assessment will be required to show that they have made improvements in the marked out areas before they will be accepted for another Route B assessment.

Expanding PER-Route B for additional specialties

The feedback received from the candidates and assessors regarding the process of the Psychiatry Route B assessment and examination, is being reviewed and will be used to make improvements for the running of the next iteration of assessments.

The Royal College will continue to focus on high quality and quality improvement processes in the delivery of PER Route B to ensure it remains as equally rigorous an assessment of candidates as the traditional examination, as it expands to other specialties.

Questions or comments can be sent to credentials@royalcollege.ca.



Dialogue: Your link to the Royal College

Initial discussions on competency-based CPD

Initial discussions on competency-based CPD

More than 100 continuing professional development (CPD) leaders, regulatory authority representatives, assessment experts and medical education scholars from 56 organizations came together last month to engage in a facilitated discussion on the transition to a competency-based CPD system.

“Our promise is to work collaboratively with our Fellows, regulatory authorities and CPD experts to deliver a system which addresses specific practice needs, measures impact and ultimately improves performance and patient outcomes,” explained Ken A. Harris, MD, FRCSC, the Royal College’s Executive Director of Specialty Education.

The benefits of competency-based CPD

The benefits of competency-based CPD

This historic meeting was kicked off by Craig Campbell MD, FRCPC, Director of Continuing Professional Development at the Royal College, who opened discussions on the purpose, potential benefits and challenges of transitioning to a competency-based CPD model.

Four potential benefits for a competency-based model were envisioned to be:

  1. Shifting the CPD system towards achieving desirable practice outcomes, including measureable improvements in quality of care, patient safety and patient health outcomes.

  2. Embracing assessment as an important strategy for lifelong learning in practice by enabling access to performance data, feedback from peers, and the development of an action plan to enhance the competence and performance of individuals, groups and teams.

  3. Promoting the centrality of CanMEDS 2015 as a framework for achieving important educational outcomes, and for guiding and informing specialists to choose learning activities that sustain the competencies required for their practice.

  4. Facilitating the achievement of important clinical outcomes by leveraging the CanMEDS framework to promote continuous improvements in the health care system.

Dr. Jeff Sisler Tweet: Competency based CPD will orient us to the outcomes in practice we seek: high quality, safe care for patient. #CBDSummit

Important considerations in the transition to competency-based CPD

In addition to these opportunities, participants also discussed and debated the challenges of introducing a new model of CPD. Some topics that were addressed include

Next steps in the competency-based CPD discussion

Building on momentum from the event, the Royal College will partner with Fellows, CPD experts and the medical education community to create a series of white papers that will further explore the issues surrounding competency-based CPD and provide recommendations for moving forward.

We recognize that the smooth transition to a competency-based CPD model will require careful consideration, coordination and cooperation. These white papers and recommendations will be shared with stakeholders as a means to seek further guidance and collaboration on a competency-based CPD model that will meet the needs of the public and of the profession.

What will success look like? To borrow from American author, Judith Glaser, we want all those involved to “feel like authors of change not objects of change.”

If you have questions, please contact cbd@royalcollege.ca



Dialogue: Your link to the Royal College

The CanMEDS 2015 Diagram: Tweak or overhaul?

The CanMEDS diagram being discussed.

The CanMEDS diagram being discussed.

We reached out to key stakeholders, including Fellows, in early 2015 to gather direction for a new look and feel for the CanMEDS Diagram — one of the most recognizable sub-brands of the Royal College. In February, we hosted a series of facilitated focus groups; content from those discussions was then compiled, analyzed and summarized in a creative brief by LEVEL 5, a Toronto-based consulting firm that we partnered with for this activity.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the great feedback and recommendations we received:

Evolutionary change, not revolutionary
Feedback from the focus groups found that there was little desire for a complete overhaul of the brand. LEVEL 5 concluded that: “There is no need to add fundamental new elements, such as emphasis on community design. There is, however, a strong desire to modernize the diagram by making it less clinical/textbook, and introducing a more vibrant, fresh design that is a bit more exciting.”

Role integration is vital
Focus group participants were vocal that the diagram needs to convey the integration/overlap across the various CanMEDS Roles. They supported maintaining the Venn Diagram-like shape going forward.

Medical Expert at centre because of its identity
It was agreed that the diagram should continue to have a strong central focus; that one key Role from the CanMEDS Framework should be highlighted at the centre and this Role should identify and differentiate the profession. However, determining which Role was to be included at the centre was not unanimous.

