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Check out our new online self-assessment programs — free for all Fellows

We collaborated with mdBriefcase Group to bring you two new opportunities to earn Section 3 (Assessment) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credits. These accredited self-assessment programs are available in English and French, and are free for all Royal College Fellows and MOC MAINPORT ePortfolio users.

Each one-hour program features

  • interactive videos from experts,
  • interesting case challenges,
  • knowledge assessment questions,
  • reflective questions to enhance your learning, and
  • additional tools and resources to use within your practice.

Sign into your MAINPORT ePortfolio account to access the programs
All programs are accessible from the “My eLearning” tab in MAINPORT ePortfolio. Participants will receive a certificate of completion after finishing the program.

Choose from the following two accredited self-assessment programs

  1. CanMEDS: Better Practice, Better Outcomes
    Explore the CanMEDS framework and how it can be applied to your practice.
  2. Research Ethics: Principles for Practice
    Learn how to analyze and apply ethical principles to your future research activities.

Linda Snell, MD, FRCPC, Scientific Planning Committee member, shares her thoughts on the value of the CanMEDS self-assessment program.

Contact us with questions or feedback:

Learn more about mdBriefCase Group.

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MOC Tip of the Month

Spring is the ideal time to check how many credits you have achieved and where you’re at with meeting the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program compliance requirements. It’s also a great time of the year to plan ahead — well before summer vacation and the busy fall conference season! By reviewing your MAINPORT ePortfolio now, you can take immediate action to claim credits and plan future learning opportunities.

Follow these five easy steps to prepare for, and organize, your continuing professional development for the year ahead:

First, check your total credits applied.

Log in to MAINPORT ePortfolio and verify how many credits have been applied (this can be viewed on your MAINPORT dashboard). How many do you still need to achieve your 400 credits per cycle requirement?

Then, note your balances in each MOC section.

The requirement of 25 credits per section per MOC cycle now applies to most Fellows and MOC Program participants. Have you reached all of your 25-credit section minimums yet? You will need to have at least 400 credits overall and a minimum of 25 credits in each MOC section (Section 1, Section 2 and Section 3) in order to successfully close your MOC cycle when the time comes. Your MAINPORT ePortfolio dashboard shows a handy visual summary of this information.

Need to bulk up Section 1? Do a spring cleaning of your Holding Area to claim partially-recorded Section 1 credits.

If you went to a specialty or subspecialty conference this spring, it is possible that your participation was uploaded in your MAINPORT ePortfolio and is currently in your MAINPORT Holding Area. To ensure the credits are applied, you will need to complete the missing information and submit the activity. Take the time to apply these Section 1 credits to your account.

Low on Section 2? Claim credits for your research activities.

Have you just finished submitting a grant application for a spring competition? Or are you conducting a clinical trial or publishing an article in a peer-reviewed journal? You can leverage the learning you acquired while working on these activities for MOC credits. This tip from medical oncologist Dr. Shahid Ahmed, FRCPC, explains how to break down research activities into several stand-alone Personal Learning Projects (for two credits per hour).

Add Section 3 credits from a chart audit or online self-assessment program.

Spring is a good time to engage in a longer-term performance assessment, such as diving into your patient records to complete a chart audit. Check out this tip from pediatrician Dr. Suzan Schneeweiss, FRCPC, on how to improve an aspect of care in your practice using a chart audit (for three credits per hour). You may also want to check out the two new online self-assessment programs we collaborated with mdBriefcase Group to bring you. They are accessible from the “My eLearning” tab in your MAINPORT ePortfolio.

Make the most of the springtime to give your MOC a boost by documenting your continuing professional development in your MAINPORT ePortfolio as you go.

Looking for other activities you can claim? Find out which CPD activities you can record or check out our full list of MOC Tips.

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Invisible: New exhibit spotlights a short history of Psychiatry

Photo credit: Wellcome Library, London, CC 4.0 License (artist is Louis-Léopold Boilly)

Psychiatry fascinates and feeds popular imagination. But beyond the sensationalism, this discipline has a rich history and went through numerous changes which in turn greatly influenced our society. Beyond Victorian asylums and Freud’s cigar, psychiatry reveals itself as a most complex universe.

SLIDESHOW (below): This exhibit is on display at the Royal College in Ottawa. It was created in partnership with the Museum of Health Care at Kingston.

