Deadline approaching! Submit your paper on residency topics soon.

The Canadian Medical Education Journal (CMEJ) is looking to engage authors for an upcoming special issue," Residency Career Choices, Selection, and Matching".

No doubt this will be a very interesting issue, encouraging dialogue on a range of important topics. 

Some of the questions that the CMEJ special issue would like to encourage perspectives on include:  

"What are the benefits and challenges with how we help students choose residency programs?"
"What are the issues in how we select for postgraduate training in Canada?"
"What might be some of the features of an admissions and selection system of the future?"

According to the CMEJ, they are interested in papers that highlight challenges, insights, and policy suggestions around residency selection and matching that might apply in multiple contexts but also in the specific context of Canada. Junior authors especially medical students and resident physicians are encouraged to submit content.

The special issue will support submissions in a variety of formats and styles from personal narratives, descriptive studies, futuristic suggestions, program evaluations, brief reports, major research studies and theoretical philosophical discussions.

Manuscripts are encouraged to be submitted for review by October 31, 2019 or as soon after that as possible. The CMEJ will consider submissions received after the deadline but will give priority to and process submissions in the order in which they were received. See the full article.

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MCCQE1 Preparatory Exam is a hit!

The results are in. The MCCQE1 Preparatory Exam that launched this spring is proving to be a valuable resource for those looking to take the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exam. 

The Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part 1 is a computer-based test that assesses the critical medical knowledge and clinical decision-making ability of a candidate. It is available to international candidates as well, assessing at a level expected of a medical student who is completing his or her medical degree in Canada.

Before the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) released the new preparatory exam, options for study tools were not as comprehensive and information available on forums and websites were not endorsed by the MCC, often leaving those wanting to study for the exam wondering whether the questions in ghost banks were reflective of the content from the MCCQE1. 

The MCC reached out to candidates who had used the new study tool, with positive feedback. This is great news, as nobody is excited about taking tests, but if we know we can rely on excellent study tools to get us there, bring it on, right?

Physicians for You is here to help you with all your licence, registration and recruitment needs. Contact us today!

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Congratulations to Dr. Angela Enright!

Dr. Angela Enright, B.C.'s very own anesthesiologist is the recipient of this year's Royal College Teasdale-Corti Humanitarian Award. The prestigious Royal College Teasdale-Corti Humanitarian Award has a wonderful history, and you can find out more about the ambitious humanitarian couple the award is named after in our article here.

"Arguably the most outstanding living figure in the pantheon of Canadian anesthesiologists who have made an impact on global health," says Douglas DuVal, MD, FRCPC, past president of the Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society (CAS).

Dr. Enright's incredible achievements for the advancement of medical education worldwide include providing training and education programs for anesthesiologists and non-physician providers around the world through the CAS's International Education Foundation. Initially starting in Nepal, the program expanded to concentrated efforts in Rwanda, Guyana, Ethiopia, and Burkina Faso that continue today. 

Dr. Enright did not stop after the success of the international anesthesia training programs. She knew there was more work to be done, so in 2008, Dr. Enright and a group of medical surgeons and anesthesiologists collaborated with the World Health Organization (WHO) to implement the Surgical Safety Checklist. By establishing a checklist, communication between the whole surgical team had the opportunity to increase tenfold, and the checklist showed a marked reduction in mortality and morbidity in both high-income and low-income countries.

Although the surgical safety checklist proved to be a successful tool, Dr. Enright and her team saw that something else could be done to complement this new routine and it would change the lives of millions in low-income countries. A low cost pulse oximeter. 

And from there the LifeBox Foundation was born in order to help fund this project. Tireless development and funding efforts have led to over 20,000 oximeters being delivered and utilized successfully in over 100 countries around the world. Lifebox is committed to making surgery and anaesthesia safer on a global scale, and continues to impact the world with the incredible work they do.

Physicians for You is incredibly proud of the achievements of Dr. Enright and we commend her efforts and the efforts of those she works with to continue to make anesthesia accessible and safe in low-income nations, and to develop training methods with sustainable solutions. The medical community acknowledges and thanks you!

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Elections 2019 and Healthcare

Ahead of the 2019 Canadian Federal Election, healthcare is one of the top three issues on the minds of Canadians, along with cost of living and climate change concerns. As leading parties continue to make their intentions clear, here are some of the medical community's efforts to make votes count on the important topic of health care. 

The College of Family Physicians and Surgeons (CFPC) recently commissioned an Ipsos poll to gain insight on what health matters were of most concern in Canada ahead of the 2019 Federal Election. The CFPC has an active election site, and will be releasing a series of election resources this fall, including a summary of political party heath care platforms and commitments. It will also include advocacy tools for participants. 

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is playing its part with their Health Advocates program. Canadians and their physicians can join to speak up together to make health care a top priority to all candidates and federal election parties. CMA top priority issues for this election include supporting seniors and caregivers, access to care, and virtual care. 

Federal elections are bound to bring a number of opportunities for change, and as healthcare is on the minds of many Canadians across the country, the information gathering of concerns that is taking place will no doubt continue to shape this election and future health care association agendas with continued efforts to stay focused on issues that are important to Canadians.