Following the LEVEL 5 analysis of the focus groups’ data, they found that: “Although there was no clear consensus among participants, the leading candidate for the central Role is the incumbent, ‘Medical Expert,’ because not only is it a foundational role, but it also expresses identity. Several alternatives to Medical Expert have been suggested (e.g. Medical Professional, Physician) but Medical Expert remains the leading label.”

Roles should all appear to be equal
Focus group participants agreed that all the Roles should be seen as equal on the diagram. There are legitimate different and conflicting hierarchies, depending on the perspective of the user, and LEVEL 5 concluded that most participants felt that “there should be equal weighting of the roles, and there needs to be a balance of equal treatment of each Role”.

More emotion should be added through colour and symbolism
Focus group participants had a desire for a stronger emotional resonance in the diagram that emphasized the human dimension of the profession’s development.

Overall, the CanMEDS Diagram was seen as successful, as it is one of the most recognizable of the Royal College sub-brands, nationally and internationally. Focus group participants, along with Royal College staff and senior medical educators, were in agreement that the diagram needs a simple refresh to give it a contemporary and fresh look and feel.

Diagram refresh: Next steps

Taking the feedback from the LEVEL 5 creative brief, the Royal College is working with a graphic designer who will refresh the look and feel of the diagram. Several concepts will be produced and circulated to key audiences for their input. A recommended new design will be presented to Council this summer.

The final version of the updated diagram will be unveiled at the 2015 International Conference on Residency Education in Vancouver, as part of the official launch of CanMEDS 2015 Framework, CanMEDS Milestones Guide and supporting development tools.

For more information on CanMEDS 2015, visit: royalcollege.ca/canmeds2015.

Background: Consulting on changes to the CanMEDS Diagram

We kicked off our three-year project to update the CanMEDS Physician Competency Framework in 2012. Since then, we released multiple draft versions of the framework, and consulted with Fellows and stakeholders with each release. One of the recurrent themes that emerged during those consultations was the CanMEDS Diagram. Given that level of interest and engagement, particularly among stakeholder organizations and institutions involved in medical education, we opted to hold consultations.

In partnership with LEVEL 5, a Toronto-based consulting firm, we held six one-hour telephone focus groups in February 2015 that were hosted by Jason Frank, MD, FRCPC, Andrée Boucher, MD, FRCPC, and Elaine Van Melle, PhD. The invitation for participation was extended to key stakeholders, including Royal College Fellows, partner organizations, and representatives of each of the 17 Canadian medical schools, including residents and program directors.

In these one-hour sessions, participants were invited to share their thoughts and opinions on various aspects of the current CanMEDS Diagram, as well as their visions for a new diagram that will ultimately symbolize Canadian medical education.



Dialogue: Your link to the Royal College

Trailblazing surgeon, researcher and educator named Royal College Honorary Fellows

A neurologist committed to innovation in health research, a family physician with a passion for medical education, and an international leader in trauma systems will receive Honorary Fellowship in the Royal College.

“Each of these individuals has made outstanding contributions to the profession of medicine and to patient care in Canada and abroad,” said Royal College CEO Andrew Padmos, MD, FRCPC. “Their commitment and passion embodies our shared vision to provide the best health and care for all.”

The 2015 Royal College Honorary Fellows

Alain Beaudet, MD, PhD



Alain Beaudet, MD, PhD
President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Beaudet built a distinguished career at the Montreal Neurological Institute pursuing basic research and leading as its associate director (research) from 1985 to 1992. He has served as president of the CIHR since 2008. Dr. Beaudet was nominated for exceptional contributions to research, scholarship, and innovation and leadership in health research.

A. Brent Eastman, MD, FACS



A. Brent Eastman, MD, FACS
N. Paul Whittier Chair of Trauma and Chief Medical Officer, Emeritus, Scripps Health San Diego, California
Clinical Professor of Surgery-Trauma, University of California San Diego

A general, vascular and trauma surgeon, Dr. Eastman has been instrumental in developing trauma systems worldwide, including in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, India, Mexico, Pakistan and South Africa. Dr. Eastman was nominated for exceptional contributions in trauma research, teaching and patient care, and for volunteer contributions to the profession.

Paul Grand’Maison, MD, MSc, FCFPC, FCAHS



Paul Grand’Maison, MD, MSc, FCFPC, FCAHS
Director, Office of International Relations, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Que.

