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Dialogue - June 2016

Texting patient care info: Can it be done securely? Dr. Rotenberg thinks so.

Texting patient care info: Can it be done securely? Dr. Rotenberg thinks so.

It’s an open secret: texting has become a commonplace way for physicians to communicate patient care information. For one thing, it’s easy to do. It’s also quick. Information can be transmitted instantaneously and seamlessly between colleagues and across departments. Many believe it actually enhances care [source].

Still, physicians must be aware that their actions are bound to legislation and workplace policies that govern what information can be shared and by what means. Services like iMessage, BlackBerry Messenger, WhatsApp, or traditional SMS may be pervasive, convenient and fast, but they were not designed for the protected transmission of sensitive material and pose legal risks and liabilities if used for that purpose.

Brian W. Rotenberg, MD, MPH, FRCSC, has wrestled with this issue and believes he has a solution: “PageMe” — a secure text-chat app he co-developed.

“We have multiple layers of security that meet all the requirements for PHIPA and HIPAA legislation, allowing you to use this app to communicate confidential information without breaking any laws,” he said.

Note: PHIPA refers to Ontario’s Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004; HIPAA refers to the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (American legislation).

Canadian privacy legislation

Canada has several laws governing privacy and different government agencies and organizations that are responsible for overseeing compliance to this legislation (read a general overview of Privacy Legislation in Canada).

For example, in the protection of health information,

  • Hospitals are subject to provincial and territorial laws for the public sector.
  • Health care professionals may be subject to provincial/territorial privacy legislation or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), as determined on a case-by-case basis. [source]

The Canadian Medical Protective Association reminds physicians to be vigilant in their use of mobile and electronic communications. Physicians are responsible for abiding by the legal and professional standards of their jurisdiction and practice settings [source].

Dr. Brian Rotenberg, FRCPC
Dr. Brian Rotenberg, FRCPC

Made-in-Canada app proposes a solution to text security risks

The PageMe app took several months to develop and create. Dr. Rotenberg, an associate professor and residency program director in Western University’s Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, is the chief medical officer on the team.

“I talked to colleagues across the country. There’s this huge need for this,” he said. “People want to communicate with their smartphones because it’s so easy, and they don’t want to change their behaviour. We hope that PageMe will help overcome the problems of privacy and security.”

So what makes this app different than other messaging apps? Dr. Rotenberg highlights these six features.

  1. Messages are encrypted during transit and are routed using a secure Canadian server.
  2. You must enter a secure pin to open the app after it has been idle or closed.
  3. You can take and share images and videos using the app, but they won’t be stored on your device’s Camera Roll, and no data is actually stored on the secure server that the app uses.
  4. The app auto-deletes messages with a default setting of 12 hours.  This also means that photos/videos shared in messages will be auto-deleted.
  5. Only contacts in your PageMe network can see your messages. Your network could include a full team, as well as trusted colleagues from across the country. You can exchange messages with individuals or with groups.
  6. The app bans screenshots. If you try to take one, a warning will appear and it won’t take the image.

“The features that make our app truly unique are the auto-delete feature and the inability to take screenshots,” he said. “Those are really standouts amongst other apps out there.”

Dr. Rotenberg is aware of a few other apps that are confronting this same issue of protected messaging, however most of them are not created using Canadian content or servers, and it is unclear if the systems they use follow Canadian privacy legislation.   


Hospital reception of PageMe

Dr. Rotenberg envisions the app being used by physicians, residents, medical students, nurses, and other allied health care professionals. Part of the team’s business plan is to work “from the ground up” with young medical trainees who tend to embrace new technology like PageMe, but also to talk to hospitals to seek their buy-in and endorsement.

“Hospital administrators treat the issue of confidentiality extremely seriously because of the ethics involved, not to mention that the fines for privacy violations are enormous.”

That doesn’t mean that this technology is meant to replace all current communication methods.

He explained, “Why is it that when you go to an operating room you have difficulty getting a text but you always get a page? Pagers work on a different radiofrequency wavelength. Literally, the wavelength is longer so it penetrates through the lead shielding of the walls. PageMe is not designed to replace a critical [e.g. trauma or Code Blue] pager but it could easily replace a pager for the routine physician who just wants to communicate amongst other doctors about patient-related issues.”

