Vol. 15, No. 9 — September 2015
Welcome to Dialogue, your link to the Royal College


Surgery in weightlessness — it’s possible!

Dr. Andrew Kirkpatrick is working to advance emergency damage control surgery for internal hemorrhage of the torso in far-forward locations and harsh environments — including space.

MAINPORT ePortfolio updates include a new Android app

Responding to your feedback, MAINPORT, your ePortfolio, has been updated to enhance your user experience both online and on your mobile device.

An “eye” for innovation: COS leads the way for hands-on skills-training for docs at every stage of their careers

Learn about a promising and adaptable approach to extend specialists’ lifelong learning and continuing professional development.

PRESIDENT’S CORNER | On international: Learning and leading

“While we have a medical education system that is the envy of many … it is not perfect. We can and need to continue to improve it.”


2015 regional award winners embody excellence in mentorship and care

See what colleagues had to say about this year’s winners.

Funding available for self-directed projects or group learning events

Applications are accepted year-round for funding to support Fellows and physician organizations.

Answering your CBD questions: Understanding MAINPORT ePortfolio

What is MAINPORT ePortfolio? What can I do with it? What is the timeline for its release?

Apply for funding by Sept. 18: Research on assessment or graduate studies in Medical Education

There’s still time to apply for these two grants. Late applications will not be accepted.

[New video] Assessment in a CBME environment

The latest video features Dr. Farhan Bhanji; plus, catch up on past videos.

Cancelled — In the Waiting Room – a special Public Town Hall event

What happens if there is misalignment between resources and access to care?

Tools to support CanMEDS use and integration — coming to ICRE 2015!

Visit the CanMEDS Booth to test and preview a variety of faculty development and support tools.

Don’t miss out on early bird prices – register for the Simulation Summit today!

Browse our full list of workshops and international roster of plenary speakers.

Surgery Fellows: Share your views on global challenges to surgical training

Complete a survey on the challenges to surgical training (approximately 10 minutes).

Members in the news

In memoriam



Surgery in weightlessness — it’s possible!

Surgery in weightlessness — it’s possible!

“Bleeding to death is the most common cause of potentially preventable post-traumatic death on the planet. It doesn’t matter if it’s military or civilian or car crashes or mountaineering; preventing bleeding-to-death is where you might save more lives,” declared Major Andrew W. Kirkpatrick, MD, FRCSC, FACS, a professor of Surgery and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Calgary and Foothills Medical Centre.

But what if someone is bleeding to death and there is no hospital nearby? What if that someone is an astronaut in space?

Dr. Kirkpatrick is the principal investigator of the Tele-mentored Damage Control Surgery in Austere Environments research group supported by the Canadian Forces Health Services that is working to advance emergency damage control surgery for internal hemorrhage of the torso in far-forward locations and harsh environments — including space.

After 15 months of planning and six practice sessions on-the-ground, he recently helped perform successful hemorrhage control surgery on a human surgical simulator in a weightless environment using parabolic flight to mimic microgravity.

“Massive internal bleeding is very hard to deal with and usually requires surgery. We’re looking at how we would provide surgery in unconventional settings,” Dr. Kirkpatrick explained. “Surgeons can provide surgery in hospitals, and that’s what I do for a living, but many people die long before they can get to a surgeon in a hospital. The parabolic flight surgery in weightlessness was one piece of a bigger picture — but certainly the most fun piece we’ve done so far.”

Surgery in microgravity: a proof-of-concept  experiment

Surgery in microgravity: a proof-of-concept experiment

Damage control surgery is a stop-gap to prolong life when better clinical alternatives do not exist. These techniques are frequently required even in the best equipped quaternary care hospitals, when patients are so severely injured that they are too fragile to withstand more definitive operations. Thus, similarly badly injured victims, clinging to life, are even more fragile on a battlefield, at sea, or in remote, underdeveloped or wilderness settings. The research group has identified damage control laparotomies as the minimum lifesaving requirement in the face of such trauma resulting in massive internal hemorrhage. They are studying the performance of that procedure by individuals with varying levels of surgical experience in a variety of settings (weightlessness and gravity), including the effect of tele-mentoring on the performance of non-physicians. Simulating surgery in a weightless environment therefore acted as proof-of-concept and provided vital learning on human adaptability that will be expanded upon to assist future space explorers and beyond.

To perform the experiment, a Falcon 20 jet from the Flight Research Laboratory at the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada was specially-equipped. Over two days, it took off six times from the Ottawa International Airport and performed up to 27 parabolic maneuvers, each creating 20-25 seconds of weightlessness. During that time, 14 separate surgeries were performed on a high fidelity surgical simulator.

Dr. Kirkpatrick explained, “We simulated somebody exsanguinating and basically bleeding to death; if you don’t get control within the first few minutes, they just die. We broke each operation down into little pieces and did each stage just in weightlessness.”

While in-flight, team members’ physiological reactions were monitored via sensors, flight data and the time to complete each task/full surgery was recorded, and blood loss from the simulated human torso (known as the Cut Suit) was measured. The results are being compared to data collected from the same procedures performed by the same doctors on the grounded aircraft.

“We have a lot of video and data to review, and we plan to formally publish this and present it at meetings, so the final result is still being analyzed,” Dr. Kirkpatrick said. “But to prove that we can do it, I can say that yes — it was very possible to do damage control surgery in weightlessness.”

Did you know? The Human Worn Partial Task Surgical Simulator (Cut Suit) is highly-regarded as one of the most realistic surgical simulators available on the market. It was created by Hollywood prop designers and comes with artificial organs and skin, and simulates bleeding. For the experiment, the simulator was adapted to reflect the characteristics of human organs in a space-weightless environment. To control the experience, a computer-operated pumping system controlled the bleeding. While in weightlessness, it bled; in-between weightlessness, the bleeding was paused.