A MD-MSc (Université de Sherbrooke and University of Western Ontario, respectively), Dr. Grand’Maison describes himself as “a family physician by profession, a teacher by vocation, a medical educator by passion and an administrator by evolution.” He was nominated for exceptional contributions to Family Medicine, medical education, social accountability and international outreach.

Please visit royalcollege.ca/honorary for more information about these recipients and Honorary Fellowship in the Royal College.

The next call for nominations will open in October 2015.



Dialogue: Your link to the Royal College

Members in the news

Riyad Abu-Laban, MD, FRCPC (Emergency Medicine) and Rose Hatala, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine), both associate professors at the University of British Columbia, were named 2014-15 UBC Killam Teaching Prize winners.

Matthew Bromwich, MD, FRCSC (Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery) oversaw the development of a new smartphone app that tests hearing with an iPad (as reported on CBC News). Dr. Bromwich is a physician in the Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

Michael Bushuk, MD, FRCSC (Orthopedic Surgery) recently consulted on an unusual case, as reported in the Toronto Star. Dr. Bushuk is an orthopedic surgeon at the Scarborough Hospital in Scarborough, Ont.

David Cabral, MD, FRCPC (Pediatrics) was named the first Ross Petty-Arthritis Society Research Chair in Pediatric Rheumatology at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Cabral is a clinical professor in the school’s Department of Pediatrics and head of the Division of Rheumatology.

James Downar, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine, Palliative Medicine, Critical Care Medicine) weighed in on the controversial topic of human head transplants on CBC Radio’s The Current. Dr. Downar is a Critical Care and Palliative Care physician at the Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network, in Toronto, Ont.

Samir Gupta, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine, Respirology, and Clinician Investigator Program) is a regular medical contributor to Global News and recently wrote on the challenges facing medical professionals in Nepal after the earthquake. Dr. Gupta is an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Respirology, at St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto.

Jacob Jaremko, MD, FRCPC (Diagnostic Radiology) assisted his colleagues at the University of Alberta (UofA) in answering the age-old question: what happens when your knuckles crack? Dr. Jaremko is a radiologist and assistant professor, Department of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging, UofA.

Gary Levy, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology) spoke to Maclean’s magazine about the positive ripple effects for live organ donation that resulted from the highly-publicized case of the Wagner twins. Dr. Levy is a researcher and director of the living-donor liver program at Toronto General Hospital UHN.

Douglas Maguire, MD, FRCPC (Anesthesiology) spoke to CBC News about his decision to leave for Nepal to assist with the Canadian Red Cross’s disaster relief efforts. Dr. Maguire is an anesthesiologist in Winnipeg, Man.

Hadi Seikaly, MD, FRCSC (Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery) is one of the first two recipients of the Murray E. Mickleborough Interfacial Biomechanics Research Program. Dr. Seikaly is a professor in the University of Alberta’s Department of Surgery. His project will work to establish an international network for head and neck cancer research.

James Shapiro, MD, FRCSC (General Surgery) and his team’s work to develop a safer and less invasive way to treat diabetes was featured in the Edmonton Journal. Dr. Shapiro is the principal investigator and director of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Clinical Center for Islet Transplantation at the University of Alberta.

Maria Tartaglia, MD, FRCPC (Neurology) wrote a Special to The Globe and Mail about the importance of peer support groups for those with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Tartaglia is a neurologist at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre’s Memory Clinic, Toronto Western Hospital.

Evert Tuyp, MD, FRCPC (Dermatology) spoke with the Times Colonist about what the shortage of dermatologists in British Columbia will mean for patients and patient care. Dr. Tuyp is a consultant dermatologist in British Columbia and clinical assistant professor at the University of British Columbia.

Lorne Tyrrell, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine) won a 2015 Killam Prize for Health Sciences in recognition of his lifetime contributions to virology, as reported in the Edmonton Journal. Dr. Tyrrell is a professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Alberta.

Setareh Ziai, MD, FRCSC (Ophthalmology) spoke to The Globe and Mail about the prevalence of myopia and some potential causes for its recent growth. Dr. Ziai is an ophthalmologist in Ottawa, Ont.

Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, MD, FRCSC (Pediatrics) co-led a study that validated the unique expertise of parents’ observations with regards to their children, which could help physicians detect and diagnose conditions like autism at an earlier stage. Dr. Zwaigenbaum is co-director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Alberta.

Suggestions for “Member in the news” can be emailed to communications@royalcollege.ca.