An excess of humours

Prior to the 19th century, mental illness was understood through vitalism, or the effect of humours and vital forces on the human body. Most of the treatments were then aimed at rebalancing humours through diet, ointments, drugs, baths and rest. For example, a melancholic patient was said to have an excess of black bile, which could be solved by purgatives. Some surgical procedures were also recommended, such as creating an opening in the skull (called trepanning) to release bad humours.

It was believed that mental illness could sometimes be explained by a clogging of phlegm in the skull, or sometimes by a stone disrupting the brain. Many artists derided this theoretical “stone of folly” in their paintings. Of course, the explanation also sometimes laid in the supernatural, and many medical writers commented on the influence of demons.

The State of the Mind

The turn of the 19th century saw the rise of humanitarian reforms in mental health care, and the establishments of state-run institutions. People such as Dorothea L. Dix soon raised the issue of deplorable conditions in these new hospitals and the lack of basic care in some regions. The first Canadian asylums opened in the 1830s to 60s, and were run depending on the knowledge of the superintendants, as well as the resources they had which varied extremely. While some institutions were quite severe and even abusive methods, others had more liberal practices such as no restraints policies.

Analysing the soul

The term “psychiatry,” or treatment of the soul, was first coined in 1808, but it was a long time before the field was recognized. At that time, medicine was rejecting older practices and was most concerned with observing the mechanics of disease, so the symptom-centered approach of psychiatry was often derided as being a relic of the past. Efforts were made to make psychiatry appear more modern by focusing on physiological causes.

By 1899, the discipline began to be seen more positively with Freud’s championing of psychoanalysis and Kraepelin’s pioneering work in psychopharmacology. Modern psychiatric drugs appeared in the 20th century with the introduction of various sedatives and the discovery of lithium in 1949. These drugs contributed to the reinsertion of many patients.

Bringing down the walls

In the 1950s, many professionals started to question certain practices in psychiatry, namely forced hospitalization and the derelict state of many hospitals. In 1961, the Canadian sociologist Erving Goffman published a major study on psychiatric hospitals which gave a great push to public debate. Certain diagnoses were also challenged, such as the inclusion of homosexuality as a pathology, which was finally removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1973.

Governments across Canada started the process of deinstitutionalization in the 1970s, which continued through the 1990s and transferred care away from isolated hospitals and into community services.

Psychopharmacology continued to innovate with the introduction in the 1990s of Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to treat depression and anxiety.

  1. Pieter Huys: A surgeon extracting the stone of folly, 1561. Wellcome Images
  2. A patient showing the signs of melancholia. 1789, Wellcome Collections.
  3. Bottle of Jalap, a popular purgative to drain black bile, the then alleged cause of melancholia. CA 1850. Museum of Health Care
  4. Motherwort, an herb long thought to calm and fight depression. Its effects on the heart are now recognized, but its effects on depression are now put into question. 1923. Museum of Health Care.
  5. Stanton trephine set. Used to bore holes in the skull. CA 1730. Museum of Health Care.
  6. Dorothea L. Dix, 1848. Public Domain.
  7. Beauport Lunatic Asylum. CA 1840. Library and Archives Canada.
  8. Rockwood Asylum, Kingston. 1907. Museum of Health Care.
  9. Bethlehem Hospital, 1735. Bethlehem, built around London, was one of the first institutions in Europe dedicated to the care of mental illness. Museum of Health Care.
  10. Philippe Pinel, CA 1810. Philippe Pinel is remembered for enacting profound reforms of the French Psychiatric care system, pushing it towards a more humanist approach called “moral therapy”. Wellcome Images.
  11. Sigmund Freud, 1891. Wellcome Images
  12. Emil Kraepelin, 1926. Wellcome Images.
  13. Serpina, 1945. One of the first modern psychiatric drugs. This bottle claims that it can cure: hysteria and insanity. Museum of Health Care.
  14. Stelazine, 1980. Discovered in 1958, this drug is used to treat schizophrenia. Museum of Health Care.
  15. Diazepam, 1960. Discovered in 1951, used to treat anxiety and as a sedative. Museum of Health care.
  16. 1961. Pelican Books.
  17. DSM-II, seventh printing, 1973.
  18. DSM-5, 2013. American Psychiatric Association.
  19. Newsweek, March 26th, 1990.