Surgery in microgravity: a proof-of-concept  experiment

In addition to performing laparotomies, the team also tested prototype hemostatic foam that could in the future be injected percutaneously into patients, prior to hospital arrival, to increase their chance of survival from internal bleeding. The foam was provided by David R. King, MD, an assistant professor of Surgery at Harvard University and surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital Trauma Center who spent more than 10 years in the United States military as a combat surgeon. Again, while the results are still being assessed, Dr. Kirkpatrick’s initial impression is that the foam worked well beyond expectations.

“We now plan to do more hemorrhage control experiments on earth using non-surgeons, and testing both the foam and open surgery. We hope to do further surgery onboard aircraft that aren’t in weightlessness, so we have a number of things we want to do.”

The principal investigators for this project are Dr. Kirkpatrick and Colonel Homer Tien, MD, FRCSC; and the co-investigators are Drs. Anthony (Tony) LaPorta, David King, Deon Louw, FRCSC, Susan Brien, FRCSC; Tim Leslie, MSc, and Jessica McKee, MSc.

Support for this project was provided by a variety of partners, including the Canadian Forces, the NRC’s Flight Research Laboratory and the Royal College.

An overview of the research project was recently published in the Canadian Journal of Surgery (June 2015).



MAINPORT ePortfolio updates include a new Android app

MAINPORT ePortfolio updates include a new Android app

Responding to your feedback, MAINPORT, your ePortfolio for the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program, has been updated to enhance your user experience both online and on your mobile device.

Loading and submission is smoother. Instructions are clearer. And, at the request of many, there are now greater opportunities to record your reflections on the outcomes of your learning activities.

Here’s a look at some of the key changes.

Bulk uploads for Section 2 reading, listening and scanning activities is now available

Rather than tracking and recording reading or scanning activities one at a time, you can now report them all at once by uploading the proper forms.

Upload hardcopy reading activities in bulk using the Royal College “Bulk Journal Reading Transcript”. (This is an Adobe PDF fillable form. To use it, you will need to open it in Adobe Reader software, which can be obtained on Adobe’s website free of charge. Please save the blank form to your desktop before you fill it out, then resave it before you submit.)

To support easier upload of reading activities, the Royal College has created a “Bulk Journal Reading Transcript” that allows you to track your reading activities over time and upload them in bulk to MAINPORT ePortfolio – rather than record each article one at a time.

Each time you read a journal article, simply jot down the required information on the form (including a learning outcome for each article). When you’re ready to report your reading activities to MAINPORT ePortfolio, scan the form onto your computer or mobile device to create an electronic copy. Then,

Upload online reading/listening/scanning activities in bulk with attached third party forms

Many third party organizations, such as UpToDate, Medscape, and Dynamed, provide you with the opportunity to

As long as you have received the certificate and transcript/list of activities from the third party organizations, you can now report all activities together “in bulk” in MAINPORT ePortfolio.

To do this:

More intuitive choices for Section 3: Assessment activities

More intuitive choices for Section 3: Assessment activities

MAINPORT ePortfolio users work in different settings and circumstances all over the world. To ensure that Section 3 reflects the various ranges of knowledge and performance assessments available to physicians across the spectrum of practice environments, we’ve expanded the list of available assessment activities.

When you enter Section 3: Assessment activities, you’ll now be able to select one of the following assessment types which truly match your experience.

Updated Section 2 reading options reflect real world habits

Some days it’s difficult to find the time to read one journal article. Other days you may be able to fit-in an entire book or scan through an entire journal volume online.

To better reflect the reading habits of 21st century physicians, we’ve added new options for Section 2: Self-Learning (Reading). You can now choose from

Simple questions added to guide reflective learning and practice

Simple questions added to guide reflective learning and practice

To help guide reflective learning and practice, three open-ended questions have been added to the Outcomes section for each activity.

When entering a CPD activity, you must answer at least one of the following questions to help you solidify learning outcomes and determine how to apply your knowledge to your practice.

Android users: MAINPORT ePortfolio Mobile is now available for your device

The updated MAINPORT ePortfolio Mobile app is now available for iPhones and Android products.

The enhanced app is easier to use to support your learning on the go. You can submit, review, modify or delete your CPD activities wherever you are, in addition to reviewing incomplete activities in your Holding Area. You can also record activities while offline. As soon as you reconnect to a network, your account will be automatically updated.

Download the updated MAINPORT ePortfolio Mobile app for iPhone from the App Store or the newly-launched Android version from the Play Store.

If you have any questions, please contact cpd@royalcollege.ca or 1-800-461-9598/613-730-6243.

As we move towards a competency-based approach to medical education over the next few years, we will continue to upgrade and enhance MAINPORT ePortfolio to foster a system that better supports your continuing medical education needs.

If you have any feedback or questions about the recent changes, please let us know. Tell us about your user experience at cpd@royalcollege.ca or 1-800-461-9598/613-730-6243.



An “eye” for innovation: COS leads the way for hands-on
skills-training for docs at every stage of their careers

An “eye” for innovation:  COS leads the way for hands-on skills-training for docs at every stage of their careers. Photo Credit: Heath Moffatt
Photo Credit: Heath Moffatt

The Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) has put a “focus” on innovation at their annual meetings with the introduction of Surgical Skills Transfer Courses — interactive, hands-on training — that has made refreshing or learning new surgical skills more accessible for Canadian ophthalmologists. With the potential for other surgical disciplines to adopt this tactic, the COS has discovered a promising new venue to extend specialists’ lifelong learning and continuing professional development in a safe and learner-enhanced way. 

“An inherent problem faced by all surgical specialties is that we are constantly faced with new operations and new technologies that we were not taught during our residency or fellowship training,” said COS President Allan R. Slomovic, MSc, MD, FRCSC, research director, Cornea Service, and professor of Ophthalmology at the University Health Network, Toronto. “For a long time, there was no established environment in Canada for ophthalmologists to update or learn these extra skills. The goal of these courses is to meet both the perceived and unperceived needs of our members.”