Dialogue: Your link to the Royal College

In memoriam

Paul Winton Aggett, MD, FRCSC, died on January 22, 2015, in Huntsville, Ont., at age 81. Dr. Aggett was certified by the Royal College in General Surgery in 1965. He earned his medical degree from the University of Toronto in 1958. Well-liked and respected by colleagues, he was also accomplished in insurance medicine. Read more about Dr. Aggett »

Pamela Margaret Barton, MD, FRCPC, died on January 19, 2015, in Calgary, Alta., at age 63. Dr. Barton was certified by the Royal College in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation in 1981. Recognized as a national and local leader in her specialty, in 1997, she cofounded the Calgary Chronic Pain Centre and was its first director. Read more about Dr. Barton »

Robert (“Dr. Bob”) James Brodrick, MD, FRCPC, died on January 1, 2015, in Côte St-Luc, Que., at age 92. Dr. Brodrick was certified by the Royal College in Internal Medicine in 1952. A talented athlete and clinician, his medical career spanned almost 50 years and included work as a lecturer at McGill University. Read more about Dr. Brodrick »

Marion Cummings, MD, FRCPC, died on March 12, 2015, in Toronto, Ont., at age 39. Dr. Cumming was certified by the Royal College in Pediatrics (2004) and Nephrology (2006). She earned her medical degree from McGill University in 1999 and practised as a pediatrician in Toronto. Read more about Dr. Cummings »

Milan Hamza, MD, FRCSC, died on January 25, 2015, in Whitby, Ont., at age 82. Dr. Hamza was certified by the Royal College in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1971. Born in the Czechoslovakia, he immigrated to Canada in 1970 and spent most of his dedicated career practising at the Women’s College Hospital in Toronto. Read more about Dr. Hamza »

Edwin Wesley Henry, MD, FRCPC, died on February 20, 2015, in Surrey, B.C., at age 89. Dr. Henry was certified by the Royal College in Internal Medicine in 1955. Born in Northern Ireland, he brought his “Irish humour” to Canada where he worked many devoted hours, including at the Peace Arch Hospital. Read more about Dr. Henry »

Richard George Huntsman, MD, FRCPC, died on March 7, 2015, in Taverham, Norfolk, UK, at age 88. Dr. Huntsman was certified by the Royal College in Hematological Pathology in 1984. Remembered as a “trail-blazing physician” and award-winning researcher and teacher, he was an outspoken advocate of better public safety mechanisms for Canadian blood transfusion services. Read more about Dr. Huntsman » [Plus, Globe and Mail feature on Dr. Huntsman’s life and contributions]

(Pierre) Gilles Julien, MD, FRCSC, died on January 7, 2015, in Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., at age 78. Dr. Julien was certified by the Royal College in Ophthalmology in 1968. He is remembered as a professional, respectful and generous physician, and skilled, engaging and insightful conversationalist. Read more about Dr. Julien »

Aidan Joseph Kavanagh, MD, FRCPC, died on January 4, 2015, in Calgary, Alta., at age 88. Dr. Kavanagh was certified by the Royal College in Pediatrics in 1959. Born in Wicklow, Ireland, he practised Pediatrics for many years in Calgary where he was highly-respected as an advocate of preventative allergy treatment. Read more about Dr. Kavanagh »

Cecil Edwin (“Ed”) Kinley Jr., MD, ONS, FRCSC, died on January 19, 2015, in Halifax, N.S., at age 83. Dr. Kinley was certified by the Royal College in Vascular Surgery in 1961. He is credited with helping establish the Cardiovascular Surgery Program at the IWK Children’s Hospital and Adult Cardiovascular Surgery at the Victoria General Hospital in Halifax, among other accomplishments. Also active in politics, he is a former President of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party and was awarded the Order of Nova Scotia in 2013. Read more about Dr. Kinley »

George Frederick Kipkie, MDCM, FRCPC, died on March 12, 2015, in Mississauga, Ont., at age 99. Dr. Kipkie was certified by the Royal College in Pathology and Bacteriology in 1946. A former director of Laboratories at Kingston General Hospital and associate professor at Queen’s University, he was once President of the Canadian Association of Pathologists. Read more about Dr. Kipkie »

Bohdan (“Mickey”) Michalyshyn, MD, FRCSC, died on January 14, 2015, in Edmonton, Alta., at age 95. Dr. Michalyshyn was certified by the Royal College in General Surgery in 1949. He earned his medical degree from the University of Alberta, where he endowed the Dr. Bohdan Michalyshyn Scholarship in Surgery. Read more about Dr. Michalyshyn »