Timeline to market

The PageMe app testing is being completed right now. Dr. Rotenberg is hopeful that it will be available for download in July. After a trial period, a monthly subscription averaging the cost of a “cup of Timmy’s coffee” will go towards maintenance of the app’s secure servers.

You can find out more, or request a demo, from or by scanning this QR code: - QR code

This article is not intended as an endorsement of the PageMe app by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, rather as an overview of inventive work that a Fellow of our college is engaged in. Do you have a project or research of broad interest to share? Email us at


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MOC Tip of the Month
Vinita Bindlish

Six ways community-based physicians can earn Section 3 MOC Program assessment credits

MOC Tip of the Month: Vinita Bindlish - Region 3

As an ear, nose and throat surgeon working in the community of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., I am very familiar with the “town and gown” quandary of the community-based physician: how do I fulfil my MOC Program requirement* for Section 3 assessment without the benefit of association in a large academic practice or hospital?

Consider these six tips for meeting this requirement:

  1. Enroll in a self-assessment or simulation program: The Royal College lists self-assessment and simulation activities by specialty on its website. These activities and programs have all been approved by accredited providers and have a high likelihood of changing performance and improving patient outcomes.
  2. Use your 360-degree performance review that is tied to your hospital privilege renewals: If you practice in a hospital, you likely have to complete an annual performance appraisal with your department chief or medical director as part of your reappointment process. Take this data and feedback you receive and turn it into a MOC Program opportunity (Annual Performance Review).
  3. Turn your provincial regulatory body’s peer assessment into a golden opportunity: The next time your regulatory body announces that you’ve been selected for a peer assessment, don’t feel anxious! This is a wonderful chance to participate in an activity that is eligible for Section 3 credits and get some helpful guidance along the way. According to my regulatory body’s website (the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario), “each year, most physicians are found to be practicing in a satisfactory manner and receive useful feedback from their assessor, a practicing colleague.”
  4. Make the performance metrics provided by your hospital or regional health authority count: My hospital evaluates the adherence of its surgeons to hand hygiene guidelines, their use of surgical checklists and operating time used-versus-booked.  Make this data count by comparing your performance to group averages, reflecting on how you could close any gaps, and getting feedback from your hospital administration.
  5. Chart audits with feedback: This is an excellent option for those who are not in academic or hospital practice. Read this MOC Tip of the Month on how to conduct a chart audit written by my CPD Educator colleague, Dr. Suzan Schneeweiss, FRCPC.
  6. Online learning opportunities: Web-based learning opportunities are another great option for community physicians. As long as you have a computer, you can take advantage. Try an eLearning module from the Canadian Medical Protective Association or a Dr. Cochrane activity, a self-assessment activity accessible through your MAINPORT ePortfolio.

* If your cycle started on or after January 1, 2014, you will need to document 25 credits before your cycle ends.

Email Vinita

Contact your local CPD Educator

Fellow readers, do you have a MOC tip that you would like to share with others?

Fellows, do you have a MOC tip that you would like to share with others? Contact with your tip. If we use it, we will send you a free piece of merchandise from our Insignia collection.


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Apply for a Royal College award or grant: Sept. 9 deadlines

Apply for a Royal College award or grant: Sept.  9 deadlines

It’s awards-and-grants season at the Royal College and we’re welcoming submissions.

Apply for a grant, scholarship or fellowship to advance your skills and competence. Or celebrate an inspiring peer by nominating them for one of our prestigious awards.

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

Grants to advance your skills

Study the highest standards at home and abroad. Gain valuable experience at medical centres in Canada or abroad with the Detweiler Travelling Fellowship.

Apply if you’re a

  • Final-year resident
  • Fellow in your first five years post-certification

*Fellows more than five years post-certification can apply for a Senior Detweiler.

Advance your surgical skills in the U.K. Train in the United Kingdom under the Harry S. Morton Travelling Fellowship in Surgery. This fellowship is a wonderful opportunity to benefit your practice and contribute to excellence in Canada’s academic programs.

Apply if you’re a

  • Surgeon
  • Final year surgical resident (conditional upon admission to Royal College Fellowship the following year)

Be recognized for your work in History of Medicine.  The Peter Warren History of Medicine Essay Prize goes to the best scholarly essay pertaining to the history of specialty medicine, the history of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and/or the history of postgraduate medical education in Canada.

Apply if you’re a

  • Resident undertaking a history of medicine research project

Year-round regional professional development grants for Fellows. Our Regional Professional Development Grants are awarded year-round. 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. Apply today.

Apply if you’re an

  • Active Fellow working in any region in Canada

Awards to honour your peers

Nominate an inspiring humanitarian. One of Canada’s most prestigious medical awards, the Royal College Teasdale-Corti Humanitarian Award is for Canadian physicians who go beyond the accepted norms of routine practice.

Past recipients include: Dr. James Orbinski (2016), Dr. Dan Poenaru (2014), Dr. Joanne Liu (2013) and Dr. Paul Thistle (2008).

Celebrate an Indigenous health advocate. Recognize excellence in your colleague devoted to the rights of Indigenous Peoples with a nomination to the Royal College Dr. Thomas Dignan Indigenous Health Award.

Inaugural recipient: Dr. Karen Hill (2015)

Honour a peer in medical education. Nominate a colleague who has demonstrated excellence integrating the CanMEDS Roles into a Royal College training program with the Royal College/AMS Donald R. Wilson Award.

Past recipients include: Dr. Peter Ferguson (2015), Dr. Glenn Posner (2014) and Dr. Moyez Ladhani.

Apply for these and other opportunities. Visit for more details or email

The deadline for all applications and nominations is September 9, 2016, 4:00 p.m. EST.


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What you told us about CPD in a competency-based practice environment

What you told us about CPD in a competency-based practice environment

A commitment to lifelong learning is a core value of Royal College Fellowship. It was no surprise that we received over 2,000 responses to our brief poll a few weeks ago on competency-based continuing professional development.

Your input is priceless, as we explore how to implement competency-based continuing professional development (CPD). We want to ensure this CPD model reflects a real-world approach to meaningful education that impacts patient care.

How your responses to our poll were used

Your feedback from our poll was compiled and shared with participants at our recent Invitational Summit on Competency-Based CPD, held May 10-11, 2016. It was also shared and used to drive discussion at the Fellowship Affairs Summit on June 2, 2016, where competency-based CPD was on the agenda.

Scope of practice and communications skills are top of mind

Your feedback to our poll highlights the importance of creating a system that will respond and adapt to varying scopes of practice, health care settings and educational environments. 

Highlights of poll responses:

  • Scope of practice was identified as the most valued guide for assessment of competence or performance in practice, and
  • Communication skills were recognized as one of the most important areas where patients can contribute to assessment. 

Check out a summary of our poll results.

We’re currently compiling summaries of the 2016 summit’s main discussions, key content areas and outcomes. A final summary with recommended actions will be released for your review and feedback in mid-July.

As the competency-based CPD model evolves, we will be continually reaching out and seeking your feedback, but we welcome your input at any time. If you have feedback or suggestions, please let us know by emailing

In addition, we will be field testing or piloting multiple components of the competency-based CPD model. We would welcome your participation!

We sincerely thank all of the 2,000+ Fellows who took the time to complete our survey.


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Focus on patient well-being to drive excellence across the health system

Focus on patient wellbeing to drive excellence across the health system

This May, the Royal College hosted the 2nd Invitational Summit on Competency-Based Continuing Professional Development (CB-CPD). It brought together leaders, experts and scholars spanning all areas of health care from more than 70 associations, regulatory bodies and universities.

While the summit covered a variety of topics, the need to incorporate a patient focus into CB-CPD planning (and assessment activities) was a theme that was expressed repeatedly by all participating health professionals.

A full summary of the summit discussions and outcomes, and recommended actions, will be available for review and feedback in mid-July. In the meantime, we spoke to three of our inter-professional colleagues to get their thoughts on involving patients in continuing professional development.  

Bring patients into the CPD conversation

In almost every plenary, workshop and roundtable, participants highlighted the valuable insights patients could bring to a care setting. Many attendees felt that patients can play a vital role in assessing the skills of health professionals in areas like communication, professionalism and health advocacy.

“We need to focus on a multi-discipline approach which integrates patients,” says Dr. Keith Morley, registrar of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada. “Obviously, we need to take into account the regulatory and licensing bodies, but as we create our model we need to bring in patients and experts from all areas of health care and different types of care settings.”

Wendy Winslow, director of Policy and Practice at the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of British Columbia, also discussed the importance of making the patient part of the team from a care perspective.

“If we make patients part of the team, they are the experts on themselves. They are the ones who are going to carry out, or not carry out, the care plan once out of the acute setting. We need to work together with our patients, and give them an opportunity to evaluate and participate in their own care in order to create a plan that suits them personally.”

Engage inter-professional colleagues and teams in assessment

Many summit attendees shared their experiences working in inter-professional health care teams and highlighted the potential for high-functioning teams to produce better care outcomes.

Ms. Winslow says, “We have research dating back 30 years [Annals of Internal Medicine, 1986i] that shows that when nurses and physicians in ICUs [intensive care units] communicate effectively and work collaboratively, patient outcomes are significantly better than predicted. Conversely in ICUs where nurse and physician interaction and coordination are poor, patient outcomes are significantly worse than predicted.”

During the second day of the summit, discussions focused on the need to align competency-based assessment with the work of inter-professional teams, and the importance that a competency-based CPD model support assessment for a broad range of teams. 

“A CB-CPD model needs to focus on both individual and intergroup communication and collaboration skills. If these become core competencies and everybody gets it, then when you’re asked to work in a team, you already know that all the members of your team are proficient.  That means you can start gelling and working together much more quickly, and align with patient needs,” says Arthur Whetstone, executive director at the Canadian Council on Continuing Education in Pharmacy.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on involving inter-professional teams and patients in CB-CPD. Email us at

iKnaus WA, EA Draper, DP Wagner and JE Zimmerman. 1986. An Evaluation of Outcome from Intensive Care in Major Medical Center. Annals of Internal Medicine. 104 (3): 410-418.


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Interested in quality improvement? Consider these learning events

Interested in quality improvement? Consider these learning events

This year’s International Conference on Residency Education (ICRE) is all about quality improvement. The program and workshop content is inspired by the 2016 theme “Advancing Quality: Aligning Residency Education and Patient Care.”

If you’re interested in quality improvement (QI), consider these events.

All events are in Niagara Falls, Ont., Canada, and are part of the 2016 ICRE program.

Special preconference: September 28-29, 2016

Building the Bridge to Quality: An Urgent Call to All Educators

Join thought leaders, frontline clinicians and policy-makers from around the world. Together, create an actionable list of recommendations to transform how health professions education is structured and delivered. Find out more…

Opening plenary: Thursday, September 29, 2016 (16:00–17:30)

Co-author of the bestseller, Internal Bleeding: The Truth Behind America’s Terrifying Epidemic of Medical Mistake, Kaveh Shojania, MD (University of Toronto, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre) will share his knowledge and expertise. 

Plenary panel: Friday, September 30, 2016 (08:00–09:15)

“Linking education with quality (knowledge translation) – Can it really be done?”

Explore the opportunities and challenges associated with teaching QI in medical education curricula. Unique perspectives from Christopher P. Landrigan, MD, MPH (Harvard Medical School); Wendy Levinson, MD, FRCPC, and Brian Wong, MD, FRCPC (University of Toronto); and Emma Vaux, MD, PhD (Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust).

Session: Saturday, October 1, 2016 (08:00–09:00)

“Can we still afford the rotational model or do we need to better embed residents?”

Dr. Fiona Moss (Royal Society of Medicine, UK) and Dr. Salvatore M. Spadafora (University of Toronto) will co-present and debate the benefits and challenges of a rotational model for residents within the context of a system-wide push towards quality improvement.

Closing plenary: Saturday, October 1, 2016 (16:00-17:30)

Renowned quality improvement expert, Paul B. Batalden, MD (Dartmouth College, USA) will share his personal experiences with the QI movement and health-system redesign. 

To learn more or to register, visit the ICRE website.

Reminder: Register online before August 22, 2016, to save with early bird rates.

Check out the full conference workshop lineup

Take part in specialized or general interest sessions. With more than 50 workshops from 16 Learning Tracks to choose from, you’ll have plenty of options. Themes include

  • accreditation in residency education,
  • competency-based education,
  • educating for quality and safety,
  • faculty development,
  • leadership education, and
  • physician health and wellness.


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Q&A: Dr. Rajesh Aggarwal on sim-based education’s impact on patient care

Dr. Rajesh Aggarwal
Dr. Rajesh Aggarwal

“Patients expect nothing less than perfection,” said Rajesh Aggarwal, MBBS, MA, PhD, FRCSC, FACS, an assistant professor of Surgery and director of the Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning at McGill University. He believes that simulation-based education can help ensure that health professionals are meeting those high standards.

Dr. Aggarwal is a plenary speaker for the 2016 Simulation Summit this October 14-15 in St. John’s, N.L. He recently told us how his interest in simulation-based education developed, why he thinks simulation is essential for modern medical training, and what he plans to talk about during his plenary lecture.

What does a simulation centre director do?

Dr. Aggarwal has long explored the intersections between simulation, innovation and education. In his role as a simulation centre director, he is responsible for

  1. preparing physicians and other health providers for every day practice through simulation education and training; and
  2. developing strategies for the adoption and implementation of simulation to enhance patient safety at a systems level.

What first sparked your interest and involvement in simulation education??

Rajesh Aggarwal (RA): I first got engaged with simulation when I was a junior resident in London (UK) in 2002. At the time, we were grappling with new work time directives. It essentially meant that we could no longer work as we pleased and would have to go home after a night shift, even if there was clinical work to do. I used to love staying late, and even coming in on weekends, to assist in surgical cases. With this new directive, I was really concerned as to how I would be able to get all the experience I needed to be competent at the end of my training. It was just a few weeks later that I was at the National Surgical Congress in the UK and saw Professor Ara Darzi give a talk on simulation training using virtual reality devices for laparoscopic surgery. I was absolutely hooked. I managed to arrange a meeting with Professor Darzi and, the next year, started my PhD in virtual reality simulation for laparoscopic surgery at Imperial College London. 

Do you think simulation-based education is crucial in the training of health professionals in the 21st century?

RA: Our patients expect nothing less than perfection from us as their caregivers and we should strive to use all the tools available to achieve this for them. Whilst the majority of clinical training still takes place in the patient setting, we can – and must – do better.

There is excellent data in the literature with regard to the role of simulation for central line insertion, team-training and laparoscopic surgery, to name but a few. However, it is only recently that these research studies have been expanded to mandates, for example, in the case of the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) program which is a pre-requisite for completion of surgery residency training in the United States.

Moreover, simulation-based education allows us to practice low-frequency, high-severity events, such as malignant hyperthermia or emergency conversion from laparoscopic to open surgery, to attain competence and maintain performance. We are also working in a much more team-orientated approach nowadays. It is important to practice these new care models to ensure their implementation is without error. 

The theme for our 2016 Simulation Summit is Extreme Sim. Can you tell us how you interpret this theme?

RA: At the Steinberg Centre, we train a variety of health care providers including the Canadian Armed Forces. When they run a simulation session, it is really very engaging with respect to multiple casualties requiring urgent life-saving attention. The soldiers take these sessions extremely seriously, as it may be their only chance to acquire the skills they will need to be able to manage a critically-injured colleague or civilian caught in crossfire. We pride ourselves for being able to do this [simulation] well, knowing that our work is having an impact on a global scale. 

What can participants expect from your plenary address this October?

RA: I think the most important thing to consider will be how we can leverage the current status of simulation at leading centres to impact the day-to-day clinical care we provide to our patients. Another aspect I wish to discuss is the multi-disciplinary nature of simulation research, engaging expertise not only from the domain of education, but also from arenas such as computer science, engineering, health outcomes, social sciences and health economics. I believe that by leveraging the knowledge and diversity of thought in these areas, we will be able to think of simulation not only in regards to the education of trainees, but as having a much wider impact on health care in general. This includes areas like patient education, medical device development and the design of new health care processes and environments. 

Dr. Aggarwal will deliver his plenary address at the 2016 Simulation Summit on Friday, October 14, 2016. Click here to learn more about the 2016 Simulation Summit.


Register for the 2016 Simulation Summit

Register today for the 2016 Simulation Summit. This year’s conference will explore simulation research, learning and practice in a variety of contexts and settings — from hospitals and university teaching centres, to rural and remote locations. The early bird deadline is register is August 13, 2016.


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ASPIRE’s takeaway: invest in creating patient safety champions

ASPIRE’s takeaway: invest in creating patient safety champions

There’s more we can do to prepare physicians and future physicians to become patient safety champions, say experts. Last month’s ASPIRE program proposed some ideas.

The ASPIRE course (Advancing Safety for Patients in Residency Education) aims to advance patient safety, quality improvement and resource stewardship education, through faculty development. The 2016 course was held May 10–13 in Ottawa. Over 50 people attended, including program directors and medical educators.

2016 ASPIRE course: Important take-home messages

  • Residents are future leaders - A third of the ASPIRE participants were residents, signaling their growing interest and leadership to improve the status quo. Resident-attendees expressed a desire to enhance their education to facilitate their becoming patient safety and quality improvement champions (and thus, part of the solution). They talked candidly about their experiences and how unprepared they have felt. They want others to avoid these same experiences and, above all, for care to be safer.
  • Capitalize on new CanMEDS 2015 competencies – The updated CanMEDS Physician Competency Framework explicitly incorporates new patient safety competencies that will serve as the new standard, starting in July 2016. These competencies will help bring patient safety and quality improvement considerations to the forefront. ASPIRE participants learned about these changes and how they can incorporate them into clinical and academic settings.
  • Make a plan… then make it happen – Planning is hard; implementing a plan is even harder. Participants worked in small groups on their individual ASPIRE curriculum plans during the course, and then presented them to the larger group on the last day. Peers can be a valuable source of objective and creative feedback. Participants will now finalize their plans and kick them into action in their local settings.    

“It was useful to have an educational concept in mind, and then get the tools to develop it through the ASPIRE curriculum. Having a project already pre-conceived allowed me to tweak it with feedback from facilitators and other participants, and will give me more leverage when I take the project back to my department.” - 2016 ASPIRE participant

Dr. Brian Wong, FRCPC, and Dr. Joshua Tepper, CCFP
Dr. Brian Wong, FRCPC, and Dr. Joshua Tepper, CCFP

Thank you to our keynote speakers and faculty

Participants and faculty praised the course’s two keynote speakers: Joshua Tepper, MD, CCFP, and Jason R. Frank, MD, FRCPC. Their inspirational and impactful presentations were appreciated by everyone.

We would also like to thank our 2016 course faculty members: Lisa Calder, MD, FRCPC; David Creery, MD, FRCPC; Amir Ginzburg, MD, FRCPC; Chris Hayes, MD; Chris Hillis, MD, FRCPC; Roy Ilan, MD, FRCPC; Dale Nixon, BN, RN; Andrea Pisesky, MD; Julien Poitras, MD, FRCPC; Gordon Wallace, MD, FRCPC and Brian Wong, MD, FRCPC.

A special thank you to Dr. Wong for his guidance and leadership as chair of the ASPIRE curriculum advisory committee.

Our next ASPIRE course will be in 2017

Our next four-day ASPIRE course will be held in November 2017 (dates to be confirmed). Contact us at if you have any comments, questions or suggestions. 

About the ASPIRE course

ASPIRE is a collaboration between the Royal College and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, with educational support from Choosing Wisely Canada. Course sessions introduce innovative approaches to teaching and assessing topics like

  • the culture of patient safety,
  • patient safety incidents,
  • patient engagement,
  • handovers,
  • quality improvement,
  • individual and system factors,
  • resource stewardship, and
  • teamwork.

Teaching approaches include the use of patient narratives, case-based learning, role play, simulation and project-based learning. The ASPIRE program also includes a strong emphasis on educational design and provides participants with strategies to lead educational change.


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Call for submissions: Art and medicine (ICRE’s The Body Electric)

Call for submissions: Art and medicine (ICRE’s The Body Electric)

Are you passionate about photography or fantastic with film? Do you like to wind down by drawing, painting or sculpting?

Showcase your creative work as a part of this year’s The Body Electric digital art display, during the International Conference on Residency Education (September 29-October 1, 2016 in Niagara Falls, Canada).

The Body Electric understands art as an intervention that explores, disrupts, deepens and reimagines medicine. Visual art submissions will be accepted in a range of media and should reflect the conference theme “Advancing Quality: Aligning Residency Education and Patient Care.” They should also align with the theme of care within medicine and health care.

Submission deadline: June 27, 2016.

Click for more information or instructions on the 2016 submission process.