“Since we’ve been doing these courses at the COS Annual Meeting, the hands-on, nearly one-to-one training with colleagues has proven to be one of the most effective ways of developing surgical skills, and continues to be a valued highlight of our meeting,” added Rusty Ritenour, MD, FRCSC, corneal transplant surgeon, COS Continuing Professional Development Committee. “Practically speaking, these courses are a launch pad for surgeons to take back to their communities and ultimately provide enhanced care for their patients.”

Popular courses are informed by member  needs. Photo Credit: Heath Moffatt
Photo Credit: Heath Moffatt

Popular courses are informed by member needs

Since they were introduced five years ago, the COS has been offering a growing number and variety of Surgical Skills Transfer Courses at every annual gathering. The sessions are planned into the program and held in 90-minute blocks. Interested learners register in advance and pay a small fee.

Attendance at the 2015 meeting was estimated at more than 500 ophthalmologists and included a record-number of six fully-attended courses, many with waiting lists.

“Their popularity is not all that surprising. The courses offered are based on a needs-assessment of our membership,” explained Rosalind O’Connell, communications manager at the COS. “The interest was there; it was a matter of finding a way to deliver that content in a unique and ongoing way.”

The COS does this by polling their members each year by subspecialty areas of interest. Dr. Slomovic explained that members’ responses often detail very specific procedures that they would like to learn more about. In parallel, unperceived needs are determined by a panel of experts who evaluate current training and societal needs.

Past sessions have covered surgical techniques for glaucoma (for both glaucoma specialists and for general ophthalmologists/those who deal with patients with glaucoma) as well as sessions on cornea, cataracts and oculoplastic surgery — all in a wet-lab setting. This past year, they even offered a half-day course on eye-related procedures for Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine specialists. To maximize the learning experience, the courses maintain a 1:1 or 1:2 teacher-to-student ratio.

“The courses are different each year and are the perfect venue to hone your skills in a safe environment,” said Dr. Slomovic. “It is one thing to sit in a crowded room and listen to a speaker explain concepts or procedures to you; it’s quite another when you’re in a bright room, observing and learning the procedure from an expert instructor in a very direct way.”

Surgical Skills Transfer Courses are  transferable to other specialties. Photo Credit: Heath Moffatt
Photo Credit: Heath Moffatt

Surgical Skills Transfer Courses are transferable to other specialties

The Surgical Skills Transfer Courses have so far achieved their goal of sharing learning on current techniques with both young professionals eager to learn new skills, and more experienced practitioners looking to update or acquire certain skills. For their ingenuity, in 2014 they were recognized with a Royal College Accredited CPD Provider Innovation Award. Already, there is some evidence to suggest that other specialty societies are exploring ways to integrate their own versions of specialty-specific hands-on learning at their annual meetings.

“Our courses are designed in a way that is transferable to other specialties. We’d love to share our experience and assist others with the opportunity to provide courses like this,” said Dr. Slomovic, who suspects that similar courses could be useful for surgical specialties, in particular, that are challenged by reduced operating room hours.

Dr. Slomovic does not deny the great effort involved in offering this learning; such as acquiring dedicated space, specialized equipment and biomedical materials such as eye bank or pig eyes; but believes the value for members supersedes the exertion. Given the courses’ constant high-demand, the COS has been looking at other needs and recently introduced specialized workshops on new types of imaging, for example, and special invited lectures. They are currently evaluating their full range of efforts to refine their approach.

“I recently gave a presentation and in it I used a quote from Dr. Ken Harris, executive director of Specialty Education at the Royal College, that says, ‘Practising physicians are constantly required to learn new techniques and to expand their skillsets… the two most common procedures in my clinical practice were not procedures I learned in residency.’ That encapsulates exactly what all this is about. Medicine changes rapidly and we need venues, especially in surgery, to keep up-to-date with new innovations.”




On international: Learning and leading

PRESIDENT’S CORNER: On international: Learning and leading

Since assuming the role of President this February, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with a variety of international partners. These travels have been valuable opportunities to learn about medicine and medical education in different locales around the world.

On every visit, I have been struck by how much the Royal College and our high standards for postgraduate medical education in Canada are held in very high esteem. There is keen interest in CanMEDS, for example, and a desire to implement this framework as closely as possible to increase national standards.

I believe there is a great strength that comes from our international partnerships — both in terms of learning and the value for our own organization’s development (a good example of this is from this year’s tripartite meeting in Australia, where participants discussed practical, workplace-based assessment and we all directly benefitted from each other’s’ experiences); and in leading faculty development and education to share our expertise with our partners. A great example of the latter is China, which is just beginning to implement a residency model for postgraduate education. At last month’s China Conference on Residency Education in Beijing, it was evident how much our expertise is valued and the immense impact we can have to help a vast medical care and education system at a critical time.

My confidence in the value and need for these activities is bolstered by a number of significant reports, including the recently-released Lancet Commission on Global Surgery report, that highlight the importance of international collaboration and cooperation — including the need to adapt and tailor efforts to local circumstances. This is advice that the Royal College is heeding.

The Royal College has benefitted immensely from its partnerships and collaborations, both at home and worldwide. While we have a medical education system that is the envy of many around the globe, it is not perfect. We can and need to continue to improve it. The wisdom we’ve gained from our collaborations has enriched our planning and processes, and provided further reflections for our work in a Canadian context. In turn, our recognized leadership in specialty medicine has also positioned the organization to assist countries to invest in medical education to increase their internal capacity, and to improve their national patient care.

I am a strong believer in the importance of our international efforts to support the goals of the Royal College’s vision and mission, and I believe that learning and leading are intertwined actions to help us achieve them.

—  Kevin @kimrie



2015 regional award winners embody excellence in mentorship and care

2015 regional award winners embody excellence in mentorship and care

The Royal College’s Regional Advisory Committees (RACs) have announced the 2015 winners in two categories of awards that distinguish the exceptional work ethic and professional contributions of Fellows in the different regions of Canada.

Congratulations to our 2015 Mentor of the Year award winners!

This award recognizes Fellows who have had a significant impact on the career development of students, residents and/or Fellows. The nominee must have demonstrated their ability to be an excellent role model in demonstrating the qualities or competencies of a “professional” as described in the CanMEDS framework.

Michael F. Murphy, MD, FRCPC



Michael F. Murphy, MD, FRCPC
Region 1 (B.C., Alta., N.W.T., Yukon)

“Dr. Murphy came to Edmonton in 2010 to tackle the role of academic chair and city-wide chief of anesthesiology. He faced a fractious and divided set of Anesthesia departments and built bridges between us. We are now collaborating and cooperating more than ever between anesthesia departments across the city. His professionalism, enthusiasm and leadership have raised our profile and respect for Edmonton anesthesiologists across our region.” — N. Bruce Ramsey, MD, PhD, FRCPC

More Region 1 winner details…

William P. Fleisher, MD, FRCPC



William P. Fleisher, MD, FRCPC
Region 2 (Man., Sask.)

“Being a mentor is the pivotal role Dr. Fleisher is assuming in our department. Generations of residents pass on their own stories of personal struggles and the support and encouragement they received from Dr. Fleisher in moments of hardship. In his role as scholar, he is relentlessly pushing us to dream big, read daily, be humble about how much there is to find out, and always use critical thinking in our clinical work.” — Polina Anang, MD, PhD, FRCPC

More Region 2 winner details…

Dafna D. Gladman, MD, FRCPC



Dafna D. Gladman, MD, FRCPC
Region 3 (Ont., Nunavut)

“Dafna has been instrumental in mentoring Rheumatology trainees as both program director for Rheumatology at the University of Toronto, and as a supervisor of graduate and postgraduate students. She has mentored more than 100 Rheumatology trainees and many medical and science students. Many of these trainees have gone on to establish research programs in psoriatic arthritis and lupus, nationally and internationally. The high standard of ethical practice that she demonstrates is an example for me and my colleagues to emulate.” — Vinod Chandran, MBBS, MD, DM, PhD

More Region 3 winner details…

Pierre J. Durand, MD, FRCPC



Pierre J. Durand, MD, FRCPC
Region 4 (Que.)

« Le Dr Durand se démarque par ses contributions exceptionnelles à plusieurs niveaux à la fois dans le domaine de l’enseignement, de la recherche et dans le domaine de la gestion académique et par l’influence qu’il exerce au Québec et à travers le Canada dans plusieurs sphères. Son expertise et ses qualités de leadership sont reflétés dans les nombreux postes importants qu’il occupe et dans les réalisations à son actif . »
— Nathalie Gingras, MD, FRCPC

More Region 4 winner details…

Angus Hartery, MD, FRCPC



Angus Hartery, MD, FRCPC
Region 5 (N.B., N.S., P.E.I., N.L.)

“Dr. Hartery is the radiology residency program director at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He is extremely committed to the education of residents and has implemented many exciting changes, including developing an online module and exam process for PGY1s. He is always looking for new, innovative ways to encourage learning in the ‘plugged in’ generation. He is also very concerned for their welfare and success in our program, and goes above and beyond when he encounters a resident who may be struggling.” — Angela Pickles, MD, FRCPC

More Region 5 winner details…

Congratulations to our 2015 Prix d’excellence-Specialist of the Year award winners!

This award recognizes Fellows who have made significant contributions in providing outstanding care to their patients and the community in which they practice.

Vince Bain, MD, FRCPC



Vince Bain, MD, FRCPC
Region 1 (B.C., Alta., N.W.T., Yukon)

“After completing a transplant fellowship during the 1980s at King’s College Hospital in London, England, Dr. Bain returned to Edmonton and started the Alberta Liver Transplant Program with Dr. Norm Kneteman. This has been a great service to our province. Over the past 25 years, our program has evolved into a world-class, innovative leader in liver transplantation while serving Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, northern British Columbia and the Northwest Territories. This would not have happened without the vision and achievements of Drs. Bain and Kneteman.”
— Winnie Wong, MD, FRCPC

More Region 1 winner details…

K. Alok Pathak, MBBS, MS, FRCSC



K. Alok Pathak, MBBS, MS, FRCSC
Region 2 (Man., Sask.)

“Dr. Pathak’s passion for education is evident in the outstanding contributions he has made in teaching at the University of Manitoba as the director for Surgical Fellowships as well as the program director for Head and Neck Surgical Oncology Fellowship at CancerCare Manitoba. It is important to highlight that he led the accreditation of the Head and Neck Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program by the American Head and Neck Society for it to become one of three such fellowships in Canada.” — Sri Navaratnam, MD, FRCPC

More Region 2 winner details…

Rosemary G. Moodie, MBBS, FRCPC



Rosemary G. Moodie, MBBS, FRCPC
Region 3 (Ont., Nunavut)

“It is at the Young Women’s Christian Association of Toronto (YWCA) that I had the good fortune of meeting and working with Rosemary. She is an extraordinary health advocate — a giving volunteer who recognizes the importance of social factors in the health and well-being of marginalized and underserved communities, especially women and children. She is an outstanding pediatrician, neonatologist and medical leader who has and continues to make an extraordinary impact on our Ontario and Canadian health care systems.” — Maureen Shaughnessy Kitts, APR, FCPRS

More Region 3 winner details…

Jacques L. Michaud, MD, FRCPC



Jacques L. Michaud, MD, FRCPC
Region 4 (Que.)

« Le Dr Michaud personnifie l’excellence tant du point de vue clinique que du point de vue de la recherche. Ses différentes réalisations mettent en évidence sa préoccupation constante pour ses jeunes patients, son expertise, son implication auprès d’organismes décideurs des soins de santé et son savoir-faire. Il a notamment collaboré à la mise sur pied du premier Centre de génomique clinique pédiatrique intégré au Canada et du Centre des maladies génétiques rares au Québec. » — Guy Rouleau, MD, PhD, FRCPC, OQ

More Region 4 winner details…

Michael J Mitchell MD, FRCPC



Michael J. Mitchell, MD, FRCPC
Region 5 (N.B., N.S., P.E.I., N.L.)