Piney Pollock, MD, FRCPC, died on March 1, 2015, in Ottawa, Ont., at age 91. Dr. Pollock was certified by the Royal College in Internal Medicine in 1956. He formerly worked at the Ottawa Heart Institute and is remembered for his kindness, easy laugh and keen listening abilities. Read more about Dr. Pollock »

Lionel Irwin Tanzer, MD, FRCSC, died on January 26, 2015, in Toronto, Ont., at age 90. Dr. Tanzer was certified by the Royal College in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1953. For more than 50 years, he worked as an obstetrician-gynecologist at Mount Sinai Hospital and is remembered for his caring and gentle disposition. Read more about Dr. Tanzer »

Suggestions for “In memoriam” can be emailed to communications@royalcollege.ca.



Dialogue: Your link to the Royal College

September 11 deadline to apply for a Royal College award or grant

It’s awards-and-grants season at the Royal College and we are welcoming submissions. Apply for a grant, scholarship or fellowship to advance your skills and competence, or celebrate an inspiring peer by nominating him or her for one of our prestigious awards.

Our goal is to support your development, no matter what stage you are at in your career.

Regional PD Grants available for Fellows

September 11 deadline to apply for a Royal College award or grant

Fellows, are you looking for support for your self-learning? The Royal College’s Professional Development Grants are awarded year-round, across Canada. Funding is now available and successful applicants can receive up to $4,000.

The grant is intended to support your Section 2 (self-learning) activities in collaboration with a mentor or supervisor. The PD Grant provides an excellent opportunity to advance your skills and competence, so apply today!

Advance your skills with other valuable grants

Nominate your peers for esteemed personal achievement awards

Apply before September 11

To apply for these and other exciting opportunities, visit www.royalcollege.ca/awards or email awards@royalcollege.ca. The deadline for all applications and nominations is September 11,
2015, at 4:00 p.m. EST



Dialogue: Your link to the Royal College

“We’re all about patient care”: New pilot videos explain what specialists actually do

A new Royal College pilot video series is working to enhance patients’ understanding of what specialists do and why it matters to the health of Canadians.

Every day, Fellows deliver high-quality care in 68 disciplines in health centres across Canada. Yet many Canadians know very little about what many specialists actually do, and the important role each specialty plays in Canada’s health care system.

The Royal College recently launched three pilot videos — General Surgery, Internal Medicine and Psychiatry — to fill this gap, explaining in simple terms what these specialists actually do, their high standards of training and how they’re working to keep patients healthy.

General Surgery

General Surgery has a long history as one of the Royal College’s two founding disciplines, and the founding discipline of all surgery. Originally known as “Surgery,” General Surgery is now one of 10 primary surgical specialties recognized by the Royal College.

Internal Medicine

In today's complex medical environment and with an aging population, Internal Medicine specialists play an important role in Canadian health care. This pilot video focuses on Fellows currently practising as internists. If the pilots prove successful, future videos will examine the role and importance of various subspecialties in detail.


With one in five Canadians experiencing a mental health problem or illness in their lifetime, psychiatrists are important to Canada’s health system. This video provides a high-level overview of these Fellows and their training, as well as explaining the difference between Psychiatrists and Psychologists.

Moving forward

Part of our ongoing public awareness campaign, these pilot videos will be evaluated to gauge effectiveness in educating Canadians about specialty medicine. If effective, future video series will promote awareness of the important roles played by the various other medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties.

Do you love your specialty? Send us a video explaining why!

We also invite Fellows to send us their video

It’s easy to submit! Film your video on your phone, computer or any other device and upload it here. We’ll create a video highlighting for Canadians your passion, dedication and love for your profession.



Dialogue: Your link to the Royal College

Have a question about CBD? Tune into one of our monthly webinars — get information and earn MOC credits

Have a question about CBD? Tune into one of our free monthly webinars — get information and earn MOC credits

Our monthly webinars are a unique opportunity for you to share your thoughts and learn more about the Royal College’s Competence by Design (CBD) initiative. These events are open to all professionals in the medical field who will be impacted by CBD and CanMEDS 2015.