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New grant a boost for early career researchers; honours the late Dr. Karen Mann

We have launched a new grant titled the Royal College Dr. Karen Mann Catalyst Grant in Medical Education Research.

Awarded annually, this new grant

  • provides funding up to $30,000 for one recipient and includes funds for an identified mentor;
  • is open to Resident Affiliates enrolled in a Royal College accredited residency training program and Royal College Fellows who are early in their careers as clinician educators or medical education researchers.

Applications for 2018 are being accepted until May 21, 2018.

Link to the application form and FAQ

The Royal College is one of the largest funders of medical education research in Canada. We do this because enabling, supporting and advancing scholarship creates the foundation for improvements to patient care and specialist physician training. By supporting Resident Affiliates and early career clinician educators with the new Dr. Karen Mann Catalyst Grant, we are supporting growth and excellence in medical education research for years to come.

About Dr. Karen Mann
The Dr. Karen Mann Catalyst Grant honours the late Dr. Karen Mann who was a passionate educator, scholar and mentor. Her outstanding contributions to medical education, particularly through mentorship and support of young researchers, shaped the careers of many scholars and have contributed widely to the strength of medical education in Canada.

Dr. Mann, who died suddenly in 2016, contributed widely to the activities of the Royal College including the Education Research Grant Committee and the development of the CanMEDS role descriptions. Her volunteerism and her influence in medical education research have been widely recognized and inspired the creation of this new grant.

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Then vs. now: Medical costumes

Earlier this year, the Royal College received a gift of 12 prints from the widow of Dr. James Wiley, FRCSC.

The series of 12 illustrations is from the publication, 2300 Years of Medical Costume: Distinctive Garb of the Medical and Related Professions from the Time of Hippocrates and the Napoleonic Era (1962, Abbott Laboratories). The prints were drawn by Warja Honegger-Lavater, a Swiss artist and illustrator. The drawings are based on costume replicas in the University of Rome’s Institute of Medical History.

Dr. Wiley was an orthopedic surgeon. He practised for many years at the Ottawa General Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. A past President of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association, he also taught at the University of Ottawa. He died in 2008.

We are very grateful for this generous gift from the Wiley family. The prints are on display in the hallway outside the President’s Boardroom at the Royal College in Ottawa.

  1. Greek physician
  2. Physician of Rome during the empire
  3. Surgeon, 14th century
  4. Apothecary, 15th century
  5. Superintendent of Siena Hospital, 15th century
  6. Physician, 15th century
  7. Surgeon, 16th century
  8. Physician, 16th century
  9. Nurse, 16th century
  10. Physician, 17th century
  11. Surgeon, 18th century
  12. Army surgeon of Napoleonic Era

Dr. Wiley’s daughter, Caroline, wrote: “I am glad that you were able to accommodate all 12 on the same wall; the set has more impact when they are all together. They were hung the same way in my father’s home office. He was very interested in the history of medicine and, particularly, in the history of medicine in Ottawa. In his later years, my father spent quite a bit of time at the [Royal] College reviewing and contributing to the archives. We are so happy to see his collection of prints displayed where other people can now enjoy them.”

For high-resolution versions of the prints, see “Costume conundrum?” in Circulating Now, From the Historical Collections of the National Library of Medicine (October 2014).

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Up to 60% off popular CanMEDS publications

We will soon be moving to print-on-demand for our popular CanMEDS resources. For a limited time, take advantage of huge discounts as we clear out our stock!

Discounted titles include resources on time management, research and educational design. The sale also includes the purchase of our refreshed CanMEDS Physician Competency Framework.

Please visit our CanMEDS store for details or to place an order.

This promotion is open to both Fellows and non-Fellows of the Royal College.