“Dr. Mitchell is constantly rated at the top for teaching excellence by our residents. He has won our resident teaching award nine times (we have more than 60 eligible faculty). It would be an odd day not to see Dr. Mitchell surrounded by two to three learners during afternoon imaging read out session. And in that mix one might also find a staff radiologist looking to pick up a few pointers!” — David Barnes, MD, FRCPC

More Region 5 winner details…



Funding available for self-directed projects or group
learning events

Funding available for self-directed projects or group learning events

Are you seeking funding for your self-learning or group-learning activity?

Applications for the Professional Development Grant and the CPD Activity Grant are accepted year-round to support Fellows planning self-directed learning activities, or regional/provincial physician organizations planning group learning activities.

Consider submitting an application for one of these two grants:

Professional Development Grant (self-learning)

CPD Activity Grant (group-learning)

Applications for these two grants are reviewed on a first-come/first-serve basis, until funding for the fiscal year is depleted. There is still plenty of funding available for 2015-16, so take advantage of this opportunity and apply today!



Answering your CBD questions: Understanding MAINPORT ePortfolio

Answering your CBD questions: Understanding MAINPORT ePortfolio

With any type of change there are always questions. We want and need to hear your questions and thoughts about Competence by Design (CBD) — the Royal College’s initiative to align medical education with 21st century practices by introducing competency-based teaching and assessment from residency to retirement.

Your input, guidance and experience will ensure that the enhanced medical education and lifelong learning system is relevant, practical – and most importantly – focused on generating positive patient outcomes.

We recently asked you to submit your CBD questions to be answered here, in Dialogue. Many of you expressed an interest in learning more about MAINPORT ePortfolio.

Here’s our response.

What is MAINPORT ePortfolio?

Currently, Fellows and participants in the Royal College’s Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program plan, record and monitor their continuing medical education activities and outcomes using MAINPORT.

As CBD progresses, MAINPORT is being expanded to a next-generation model that will use competencies as the basis for learning and assessment within residency education and continuing professional development. Moving forward, you will see MAINPORT referred to as MAINPORT ePortfolio – a term that better encapsulates the updated functionality and robust nature of the system.

MAINPORT ePortfolio will keep the strengths and functions of the existing system; however, its functions will expand to support competency-based learning practices (the planning, reporting, reflection on and evaluation of competence and performance) throughout residency and professional practice. A learner or Fellow who uses MAINPORT ePortfolio will have a single, lifelong record of progress and achievement that spans all stages of training and all career transitions. 

One step closer towards a competency-based model of medical education: MAINPORT ePortfolio is now more intuitive, more mobile friendly and better able to support learning across all CanMEDS Roles.

What can I do with MAINPORT ePortfolio?

Right now, MAINPORT ePortfolio is accessible to Fellows, Resident Affiliates and participants in the MOC Program.  As each specialty and subspecialty adopts CBD (see proposed CBD rollout schedule), residents in these programs will use MAINPORT ePortfolio to

Fellows and practising physicians will be able to use MAINPORT ePortfolio to

What is the timeline for the MAINPORT ePortfolio release?

Action Timeframe
•  Work to gather business and system requirements June 30, 2015
•  Develop MAINPORT ePortfolio functionality.
•  Gradual enhancement of functionality for Fellows
•  New functionality for Medical Oncology and Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery first-year residents and faculty such as progression through stages of training, assessment, etc…
July 2015– February 2016
•  User testing with residents, Fellows and medical educators March/April 2016
•  Provide faculty development resources and training to the first CBD adopting disciplines: Medical Oncology and Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery March – June 2016
•  LAUNCH first iteration of MAINPORT ePortfolio to all first year residents and faculty in Medical Oncology and Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Spring 2016
•  Continue to develop MAINPORT ePortfolio
    •  Test with and gather feedback from Fellows/trainees/educators
    •  Revise, based on feedback
    •  Release enhanced iterations
•  Work with Fellows and begin examining ways to demonstrate competence and performance within specific scopes of practice and throughout multiple career transitions.
July 2016 – onwards

How  can I inform the development of MAINPORT ePortfolio?

How can I inform the development of MAINPORT ePortfolio?

User testing of MAINPORT ePortfolio will occur from January to June 2016, as we work to ensure that the workflow and functionality of the system meet your needs.

If you’d like to test the user experience, please send us an email at cbd@royalcollege.ca.
We welcome the participation of all our Fellows, partners and stakeholders.

To learn more about MAINPORT ePortfolio, check out the recording of the English webinar, CBD and MAINPORT ePortfolio, with Craig Campbell, MD, FRCPC, director, Continuing Professional Development, and executive sponsor of the MAINPORT ePortfolio project.

Get in touch!

Ask and get answers to your CBD questions:



Apply for funding by Sept. 18: Research on assessment or graduate studies in Medical Education

Apply for funding by Sept. 18: Research on assessment or graduate studies in MedEd

We are accepting applications until September 18, 2015, for the following two grant opportunities

  1. Strategic Request for Proposals: Research for assessment within competency-based education

    This grant supports research to advance understanding of assessment within competency-based education. Funding is to a maximum of $25,000 per project for a two-year period.

    Learn more or apply for this grant »

  2. Robert Maudsley Fellowship for Studies in Medical Education

    This one-year fellowship helps specialists acquire knowledge and skills in the field of medical education, in order to develop educational programs, evaluation methods and medical education research.

    Learn more or apply for this grant »

Apply for one or both of these opportunities by the deadline of September 18, 2015, to be considered. Late applications will not be accepted.

Questions should be directed to researchgrants@royalcollege.ca.



[New video] Assessment in a CBME environment

Assessment (in Competency Based Medical Education) by Dr. Farhan Bhanji

Our Simulation in Health Care Video Series continues, featuring experts discussing foundational principles in simulation-based education, assessment and research. This series is designed for clinical educators with an interest in simulation in health care.

Watch the next video in this series

The latest video features Farhan Bhanji, MD, FRCPC, associate director, Assessment, at the Royal College and associate professor of Pediatrics at McGill University, speaking on assessment within a competency-based medical education (CBME) environment.

Short on time? Skip to the chapter that interests you, using the video navigation links in video description.

New videos each month

A new video will be posted to our video series’ webpage each month and announced in Dialogue. Catch up on past videos:

Simulation events and training in November

2015 Simulation Summit

Attend this year’s summit from November 25-26, 2015, at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alta. The conference promises a full and interactive program under the theme: “Fresh Tracks: breaking trail-from theory to practice.”

Simulation Educator Training (SET) course

Learn how to develop a simulation curriculum and integrate it with other learning activities, as well as how to conduct evaluations, provide effective feedback and debriefing. The next course takes place this November 22-24, 2015, in Calgary.



Cancelled — In the Waiting Room – a special Public Town Hall event

In the Waiting Room – a special Public Town Hall event

Please note: We regret to inform you that ICRE 2015’s Public Town Hall event, In the Waiting Room, has been cancelled, due to scheduling conflicts.

All registrants for this event will be offered a full refund. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at icre@royalcollege.ca.

Providing quality health care to patients is at the core of our mission as physicians, but what happens if there is misalignment between resources and access to care?

Explore this important question in-depth on Friday, October 23, 2015, from 19:00-21:00 PDT, during In the Waiting Room – a special Public Town Hall event taking place in Vancouver as a part of the International Conference on Residency Education (ICRE).

In the Waiting Room invites physicians, medical educators, politicians, policy-makers and members of the public to come together to discuss a current paradox in the Canadian health care system: patients continue to face long wait times for medical consultations and surgeries, while certain specialist physicians experience issues with unemployment.

At this informative and interactive evening event, the factors influencing access to care in Canada, as well as practical and policy-based solutions, and international perspectives on access to care, will be explored.

Reserve your tickets for In the Waiting Room »

One-on-one advice from an expert: Sign up onsite for ICRE’s Mentorship Program

ICRE’s popular Mentorship Program is making its return at this year’s conference, offering invaluable, one-on-one mentoring sessions with medical education experts.

The program is designed to provide mentees with useful, individualized advice from an experienced educator with expertise in teaching, assessment, education leadership, education research, or managing their lives as educators and clinicians.

Sign-up for a mentoring session onsite at the ICRE 2015 registration desk — spots are limited, so book yours early!

More information (including mentor profiles) will be available soon on the ICRE website. Check back often for updates on this and other dynamic conference programming.

NEW Lightning Round sessions. Add them to your ICRE itinerary!

With five plenaries, 15 Learning Tracks, more than 50 workshops and roughly 200 poster and paper presentations, this year’s conference offers participants a lot to choose from in a short amount of time.

But what if you could sample a variety of important topics in a rapid fashion?

NEW for ICRE 2015 are the Lightning Rounds: Fast paced, 45-minute sessions where medical education experts will lead brief, but in-depth discussions on major issues affecting residency training around the world.

Find out which Lightning Round topics are being offered under your favourite ICRE Learning Tracks, and visit the ICRE website for continuous updates on conference programming.

Don’t forget to register online for ICRE 2015 before our early bird deadline, September 14, 2015.



Tools to support CanMEDS use and integration — coming to
ICRE 2015!

Tools to support CanMEDS use and integration — coming to ICRE 2015!

Are you attending the International Conference on Residency Education (ICRE) in Vancouver this October? Visit the CanMEDS Booth in the ICRE exhibit hall to test and preview a variety of faculty development and support tools that will be available to help educators implement CanMEDS 2015 and Competence by Design (CBD) in their teaching and assessment strategies.

Have questions about CanMEDS and CBD?

Visit both the Royal College and the CanMEDS booths at ICRE for answers, or access a variety of resources on our website: www.royalcollege.ca/cbd/resources

Not attending ICRE? The CanMEDS faculty development and support tools will be available via the Royal College website in early November.

Save the date for the official CanMEDS 2015 launch!

Celebrate the release of the CanMEDS 2015 Framework by joining us in Vancouver on October 24 at 09:15 a.m. Taking place immediately following the “CanMEDS 2015: A global perspective plenary session,” the Royal College will officially unveil the updated CanMEDS 2015 Framework, including the updated diagram, and will celebrate the individuals involved in this landmark achievement in the Competence by Design journey.

For more information, browse the ICRE program.



Don’t miss out on early bird prices – register for the
Simulation Summit today!

Don’t miss out on early bird prices – register for the Simulation Summit today!

With 20 practical and provocative workshops taking place over two days, the 2015 Simulation Summit lineup is packed full of sessions designed to enhance learning and maximize networking opportunities.

Workshops for the November 25-26, 2015, conference in Banff, Canada, will fill up quickly, so don’t forget to register before September 24 to secure your spot, and take advantage of our early bird rates! Those who also book their accommodations before October 31 will find out firsthand how the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel got its nickname of Canada’s “Castle in the Rockies”.

Visit the Simulation Summit website to browse the full list of workshops, get to know our international roster of plenary speakers, and register for two exciting days of simulation-focused learning, research and practice.

Reach the summit with the 2015 Simulation Summit scavenger hunt!

What if we told you, you could win free registration to next year’s conference in St. John’s, N.L.?

Since February 2015, new trivia questions have been posted each week to the @RC_SimSummit Twitter account, and conference enthusiasts have been showing off their simulation smarts!

By responding to our hints using the hashtag #SimBanffHunt, attendees to this year’s Simulation Summit could win some great prizes, including free registration to the 2016 Simulation Summit in St. John’s!

Examples of questions:

There is still time to join in and catch up to our current leader, @cherylcookie21. Visit the Simulation Summit website for more information on how to play.



Surgery Fellows: Share your views on global challenges to surgical training

Surgery Fellows: Share your views on global challenges to surgical training

An expert panel from The International Conference on Surgical Education and Training (ICOSET) is asking global surgeons to complete a survey on the challenges to surgical training. The online survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and data will be used to create a robust international document to stimulate discussion and direct change on a national level by influencing policy makers. This survey will close by September 23, 2015.

Click here to complete the ICOSET survey.

Click here to learn more about the 2015 ICOSET Conference.



Members in the news

Members in the news

Deborah Cook, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine) explained to reporter, Helen Branswell, the concept behind the “three wishes” program at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ont. Dr. Cook is an intensivist at the hospital and a professor in the Department of Medicine and academic chair of Critical Care Medicine at McMaster University. Read: Wish program aims to make dying in a hospital ICU more humane.”

Alexander Drofa, MD, FRCSC (Neurosurgery) earned the distinction of becoming the only cerebrovascular neurosurgeon in North Dakota, according to the Grand Forks Herald. Dr. Drofa recently joined the staff at the Sanford Brain & Spine Center in Fargo, USA. Read: North Dakota had first cerebrovascular neurosurgeon.”

Jacob Easaw, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology) explained the value of a national brain tumour registry to CBC News, the establishment of which is being led by an Alberta researcher. Dr. Easaw is an associate professor in the Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute at the University of Calgary. Read: National brain tumour registry being created by Alberta researcher.”

Harold I. Eist, MD, FRCPC (Psychiatry) is the recipient of a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Alberta Alumni Association, in recognition of his lifetime contributions to Psychiatry — in particular in mental health education and patient advocacy. Dr. Eist has worked in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and psychoanalysis for more than 50 years, with a particular focus on helping the disadvantaged. He will receive his award on September 24, 2015, at the Alumni Awards ceremony. Tickets are still available for this free event: http://alumni.ualberta.ca/benefits-and-services/alumni-awards

Ophira Ginsburg, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology) was newly-appointed by the World Health Organization to help create guidelines and programs to assist women in developing countries that are at a greater risk of developing cervical and breast cancers than women in more developed nations. Dr. Ginsburg is an oncologist at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, and a scientist at Women’s College Research Institute. Read:WHO taps Canadian oncologist to help build cancer-control programs for women in developing countries.”

David Juurlink, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine) is the senior author of a paper that highlighted the increased risks of death by men resulting from the use of high doses of prescribed opioids. Dr. Juurlink is an internist and head of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. Read: Study highlights risk of death for high-dose opioid therapy.”

Rachel Khadaroo, MD, FRCSC (General Surgery, Critical Care Medicine) is leading a new clinical study that aims to make the surgical unit an “elder-friendly environment.” Dr. Khadaroo is a surgeon-scientist at the University of Alberta Hospital and assistant professor in the school’s Department of Surgery, Division of General Surgery. Read: ‘Elder-friendly’ surgical unit to get seniors home sooner.”

Julio Montaner, OC, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine) was profiled by an online Vancouver-based media company, that emphasized his considerable accomplishments in HIV/AIDS research. Dr. Montaner is director of the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and special advisor on HIV Therapeutics to the executive director of the United Nations AIDS Programme. Read:This Vancouver doctor has literally saved millions of lives.”

Maryam Oskoui, MSc, MD, FRCPC (Neurology) was quoted in a CBC News article about research she co-authored that discovered a genetic basis to some cases of cerebral palsy. Dr. Oskoui is an attending staff pediatric neurologist at the Montreal Children’s Hospital and assistant professor in the departments of Pediatrics and Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University. Read: Cerebral palsy linked to genetic anomalies.”

Steven Paraskevas, MD, FRCSC (Clinician Investigator Program, General Surgery) helped the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) become the first centre in Quebec and one of only two centres in Canada to successfully perform islet transplants, offering great hope for patients living with diabetes. This achievement was reported in the Montreal Gazette. Dr. Paraskevas is director of the Pancreas and Islet Transplant Program at the MUHC. Read: Breakthrough allows Type I diabetics to live without insulin injections.”

Arya Sharma, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine, Nephrology) was quoted in a CTV News article where he explains that health and body weight do not necessarily correlate and that health behaviours trump weight in terms of importance. Dr. Sharma is a professor and Alberta Health Services Chair in Obesity Research and Management at the University of Alberta. Read: ‘Health is more than body size’: Don’t use scale to measure health, expert says.”

Leigh Sowerby, MD, FRCSC (Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery), Michael Tymianski, MD, FRCSC (Neurosurgery) and Chris deGara, MD, FRCSC (General Surgery) contributed to a National Post feature about new efforts to promote cost-transparency for disposable medical supplies and instruments. Dr. Sowerby is an ear, nose and throat specialist at St. Joseph’s Health Care Centre in London, Ont.; Dr. Tymianski is head of the Division of Neurosurgery, University Health Network, Toronto; Dr. deGara is a general surgeon in Edmonton and President-Elect of the Canadian Association of General Surgeons. Read:Showing surgeons ‘massive’ cost of disposable supplies leads to big savings for hospitals.”

Research co-authored by Jack V. Tu, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine) and Baiju R. Shah, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Clinician Investigator Program) was the focus of a Toronto Star article. Their study found that rates of heart disease have “soared” in the past 10 years among South Asian and black communities. Dr. Tu and Dr. Shah are both scientists at the Sunnybrook Research Institute and Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, as well as professors at the University of Toronto and physicians at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Read: Heart disease risk soars among South Asian males, black men and women.”

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



In memoriam

In memoriam

Brooke Patrick Carroll, MBBS, FRCPC, died on August 1, 2015, in Lake Havasu City, AZ, USA, at age 82. Dr. Carroll was certified by the Royal College in Diagnostic Radiology in 1968. For many years, he worked at Penticton Regional Hospital where he served for a time as director and chief of Radiology, and as coroner for the region. Outside of medicine, he loved nature and was known for, among other skills, being able to name birds in every region. Read more about Dr. Carroll »

Anthony Richard C. Dobell, MDCM, CM, FRCSC, died on June 17, 2015, in Westmount, Que., at age 88. Dr. Dobell was certified by the Royal College in General Surgery in 1956. A premier surgeon, he was formerly surgeon-in-chief and director of the Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery Division at Montreal Children’s Hospital. It is estimated that he performed more than 2000 pediatric heart operations in his career, and was one of the first to perform open-heart surgery in Canada. Read more about Dr. Dobell »