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Members in the news

Members in the news

Advice, expertise and opinion

David Juurlink, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine) was quoted in a The Globe and Mail article. He spoke about common influencers on public policies on opioids. Dr. Juurlink is head of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. [Source]

Rosana Salvaterra, MD, FRCPC (Public Health and Preventive Medicine) is part of a group of Ontario physicians and public-health officials who are calling for emergency planning measures to address recent overdoses to fentanyl, as reported in The Globe and Mail. Dr. Salvaterra is the medical officer of health for Peterborough, Ont. [Source]

Tom McLaughlin, MD (Resident Affiliate) and Kevin Imrie, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine, Hematology) spoke to the CMAJ about the issue of resident fatigue management. Dr. McLaughlin is president of Resident Doctors of Canada and Dr. Imrie is President of the Royal College. Dr. Imrie was also co-chair of the National Steering Committee on Resident Duty Hours. [Source]

James Perry, MD, FRCPC (Neurology), doctor to Tragically Hip front man, Gord Downie, was quoted in CBC News speaking about the singer’s incurable cancer. [Source]

Robert Rutledge, MD, FRCPC (Radiation Oncology) provided advice about how best to interact with people who have cancer, in a CBC News article. Dr. Rutledge is a radiation oncologist in Halifax, N.S. [Source]

Gregory Taylor, MD, FRCPC (Public Health and Preventive Medicine), voiced his concern about the growing volume of Lyme disease cases in Canada in a CBC News article. Dr. Taylor is Canada’s chief public health officer. [Source]

Ed Schollenberg, MD, FRCPC (Pediatrics), registrar of the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New Brunswick, was quoted in a The Globe and Mail article about calls to update Canadian guidelines for prescribing opioids. [Source] Dr. Schollenberg was also quoted in a CBC News article stating his hope that a new provincial monitoring system will help curb the problem of narcotic addiction. [Source]

Research, technology and innovation

Shady Ashamalla, MD, FRCSC (General Surgery), cautioned that doctors must be vigilant is considering colon cancer as an option for younger patients, in an article by CTV News about a new study on colorectal cancer. Dr. Ashamalla is a surgical oncologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. [Source]

Profiles and achievement

John Kelton, CM, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine, Hematology), a recent Order of Canada recipient, credited some of his professional success to “his Windsor roots,” as reported in the Windsor Star. Dr. Kelton is dean and vice-president of Health Sciences at McMaster University and dean of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. [Source]

Christine Kennedy, MD, FRCPC (Public Health and Preventive Medicine) will be the new medical officer of health at the Grey Bruce Health Unit starting July 1, 2016, as reported in the Owen Sound Sun Times. Dr. Kennedy was previously the associate medical officer of health. She has numerous plans for her new role. [Source]

Several Fellows received their Order of Canada awards at a ceremony last month [Source]. Our congratulations to

  • Daniel Drucker, OC, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine), a celebrated diabetes researcher, Canada Research Chair and professor at the University of Toronto.
  • John Kelton, CM, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine, Hematology), an influential academic on platelet and bleeding disorders, and champion of research excellence.
  • Jay Keystone, CM, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine), a renowned expert and leader on tropic and travel medicine, sought-after speaker and professor at the University of Toronto.
  • Laurence Klotz, CM, MD, FRCSC (Urology), advocate of a now globally-accepted method to treat early-stage prostate cancer and professor at the University of Toronto.
  • Adeera Levin, CM, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine, Nephrology), a pioneer in the treatment of kidney disease and modernizer of clinical guidelines to enhance prevention.
  • Marla Shapiro, CM, MD, FRCPC (Public Health and Preventive Medicine) columnist, author and television personality who has brought greater awareness to health care conversations in Canada.


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In memoriam

In memoriam

William Moore Brummitt, MD, FRCPC, died on April 26, 2016, in Belleville, Ont., at age 88. Dr. Brummitt was certified by the Royal College in Anesthesiology in 1963. For 30 years, he worked on staff at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and as a clinical associate professor at the University of Toronto. Read more about Dr. Brummitt.

Lakshman Das, MBBS, FRCSC, died on April 13, 2016, in Ancaster, Ont., at age 87. Dr. Das was certified by the Royal College in General Surgery in 1975. Before finishing his medical career at WSIB in Hamilton, Ont., he worked as a surgeon in both India and in Yorkton, Sask. Read more about Dr. Das.

Alvin John Elliott, MD, FRCPC, died on March 30, 2016, in Brandon, Man., at age 89. Dr. Elliott was certified by the Royal College in Internal Medicine in 1960. He joined the team at the Brandon Clinic in 1959. Until his retirement in 1994, he practised with an interest in gastroenterology, specifically inflammatory bowel disease. Read more about Dr. Elliott.

Wayne David Gregory, MD, FRCSC, died on April 15, 2016, in Brampton, Ont., at age 60. Dr. Gregory was certified by the Royal College in General Surgery in 1984. Described as a skilled and compassionate surgeon, he also was an avid traveler and strong athlete. Read more about Dr. Gregory.

Joan E. Harrison, CM, MD, FRCPC, died on May 3, 2016, in Ottawa, Ont., at age 89. Dr. Harrison became a member of the Royal College under the Medical Scientists category in 1984. She was a pioneer of research into osteoporosis, including revolutionary techniques to diagnose and later treat the condition. She became a member of the Order of Canada in 1996. Read more about Dr. Harrison.

Donald Patrick Hill, MD, FRCPC, died on April 28, 2016, in Ottawa, Ont., at age 86. Dr. Hill was certified by the Royal College in General Pathology in 1979.

Owen Joseph Kealey, MD, FRCPC, died on May 2, 2016, in Ottawa, Ont., at age 85. Dr. Kealey was certified by the Royal College in Internal Medicine in 1962. He practised medicine for over 40 years, specializing in digestive disease. He also contributed his humour and medical knowhow to CBC’s The Health Show. Read more about Dr. Kealey.

James Cameron (Jim) Lanskail, MD, FRCSC, died on April 16, 2016, in Sarnia, Ont., at age 93. Dr. Lanskail was certified by the Royal College in General Surgery in 1954. He practised surgery for many years in Toronto. He also enjoyed travelling, curling and golf. Read more about Dr. Lanskail.

Kenneth William Mackie, MD, FRCPC, died on April 3, 2016, in Kingston, Ont., at age 85. Dr. Mackie was certified by the Royal College in Diagnostic Radiology in 1962. He formerly worked in the Imaging Department at the Kingston General Hospital. He is fondly remembered by colleagues for his kindness and good humour. Read more about Dr. Mackie.

Joseph Michael Macsween, MD, FRCPC, died on April 23, 2016, in Halifax, N.S., at age 83. Dr. Macsween was certified by the Royal College in Internal Medicine in 1970. He was a member of the Royal College Specialty Committee in Clinical Immunology and Allergy from 1997-2002.

William P.E. Paterson (II), MDCM, FRCSC, died on April 3, 2016, in Kingston, Ont., at age 84. Dr. Paterson was certified by the Royal College in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1962. He earned his medical degree from Queen’s University in 1956. Read more about Dr. Paterson.

Henry Austin Richter, MBChB, FRCSC, died on March 27, 2016, at age 84. Dr. Richter was certified by the Royal College in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1970. Born in Ghana, he was a gifted student and athlete. He arrived in Canada in 1970 and a year later set up a practice at Scarborough Centenary and Ajax Pickering hospitals. Read more about Dr. Richter.

Joseph Gilbert Sladen, MD, FRCPC, died on April 15, 2016, in Vancouver, B.C., at age 86. Dr. Sladen was certified by the Royal College in General Surgery (1959) and Vascular Surgery (1984). He was a professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia. He also worked for 40 years as a surgeon at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, retiring in 1998. Read more about Dr. Sladen.

Jose A. Vasconcelos (“Dr. V”), MD, FRCPC, died on April 22, 2016, in Brandon, Man., at age 85. Dr. Vasconcelos was certified by the Royal College in Psychiatry in 1968. Born and raised in Brazil, he immigrated to Canada in 1963. For over 40 years, he served western Manitoba as a psychiatrist and was a founding member of the Brandon Clinic. Read more about Dr. Vasconcelos.

Clair Charles Williams, MD, FRCPC, died on April 8, 2016, in Toronto, Ont., at age 77. Dr. Williams was certified by the Royal College in Internal Medicine in 1969. He worked as a nephrologist for 18 years at the Wellesley Hospital (until its closure) and later established the Dialysis Unit at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre. Read more about Dr. Williams.

Anthony (Tony) David Wong, MBChB, FRCPC, died on April 1, 2016, in Vancouver, B.C., at age 73. Dr. Wong was certified by the Royal College in Diagnostic Radiology in 1973. He is remembered as an “excellent clinician and researcher” with remarkable warmth, kindness and generosity. Read more about Dr. Wong.


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