For more details, please email us at

Titles on sale

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CanMEDS Physician Competency Framework

Describes the principal knowledge, skills and abilities of physicians oriented to optimal health and health care outcomes. Price after discount: members ($6), non-members ($12)

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Teaching and Assessment Tools Guide

Supports program directors as they implement CanMEDS 2015. Price after discount: members ($18), non-members ($36)

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Time Management Guide

Helps busy physicians manage their time more efficiently and effectively. Price after discount: members ($12), non-members ($24)

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The Research Guide

A practical guide to effectively design a study, conduct the research and interpret the findings. Price after discount: members ($26), non-members ($52)

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Educational Design

Provides the core theory and essential concepts to create or redesign education programs. Price after discount: members ($16), non-members ($32)

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Program Directors Handbook

Price after discount: members ($12), non-members ($24)

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CanMEDS Assessment Tools Handbook

A searchable reference with quick, evidence-based options for assessing all of the CanMEDS Roles. Price after discount: members ($12), non-members ($24)

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Members in the news

Doctor walking down a hospital hallway

“I feel very privileged to work alongside such a remarkable and talented team of surgeons, physicians, and nurses,” Atul Humar, MD, FRCPC (“University Health Network is continent’s top organ transplant program,” Toronto Star). Dr. Shaf Keshavjee, FRCSC, is also quoted.

“An implication of our study is that the current approach for antidepressant treatment isn’t addressing the issue that the illness is changing over time,” Jeffrey Meyer, MD, FRCPC (“Depression changes the brain over time,” The Varsity).

“Our studies show that fewer than 10 per cent of women who’ve had preeclampsia are aware that they’re at risk of future hypertension, let alone cardiovascular disease,” - Kara Nerenberg, MD, FRCPC (“Having preeclampsia can double a woman’s risk of heart disease,” Global News).

« La base, pour améliorer notre système, serait de dépolitiser le système de santé. Créer l’« Hydro-Québec de la santé » qui pourra planifier sur 20 ans à partir de données probantes au lieu de changer de plan tous les quatre ans ! » Louis Philippe Pelletier, MD, FRCPC100 idées pour améliorer le Québec Priorité à la santé : 10 idées pour améliorer le système de santé, La Presse »).

“It’s great news in that for a certain number of patients with CLL, instead of anywhere from 2.5 to six hours getting the rituximab, the drug can be infused over seven to eight minutes,” - Sue Robinson, MD, FRCPC (“New cancer treatment method cuts time from hours to minutes,” Chronicle Herald).

“Overdose prevention services are saving lives,” - Richard Stanwick, MD, FRCPC (“B.C. sees drop in overdose deaths: 'A really positive sign',” Times Colonist).

Honours and recognition

Congratulations to the Fellows named 2018 CAME Certificate of Merit Award recipients.

  • Dr. Tanis Lee Adey, FRCPC
  • Dr. Véronique Castonguay, FRCPC
  • Dr. Robert Delage, FRCPC
  • Dr. Philip James Devereaux, FRCPC
  • Dr. Aviva Goldberg, FRCPC
  • Dr. Vincent Grant, FRCPC
  • Dr. Adrian Harvey, FRCSC
  • Dr. Ana Hategan, FRCPC
  • Dr. Gregory Kline, FRCPC
  • Dr. Mathieu Leboeuf, FRCSC
  • Dr. Jean-Sébastien Lebon, FRCPC
  • Dr. Sharon Marr, FRCPC
  • Dr. Maryam Mehtar, FRCPC
  • Dr. Ronald Edward Oswald, FRCPC
  • Dr. Adam David Peets, FRCPC
  • Dr. Brian Harald Sonnenberg, FRCPC
  • Dr. Helen Steed, FRCSC
  • Dr. Melina Vassiliou, FRCSC
  • Dr. Jean-Philippe Vaccani, FRCSC
  • Dr. Jennifer Ann Vergel De Dios, FRCPC
  • Dr. Melanie Vincent, FRCPC
  • Dr. Randy Wax, FRCPC
  • Dr. Michael West, FRCSC
  • Dr. Geoffrey Scott Williams, FRCPC

Congratulations to Dr. Rob Fowler, FRCPC, who delivered the 2017 Sibbald Lecture on April 4 entitled "Exploring the Impact of Great Mentorship." That same evening, he received his 2017 Royal College Teasdale Corti Humanitarian Award (he was in Ethiopia during Royal College Convocation 2017, when this award is traditionally presented).

Dr. Rob Fowler

Stanley Kutcher, MD, FRCPC, has been named a 2018 Champions of Mental Health by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health in the researcher or clinician category. (“The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health Proudly Announces its 2018 Champions of Mental Health,”

David Naylor, MD, FRCPC, will receive an honorary doctor of science degree on June 8 from the University of Alberta (“UAlberta names honorary degree recipients for 2018 spring convocation,” folio).


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In memoriam


Ilona Melinda Bus, MD, FRCPC, died on January 29, 2018, in Coquitlam, B.C., at age 91. Dr. Bus was certified by the Royal College in Psychiatry in 1967.

Ronald Geoffrey Evelyn, MD, FRCPC, died on January 27, 2018, in Auckland, NZ, at age 71. Dr. Evelyn was certified by the Royal College in Internal Medicine (1975) and Anesthesiology (1986). Read more about Dr. Evelyn.

John Roger Faulkner, MD, FRCSC, died on February 9, 2018, in North York, Ont., at age 70. Dr. Faulkner was certified by the Royal College in Orthopedic Surgery in 1978. Read more about Dr. Faulkner.

Dzintra Fernandez, MBChB, FRCPC, died on February 13, 2018, in St. John’s, N.L., at age 77. Dr. Fernandez was certified by the Royal College in Anatomical Pathology in 1975. Read more about Dr. Fernandez.

Aubrey Groll, MBChB, FRCPC, died on February 22, 2018, in Kingston, Ont., at age 84. Dr. Groll was certified by the Royal College in Internal Medicine in 1967. Read more about Dr. Groll.

Dennis (Denny) Walter Johnston, MDCM, FRCSC, died on February 11, 2018, in Barbados, at age 83. Dr. Johnston was certified by the Royal College in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1964. Read more about Dr. Johnston.

D.W.C. (Bill) Johnston, MD, FRCSC, died on February 19, 2018, in Edmonton, Alta., at age 67. Dr. Johnston was certified by the Royal College in Orthopedic Surgery in 1982. Read more about Dr. Johnston.

Robert (Bob) McClure Kilborn (Killy), MD, FRCPC, died on February 6, 2018, in Kitchener, Ont., at age 94. Dr. Kilborn was certified by the Royal College in Anesthesiology in 1959. Read more about Dr. Kilborn.

Emmanuel S. Lilker, MD, FRCPC, died on February 15, 2018, in Toronto, Ont., at age 79. Dr. Lilker was certified by the Royal College in Internal Medicine in 1967. Read more about Dr. Lilker.

Sumit (Me2) Ranjan Majumdar, MD, FRCPC, died on January 19, 2018, in Edmonton, Alta., at age 52. Dr. Majumdar was certified by the Royal College in Internal Medicine in 1997. Read more about Dr. Majumdar.

William Francis (Bill) Mason, MD, FRCPC, died on February 7, 2018, in Halifax, N.S., at age 82. Dr. Mason was certified by the Royal College in Diagnostic Radiology in 1968. Read more about Dr. Mason.

George Milos Novotny, MD, FRCSC, died on January 1, 2018, in Toronto, Ont., at age 88. Dr. Novotny was certified by the Royal College in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.

Rinford (Bud) Pritchard, MD, FRCPC, died on February 16, 2018, in Delta, B.C., at age 87. Dr. Pritchard was certified by the Royal College in Public Health in 1968. Read more about Dr. Pritchard.

Stanley Eugene Simson, MD, FRCPC, died on February 10, 2018, in Renfrew, Ont., at age 85. Dr. Simson was certified by the Royal College in Psychiatry in 1968. Read more about Dr. Simson.

Robert Peter Slinger, MD, FRCPC, died on January 12, 2018, in London, Ont., at age 87. Dr. Slinger was certified by the Royal College in General Pathology in 1961. Read more about Dr. Slinger.

Roman Lev Sluzar, MD, FRCPC, died on February 2, 2018, in Mississauga, Ont., at age 91. Dr. Sluzar was certified by the Royal College in Anesthesiology in 1957. Read more about Dr. Sluzar.

Andreas E.T. Thomsen, MD, FRCSC, died on January 15, 2018, in Titusville, FL, USA, at age 94. Dr. Thomsen was certified by the Royal College in General Surgery in 1960.

Jerry Roman Zownir, MD, FRCPC, died on February 6, 2018, in Toronto, Ont., at age 82. Dr. Zowmir was certified by the Royal College in Internal Medicine in 1974. Read more about Dr. Zownir.


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