Bo John Epstein, MDCM, FRCSC, died on March 4, 2015, in St. Catharines, Ont., at age 81. Dr. Epstein was certified by the Royal College in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1966. A native of Newfoundland, he practised in St. Catharines from 1968 until his retirement and also frequently travelled to the Dominican Republic for medical missions. Outside of medicine, Dr. Epstein was a talented artist and wood carver. Read more about Dr. Epstein »

Douglas Harmon Frayn, MD, FRCPC, died on July 1, 2015, in Toronto, Ont., at age 79. Dr. Frayn was certified by the Royal College in Psychiatry in 1966. He worked as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst for 50 years and was a founding member of the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry (now, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health). In 2004 he published, Musing Behind the Couch: A Therapist’s Memoir. Read more about Dr. Frayn »

William Stuart Maddin, MDCM, FRCPC, died on May 21, 2015, in Vancouver, B.C., at age 94. Dr. Maddin, the so-called “Godfather of Canadian Dermatology,” was certified by the Royal College in Dermatology in 1952. While completing a dermatological residency at New York University in the late 1940s, he assisted with the world’s first corticosteroid for the skin clinical trials. He later worked in private practice in Vancouver, where he started the first dermabrasion and hair transplant procedures in Canada. Read more about Dr. Maddin »

David Clifford May, MD, FRCPC, FACP, died on May 27, 2015, in Peterborough, Ont., at age 76. Dr. May was certified by the Royal College in Internal Medicine in 1968. The president of his graduating medical class (Queen’s University Meds ’62) he later worked as an internist at The Medical Centre in Peterborough for 36 years. Among other interests, he spent his retirement travelling and volunteering. Read more about Dr. May »

Kenneth Lloyd Minaker, MD, FRCPC, died on April 11, 2015, in Newton, MA, USA, at age 66. Dr. Minaker was certified by the Royal College in Internal Medicine (1979) and Geriatric Medicine (1985). Passionate about his work, he led new approaches for the care of the elderly — including the geriatric program he created for the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) that became a global standard. He is also credited with helping establish the MGH’s Geriatric Medicine Unit and Geriatric Fellowship Program. Read more about Dr. Minaker »

Matthew Morton, MD, FRCSC, died on August 27, 2015, in Toronto, Ont., at age 39. Dr. Morton was certified by the Royal College in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2007. In the final months of his life, his efforts to savor life in the face of incurable brain cancer were profiled by a variety of news outlets and inspired many. He formerly worked at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and as an assistant professor at the University of Toronto. This June, the graduating residents voted him the best OB-GYN educator. Read more about Dr. Morton »

Marven Fraser Palmer, MDCM, FRCSC, died on July 9, 2015, in Fredericton, N.B., at age 86. Dr. Palmer was certified by the Royal College in General Surgery in 1960. He worked as a general surgeon for 35 years, caring for patients and giving back to the profession through participation in a variety of medical societies in Canada and the United States. He previously served as chief of surgery at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital and was a clinical instructor at Dalhousie University for many years. Read more about Dr. Palmer »

Gerald Thomas (Bud) Regan, MD, FRCSC, died on July 17, 2015, in Greater Napanee, Ont., at age 82. Dr. Regan was certified by the Royal College in Ophthalmology in 1967. He earned his medical degree at Dalhousie University and did specialist training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, before returning to the Maritimes. For 35 years, he served patients in his home community of Saint John, N.B., before retiring in 2000. Read more about Dr. Regan »

Hans Sepp, MD, FRCPC, died on July 12, 2015, in Toronto, Ont., at age 93. Dr. Sepp was certified by the Royal College in General Pathology in 1957. Born in Estonia and educated in Germany, he immigrated to Canada in 1952 where he gained prominence as a forensic pathologist. Known for his skill and professionalism, he was formerly Pathologist in Chief at Toronto East General Hospital and taught at the University of Toronto. He continued to mentor new medical students in his retirement. Read more about Dr. Sepp »

Douglas Blair Starling, MBBS, FRCSC, died on June 6, 2015, in Fremantle, Western Australia, at age 72. Dr. Starling was certified by the Royal College in Ophthalmology in 1973. For many years, he worked as an ophthalmologist at the Freemantle Eye Clinic. He will be remembered for his exceptional patient care, respectfulness and sense of humour. Read more about Dr. Starling »

Farewell to longtime volunteers

James (Jim) H. Darragh, MDCM, FRCPC

James (Jim) H. Darragh, MDCM, FRCPC, died on August 10, 2015, in Ottawa, Ont., at age 90. Dr. Darragh was certified by the Royal College in Internal Medicine in 1953. After working for many years in Montreal as a senior physician at the Montreal General Hospital and as an associate professor and associate dean at McGill University, he moved to Ottawa to take on the post of executive director of the Royal College. He served in this role from 1980-1989, providing considerable leadership to the organization. Upon his retirement, Dr. Darragh continued to support the Royal College as Honorary Archivist and Librarian for a further 16 years. Always generous of his time and talent, he also volunteered on the Royal College’s Archives and Library Committee (1990-2002), History and Heritage Advisory Committee (2008-2011), and Acquisitions Subcommittee. Read more about Dr. Darragh »

George Ross Langley, MD, FRCPC, FACP

George Ross Langley, MD, FRCPC, FACP, died on June 19, 2015, in Halifax, N.S., at age 83. Dr. Langley was certified by the Royal College in Internal Medicine in 1961. He was a prolific volunteer, working with the National Cancer Institute of Canada, Canadian Hematology Society and Royal College. Among other committees, he served on Royal College Council (1978-1986), the Ethics and Equity Committee (1997-2004), the Health and Public Policy Committee (1997-2004) and the Fellowship Affairs Committee (2000-2004). In 2002, he was awarded a Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal for his lifetime contributions to medicine, including research in Hematology, medical ethics and medical education. That same year, he was appointed Emeritus Professor of Medicine at Dalhousie University for his many years of service as an educator and mentor. Read more about Dr. Langley »

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