CBD and Workplace-Based Assessment in Residency

To view the upcoming webinar schedule or to register, visit:

Earn Section 1 or Section 2 MOC credits while exploring these topics and more

Fellows and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) participants can earn Section 1 or Section 2 MOC credits by attending one of our scheduled webinars or by viewing/listening to one of our recorded webinars:

More Competence by Design resources — a click away!

Learn more about CBD and CanMEDS 2015 through past presentations and recordings, now available on the CBD Resources page of the Royal College website: www.royalcollege.ca/cbd/resources (scroll down to bottom of page).


Send your questions to cbd@royalcollege.ca. Questions of broad interest or value could be answered in an upcoming issue of Dialogue.



Dialogue: Your link to the Royal College

International speakers, ePortfolios, wine & art: Some highlights of ICRE 2015

International Conference on Residency Education (ICRE) is coming to Vancouver, B.C., from October 22-24, 2015!

Grab your smartphone and save the date, the International Conference on Residency Education (ICRE) is coming to Vancouver, B.C., from October 22-24, 2015! This year’s conference will focus on Residency Rediscovered: Transforming Training for Modern Care.

Some highlights for 2015

  1. A full-day pre-conference event, the eLogs and ePortfolios in MedEd Summit: Documenting Clinical Activities for Better Learning will examine the key differences between the two technologies and how they can improve training programs. More information on the eLogs and ePortfolios Summit »

  2. Radical plenaries that are not-to-be-missed will feature internationally-recognized experts, including Dr. David A. Asch, Dr. Helen Bevan, Captain John Cox, Dr. Eric Holmboe and Dr. Mark Walton. More information on the 2015 keynote speakers »

  3. Back by popular demand, the Physician as Wine Lover: The “Sommelier Role” social event, will have participants reviewing and practising the steps of wine tasting with premier wines from British Columbia. More information about the Physician as Wine Lover session »

  4. A special dinner event for clinician educators (Clinician Educator Program: Generations in medical education: Navigating the clash of clan) will examine the four generations currently working and learning alongside each other in medicine. Discussion themes will include generational differences in work-life balance, communication styles, tech-savviness and other characteristics. More information on the Clinician Educator Program »

  5. The Body Electric: A digital visual art exhibition will be back again this year at Exhibit Hall. This creative display aesthetically and critically engages with the idea of the body, and will explore discovery and transformation within medicine and health care. Are you an artist? Your artwork could be featured! Visit the ICRE website for details.

ICRE 2015 will also feature one-of-a-kind workshops from 14 learning tracks exploring the best education techniques and innovations in medical education from around the world. Tracks include competency-based education, faculty development, physician health and wellness, simulation in residency education, and more.

What are you waiting for? Register today!

Early-bird rates apply now

Visit the ICRE website to register or to learn more about the upcoming program.

Subscribe to the ICRE e-bulletin  |  Follow ICRE on Twitter

Residents: The dates for IRLS 2015 have changed

The International Resident Leadership Summit will be taking place on Friday and Saturday, October 23-24, as part of the ICRE 2015. For more information visit: royalcollege.ca/irls



Dialogue: Your link to the Royal College

Break trail with the 2015 Simulation Summit

Break trail with the 2015 Simulation Summit

Hosted annually by the Royal College, the Simulation Summit examines the ways in which simulation technologies and techniques can help health care professionals learn and train effectively.

In keeping with this year’s theme, Fresh Tracks: Breaking trail – from theory to practice, the 2015 conference program includes a robust plenary lineup featuring a number of leading experts:

Relevant program, created by health professionals

Relevant program, created by health professionals

Under the leadership of co-chairs Marcia Clark, MC, MSc., Dip. Sport Med., FRCSC, and Richard Cherry, MD, FRCPC, the planning committee has put together a rigorous academic program highlighting some of the best research and work in simulation-based medical education from across the globe. With a program packed with features designed to enhance learning and maximize networking opportunities, the 2015 Simulation Summit offers participants

View the Simulation Summit program-at-a-glance.

Are you breaking trail, or creating fresh tracks in the field of simulation? Submit your workshop proposal before May 24 for this year’s summit!

Do you have some new research on simulation you want to share? Do you have expertise in moulage or giving feedback to participants? The 2015 Simulation Summit welcomes proposals from all who play an active role in simulation training and research, supporting the 2015 theme (Fresh Tracks: Breaking trail – from theory to practice).

Submit your topic idea by May 24, 2015, and join us in Banff, Canada, this November.

For more information, please visit: Workshop submission guidelines  |  Submit

And don't forget our other deadlines: