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View a snapshot of Canada’s current and future physician workforce

What are the current workforce trends affecting your specialty?

Our Medical Workforce Knowledgebase (MWK) aims to make the task of looking at physician workforce trends easier for residents, Fellows and researchers.

Launched in 2016, it provides key insights on the size and composition of Canada’s current and future physician workforce, from residents to retirement. The MWK mines, analyzes and presents data for a five year period (2011-2015) on an easy-to-read dashboard.

Updated: Medical Workforce Knowledgebase adds subspecialty data and more

Feedback from the first iteration of MWK indicated that more data should be added to fully complete the picture. The newly launched second edition of MWK includes subspecialty data, breaks down residency quota and new trainees by faculty of medicine, and provides the sex distribution of the licensed physician workforce.

For example, the updated MWK tells us a variety of new details:

Approximately 2,400 new physicians enter the workforce each year.

Certain specialties are experiencing growth across all four metrics in the physician workforce supply chain. For example, Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine saw increases in residency quota, new trainees and certifications, and the total licensed physician workforce.

Surgical specialties are experiencing noticeable reductions in their residency quota and volume of new trainees.

Since 2011, there has been a 47.8 per cent increase in the number of newly certified specialists in Internal Medicine subspecialties.

Specialists in pediatric subspecialties trend younger, with three physicians aged <35 years for every physician aged 65+.

Our MWK will be updated each year as new data becomes available.

We’d appreciate your feedback and suggestions to ensure the tool meets your needs:

About the Medical Workforce Knowledgebase

The goal of the Medical Workforce Knowledgebase (MWK) is to provide a complete picture of the physician workforce for specialties and subspecialties - an integrated snapshot that didn’t exist before. The MWK builds on the work of many other organizations and initiatives, bringing together key data elements from authoritative sources like

  • the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI),
  • the Canadian Post-M.D. Education Registry (CAPER),
  • the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS),
  • the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), and
  • the Royal College itself.

Learn more or access the MWK

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MOC Tip of the Month
Dr. Doug Hedden, MD, FRCSC

Managing MOC transitions (from mostly clinical to mostly administrative)

MOC Tip of the Month

Dr. Doug Hedden Dr. Doug Hedden

When I started my career, my scope of practice was about 80 per cent clinical. I performed adult and pediatric spinal orthopaedic surgeries and would have clinics of up to 120 patients a day. Today, I work fully in medical administration as the executive director of the Professional Practice and Membership Office at the Royal College.

The infographic below shows how I made the transition from mostly clinical practice to mostly medical administration, and how I adjusted my Maintenance of Certification (MOC) activities to keep pace.

Managing and MOC Transition

The key to my transitions: adjust the subject matter, not the activities

What I learned (and what I hope is encouraging for those who want to make the same transition) is that the types of learning activities that I engaged in did not substantially change. While today I don’t attend rounds anymore; journal reading, coursework, conferences and society memberships are still a big part of my life as a medical administrator (and my identity as a physician).

What did change is the subject matter.

Although I used to take surgical courses to brush up on the latest techniques in my discipline, today I take courses on negotiation, conflict management, budgeting and other leadership skills. My reading is also now more focused on understanding how my organization can help influence overarching trends in medicine, rather than how I can help influence the outcome of an individual patient.

With some small adjustments, your MOC can easily be adapted to support your changing career roles and scope of practice.

My checklist for stepping into a leadership role
Be prepared to eventually give up call. At the 40% clinical/60% medical administration mark, I had to give it up to focus on my increasingly administrative responsibilities.
Anticipate the skills that you will need in your new role in medical administration. Be honest with yourself and focus on areas where you know you could improve. For example, as a lifelong introvert I knew I needed to take a course in conflict negotiation. It helped me understand different leadership styles and develop the problem-solving and people skills required to step into a director role.
Understand the organization you are stepping into before you get there. A nurse I once worked with gave me a book called Right From the Start (Harvard Business Review Press, 2005). It helped prepare me to negotiate a new organization's strategy, affairs and culture.
Talk to people in similar positions to understand issues of strategic importance. For example, I’m doing some reading and a personal learning project to better understand the effect that residential schools had on Indigenous health. This will better prepare me for when the Royal College helps universities embed this topic into their postgraduate curricula.

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Tell other doctors your top summer reads! (Vol. 2)

MOC Tip of the Month

We’re collecting your book recommendations again this year! Look for the resultant summer reading list in our July 11 e-newsletter.

*** Please note: The July issue of Dialogue will be published online on July 18, rather than July 11 (as previously communicated).

Are you the kind of person who always has a book tucked under your arm?

Do you read “best of” book lists and feel proud at the number of selections you’ve read?

Listen up – we have an opportunity for you!

Influence your colleagues’ summer reading lists

We’re working on a special newsletter feature on top book recommendations for the summer. Who better to ask for book recommendations for doctors than other doctors?

Here’s all you have to do:

  1. Type in your book recommendation (any genre) in the form below.
  2. Briefly explain (1-2 sentences) why you think others working in the medical profession would enjoy your pick.
  3. Submit your choice.

Note: Royal College Communications will curate the final list. Depending on volume and content, we cannot guarantee that all suggested books will be published in our final reading list. Descriptions submitted in the form may be edited for clarity, brevity, etc. Please contact with further questions.

The deadline to submit a selection is Friday, June 29, 2018.

What happens afterwards?

We’ll feature a collection of book recommendations in our July newsletter, which goes out to our more than 40,000 members.

In fact, last year’s summer reads’ feature was one of our top-read articles of the year!

This is the perfect opportunity for you to influence your colleagues’ summer reading lists, solidify your reputation as a go-to source for solid book recommendations (and maybe grab a few ideas from the final list of other books to read).

What bookworm wouldn’t love that?

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Sister Monique, health leader in Brazil, named Honorary Fellow for 2018

Imagine introducing yourself as a family physician and getting blank looks in return. This is what happened to Sister Monique Bourget, MDCM, upon her arrival in Brazil more than 20 years ago (1). After revalidating her medical degree through exams and various courses, and immersing herself in Brazilian Portuguese, she set about putting her training to good use. Today, she is medical director of the Santa Marcelina Hospital in Itaquera and Itaim Paulista. Her impressive biography includes improvements in obstetrics care and, somewhat full circle, helping to establish Family Medicine as a specialty in the country.

Sister, physician, health advocate

Sister Monique Bourget

Sr. Monique is a member of the Sisters of Santa Marcelina and a McGill University graduate. She has had an extraordinary impact on the health of millions of individuals in eastern São Paulo, Brazil. Trained in Family Medicine, she became a sister concurrent with her medical school training. In November 1994, at the request of her order, she immigrated to Brazil.

Brazil’s population dwarfs that of Canada; yet, upon her arrival, the expansive country lacked a functional primary care model. Her dedication helped lead to the expansion of community clinics and inter-professional primary care teams in one of the poorest and most densely populated regions of São Paulo. These teams have been replicated in many areas of Brazil and provide service to a significant portion of the Brazilian population and are revolutionizing primary health care in the country.

The Santa Marcelina Hospital grew under Sr. Monique’s leadership. It is now a tertiary care hospital that serves two million people and includes a new medical school. Focused initially on improving the quality of obstetrics care, Sr. Monique built on skills in public health and was instrumental in establishing the Family Medicine program. In 2005, she assumed the leadership of the university hospital. She is also a professor of the Spiritual and End of Life Care discipline, part of the medical program she played a key role in developing.

See who else is being recognized with Honorary Fellowship in 2018

 Brigadier-General Downes Dr. Eric Holmboe
Dr. Andrew Pipe Dr. Ignacio Sanchez

Photo: (left to right) Brigadier-General Downes, Dr. Eric Holmboe, Dr. Andrew Pipe and Dr. Ignacio Sanchez

Brigadier-General A.M.T. Downes, CD, surgeon general and commander of Canadian Forces Health Services Group | An illustrious career serving the Canadian Forces, Brigadier-General Downes has worked as a flight surgeon, diving medical officer, Aerospace Medical Programs Flight Surgeon and Lieutenant Colonel, among other roles. He has had four international deployments, including to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Afghanistan.

Dr. Eric S. Holmboe, senior vice president, Milestone Development and Evaluation, Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education | Dr. Holmboe is broadly considered an expert on residency education. He has been widely published and his scholarship contributions are heralded for their transformative influence on medical training and continuing professional development.

Dr. Andrew Pipe, chief, Division of Prevention and Rehabilitation, University of Ottawa (Retired in 2017) | It’s ironic that someone with the last name “Pipe” dedicated a great deal of his life’s work to the cessation of smoking and tobacco control. In doing so, he improved the lives and health outcomes of countless Canadians, and influenced global health policy.

Dr. Ignacio Sanchez, rector, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile | It’s not easy introducing change; to be successful, strong leadership is needed. Dr. Sanchez has been that leader. Himself the recipient of postgraduate training in Canada, he has shown consistent dedication to introducing progressive system changes at his institution in Chile through adoption of Canadian postgraduate medical education standards.

Continue their stories online »

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September 14 deadline for nine Royal College awards

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

Deadline: September 14, 2018

Apply for an opportunity

2019 Detweiler Travelling Fellowship

  • Gain valuable experience at medical centres in Canada or abroad.
  • Open to final-year residents or Fellows up to five years post-certification.
  • Senior Detweilers are open to Fellows with more than five years of certification.
  • Up to $25,000 (junior applicants); up to $12,500 (senior applicants)

2019 Harry S. Morton Travelling Fellowship in Surgery

  • Advance your surgical skills in the United Kingdom.
  • Open to surgeons and surgical residents.
  • Up to $50,000 per year (pro-rated monthly); some conditions apply.

Charles Peter W. Warren History of Medicine Essay Prize

  • Gain recognition for your scholarly essay pertaining to the history of medicine.
  • Open to residents in a Royal College-accredited program or Fellows within two years of completion of their training.
  • Receive $1,500, a certificate of recognition and announcement in a Royal College publication.

Nominate someone for an award

If you know……submit a nomination!
An Indigenous health advocate2019 Royal College Dr. Thomas Dignan Indigenous Health Award
A leader in advancing postgraduate medical education and residency training outside Canada2019 International Collaboration Award
Someone who demonstrates excellence integrating CanMEDS Roles in a Royal College training program2019 Royal College/Associated Medical Services Donald R. Wilson Award (CanMEDS integration)
An inspiring humanitarian and Canadian physician who goes above and beyond in their provision of care2019 Royal College Teasdale-Corti Humanitarian Award

For more information on these and other opportunities, please visit the Awards page of the Royal College website.

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Congratulations to our newly accredited simulation programs!

We’re pleased to announce that two Canadian simulation programs have been newly accredited for 2018:

  1. Advanced Technical Skills Simulation Laboratory (ATSSL), Calgary; and
  2. University Health Network Continuing Education Simulation Program, Toronto.

Simulation programs accredited by our Royal College enjoy national recognition thanks to a rigorous peer-review process that measures their ability to meet the highest standards in administration, education and ethics.

Both of our newly accredited simulation programs will be recognized during the 2018 Simulation Summit’s official welcome on Friday, September 28 in Ottawa.

Visit the Royal College website to learn more about our accredited simulation programs.

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Members in the news

Doctor walking down a hospital hallway

Congratulations to Fellow-recipients of the 2018 CMA Awards!

  • John B. Dossetor, MD, FRCPC, recipient of the CMA Medal of Service. Dr. Dossetor has advanced Nephrology, including arranging the first live-donor kidney transplant.
  • Andreas Laupacis, MD, FRCPC, recipient of the CMA F.N.G. Starr Award. Dr. Laupacis, a leading academic, is CEO of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.
  • Janice Ann Willett, MD, FRCSC, recipient of the CMA May Cohen Award for Women Mentors. Her leadership and impact at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine is well-known.

“If you look at MS before this modern era the average time from first symptom to when patient was told they have the disease was somewhere in the order of 10 years and now it’s in the order of probably minutes,” Jack Antel, MD, FRCPC — with Mark Freedman, MD, FRCPC (“Brain Interrupted (Part III),” Global News).

“We’re trying to provide education so that we can provide a shift in attitude to create a positive environment for women with disabilities,” Anne Berndl, MD, FRCSC (“Specialized clinic provides care for pregnant women with disabilities,” Global News).

“My role is to bring the evidence to the question of the day,” Vera Etches, MD, FRCPC (“Dr. Vera Etches is Ottawa's first female officer of health,” CBC News - Ottawa).

“While elective surgery patients who smoke are offered nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) in their pre-op appointments, we saw a gap where trauma or emergency surgery patients were missing out on nicotine addiction management,” Barry Finegan, MBChB, FRCPC (“University of Alberta program provides nicotine for trauma and surgery patients,” Global News).

“It’s always a great honour to be recognized by one’s peers, and I’m delighted to have been selected by Queen’s University to give the convocation address to the medical and nursing graduates and, to receive a D.Sc Honoris Causa,” Phil Gold, MDCM, FRCPC (“Dr. Phil Gold honoured by Queen’s University,” McGill News).

“One in 10 ticks is a Lyme-transmitting tick [based on ticks voluntarily submitted for testing in 2017 in Alberta],” Daniel Gregson, MD, FRCPC (“Lyme disease in Alberta,” Alberta Primetime – VIDEO).

“If there’s only one geriatrician, the second and third one coming in know that they’re going to work to a point that’s really non-sustainable and unhealthy,” Frank Molnar, MD, FRCPC — with Jenny Basran, MD, FRCPC (“Only geriatrician in Sask. would love some company,” Saskatoon Star Phoenix).

“The little feather in the cap is that I’m the first Canadian to be appointed to this board,” Pramod Puligandla, MD, FRCSC (“Montreal Children’s Hospital surgeon first Canadian elected to American pediatric surgery board,” Global News).

“Where we are now is just stunning. We can basically suppress the virus in almost everybody with one pill a day,” Stephen Shafran, MD, FRCPC (“Doctors see remarkable progress in the battle against HIV/AIDS,” Vancouver Sun).

“This achievement would not have been possible without the energy and creativity of the many McGill students and trainees whom I have been privileged to work with over the last 14 years,” Donald Sheppard, MD, FRCPC (“Dr. Donald Sheppard inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation,” McGill News).

“It’s quite fantastic that so many stars have come forward to say they want to do something about (concussions),” Charles Tator, MD, FRCPC (“Four high-profile Canadians to donate their brains for research into concussion effects in women,” Toronto Star).


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In memoriam


Dildar Ahmad, MD, FRCPC, died on April 11, 2018, in London, Ont., at age 85. Dr. Ahmad was certified by the Royal College in Internal Medicine in 1970. Specializing in respiratory medicine, Dr. Ahmed was a past president of the Ontario Thoracic Society and former chair of the OMA Section on Respiratory Diseases. Read more about Dr. Ahmad.

Kenneth Allan Aikin, MDCM, FRCSC, died on March 21, 2018, in Naples, Florida, at age 69. Dr. Aikin was certified by the Royal College in General Surgery in 1979. Dr. Aikin served the rural community of Ormstown, Que., and later Barrie, Ont., where he practised at the Barrie Memorial Hospital for more than 35 years. Read more about Dr. Aikin.

Seyyed Ali Ezzeddin, MD, FRCPC, died on April 15, 2018, in Ottawa, Ontario, at age 82. Dr. Ezzeddin was certified by the Royal College in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in 1968. He practised for many years in New Westminster, consulting at Royal Columbian, Surrey Memorial, Eagle Ridge and St. Mary's hospitals. Read more about Dr. Ezzeddin.

Keith Richard Flegg, MDCM, FRCSC, died on April 19, 2018, in Gloucester, Ont., at age 86. Dr. Flegg was certified by the Royal College in Ophthalmology in 1965. After serving in the Royal Canadian Navy, he later moved to Ottawa where he was posted to the National Defence Medical Center and later opened a private practice. Read more about Dr. Flegg.

Jacques Éric Gagnon, MD, FRCPC, died on February 21, 2018, in Longueuil, Que., at age 64. Dr. Gagnon was certified by the Royal College in Internal Medicine in 1986. He worked in Montreal, specializing in Cardiology. Read more about Dr. Gagnon.

Sydney Lewis Gershon, MD, FRCPC, died on April 30, 2018, in Toronto, Ont., at age 75. Dr. Gershon was certified by the Royal College in Internal Medicine in 1971. He was in independent practice in downtown Toronto, with hospital privileges at Lakeridge Health (Oshawa General Site), St. Michael’s Hospital and West Parry Sound Health Centre. Read more about Dr. Gershon.

Hubert Edmund (Pete) Hawk, MD, FRCSC, died on April 13, 2018, in Vancouver, B.C., at age 79. Dr. Hawk was certified by the Royal College in Orthopedic Surgery in 1970. He practised for many years at St. Paul’s Hospital and was known for his kindness and compassion. Read more about Dr. Hawk.

Colin Lythgoe, MBChB, FRCSC, died on April 24, 2018, in Hanwell, N.B., at age 86. Dr. Lythgoe was certified by the Royal College in Ophthalmology in 1973. He practised in New Brunswick for 35 years, retiring in 2008. Read more about Dr. Lythgoe.

Terence (Terry) Michael Maguire, MD, FRCPC, died on March 11, 2018, in Penticton, B.C., at age 65. Dr. Maguire was certified by the Royal College in Internal Medicine (1983) and Gastroenterology (1984). He showed great resiliency and strength of spirit, continuing to live a full life following an accident close to 10 years ago that left him a quadriplegic.

William Robert James “Bill” Martin, MD, FRCSC, died on December 26, 2017, on Galiano Island, B.C., at age 90. Dr. Martin was certified by the Royal College in Ophthalmology in 1962. He joined a group practice in Burnaby from 1965 until his retirement in 1991. He was also a very talented carpenter. Read more about Dr. Martin.

Morris Mike Nedilski, MD, FRCPC, died on March 24, 2018, in Toronto, Ont., at age 88. Dr. Nedilski was certified by the Royal College in Internal Medicine in 1959. He worked at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto for over 40 years. Read more about Dr. Nedilski.

John (Jack) Alec Noakes, MDCM, FRCSC, died on April 12, 2018, in Calgary, Alta., at age 97. Dr. Noakes was certified by the Royal College in Urology in 1950. He was a past president on the Medical Council of Canada, of the Council of College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, among other leadership roles. Read more about Dr. Noakes.

Charles Joseph Radford, MD, FRCSC, died on March 27, 2018, in North York, Ont., at age 82. Dr. Radford was certified by the Royal College in Ophthalmology in 1966. After four years of practice in Calgary, he worked at the Etobicoke General Hospital from 1972-2002, where he introduced several new standards of care. Read more about Dr. Radford.

Ely Ravinsky, MDCM, FRCSC, died on April 29, 2018, in Toronto, Ont., at age 92. Dr. Ravinsky was certified by the Royal College in Obstetrics and Gynecology 1959. He is remembered by past patients for his kindness, compassion and competence as a physician. Read more about Dr. Ravinsky.

Pierre Santerre, MD, FRCPC, died on March 15, 2018, in Quebec, Que., at age 73. Dr. Santerre was certified by the Royal College in Cardiology in 2011. Read more about Dr. Santerre.

Henry F.G. Sewards, MBBS, FRCSC, died on April 1, 2018, in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., at age 85. Dr. Sewards was certified by the Royal College in General Surgery in 1968. After moving to Sault Ste. Marie in 1972, he practiced surgery at the Group Health Centre for more than 30 years before his retirement. Read more about Dr. Sewards.

Arthur Angus Scott, MD, FRCPC, died on April 14, 2018, in Sidney, B.C., at age 95. Dr. Scott was certified by the Royal College in Anesthesiology in 1968. For 10 years, early in his career, he was director of the Toronto General Hospital Intensive Care Unit. He held many other roles throughout his lengthy career. Read more about Dr. Scott.

Leonard Smith, MD, FRCSC, died on April 30, 2018, in Willowdale, Ont., at age 91. Dr. Smith was certified by the Royal College in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1959. He is remembered as a generous and kind man. Read more about Dr. Smith.

William Carrick Trusler, MD, FRCPC, died on March 23, 2018, in Toronto, Ont., at age 88. Dr. Trusler was certified by the Royal College in Diagnostic Radiology in 1959. After moving to London, Ont., he worked for many years in private practice. Outside of medicine, he was a skilled athlete and outdoorsman. Read more about Dr. Trusler.


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