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The Future of Virtual Care in Canada

A major topic of conversation for both health care providers and patients alike is the frustration of health care delivery not aligning more quickly to our lives. We are using technology at our fingertips for so many things in our daily activities and workplaces, and yet that seems to halt at healthcare access. 

A very interesting survey by Deloitte conducted in the United States of how the end consumer and the physician each view virtual care and what it has to offer. It shows that consumers are incredibly curious and willing to give virtual care a try, but are concerned about deliverables. The interesting thing is, consumers are already taking matters into their own hands. Half of those surveyed were already using mobile apps or wearables to track their health information ( ie.fitbits), so we can gather that patients are willing to make the leap and use virtual care to engage and be treated by an actual physician. 

If we look at the physicians' side of this same survey, concerns relating to data security were voiced by a third of the physicians surveyed, and issues like medical errors with virtual care were another big concern. Physicians surveyed showed significant interest in the ability of virtual care to improve overall access to health care, and improve patient satisfaction. In the end, the major hold ups were surrounding system implementation.

And the same issue can be found right here in Canada. There is a lot of interest in virtual care. After all, approximately 1 in 5 Canadians live in rural communities. That's 6.3 million Canadians that in theory, might welcome the advancement of virtual care, eliminating travel to another community to see a doctor, taking time off work, and wait times. Canadians in both urban and rural locations have shown interest in virtual care, but it does not come without concerns.

Among other concerns, data breaches remain one of the biggest concerns for potential users of virtual care in Canada. This Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) article outlines a poll that was taken on the future of connected health care. 

According to the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), it will push for safeguards surrounding security and confidentiality of sensitive health-care data. 

No doubt there is a lot of work to be done here in Canada to modernise our health care system and bring it more fully into the evolving digital realm, but it does not come without a lot of investment and steps are to ensure patient data security and confidentiality. The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) released this discussion paper The Future of Technology in Health and Health Care: A Primer last August ahead of the CMA's 2018 Health Summit. This year's 2019 Health Summit – Connected in Care – looks to build on last year's momentum and continue to drive the conversations into action. 
We are excited at the possibilities!


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Physicians in Canadian History - Dr. Lucille Teasdale

Dr. Lucille Teasdale became one of Quebec's and Canada's first female surgeons in 1960. An incredibly accomplished female surgeon and humanitarian, Dr. Teasdale is one of our Canadian medical pioneers and heroes. 

By 1961, she found herself in Lacor, Uganda, after accepting an offer from Dr. Piero Corti to help run a clinic that desperately needed a surgeon. This initial two month trip would be the beginning of a lifelong commitment to both Uganda and Piero Corti, whom she married by the end of that year. 

Dr. Lucille Teasdale dedicated 35 years of her career in Uganda, where she was the only doctor in the region and spent her days tirelessly performing surgeries, often back-to-back on a makeshift table with inadequate lighting. She spent years as the only surgeon in basic conditions. Over the years, her and her husband continued to find funds to expand the Lacar Hospital and teaching facility throughout the war years of this region, and their legacy in Uganda that has survived until today. 

Dr Teasdale was known for her abundant energy and her enthusiasm to keep going, sparked by her surroundings and often working around the clock to treat as many people as possible. By the mid 1980s, something had begun to change. She began losing weight and suffered with symptoms that she could not put off any longer. She flew to Italy to find out from her doctor that she had contracted AIDS, likely from performing surgery on war victims. She was given two years to live, but managed to tirelessly work for 11 more years. 

Dr Teasdale passed away in 1996, but the medical centre and her legacy continues to thrive, and has become an important centre for the treatments and prevention of AIDS. Many of the doctors still practicing there were trained by Dr. Teasdale herself. 

Dr. Lucille Teasdale received the Order of Canada in 1991, and during her years she received over twelves different honours and awards, including being inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. 

Both Dr. Teasdale and her husband Piero Corti were dedicated humanitarians and leaders for change, setting up the Lucille Teasdale and Piero Corti Foundation toward the end of her life so that they could guarantee that the important work of the medical centre would continue past both of their time. The Foundation is now run by their daughter Dominique, who proudly carries on her parents legacy. 

Born 1929 in Montreal, Dr. Lucille Teasdale eventually succumbed to her illness in 1996 in Italy. 

​Watch the Canadian Heritage Minute on Dr. Lucille Teasdale here:

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How can clinics help recruit & retain doctors?

This question comes up over and over again. With a global doctor shortage, how do we recruit and retain physicians without having to lock them into unrealistic commitment restraints?

The answers are really quite simple. And proven effective. 

recruitretain

1. Be a Tour Guide!

Whether it’s yourself directly, or others in the company or community, provide local knowledge, show the physician (and family) around, give them a tour of your facility, but also the highlights and charms of your community. What kind of information would you be looking for if you were moving to a new town, city, or perhaps country? What would you want to know? If you are a small community, give them the unique info they won’t find on TripAdvisor.ca. Is there a local secret spot for the best breakfast in town? A unique Sunday drive location to take the family? What excites you about your community will surely delight newcomers. This is your chance to show off your community!

 

2. Help the Family Settle

Think of it. By providing the physician’s partner with community connections that may help with employment opportunities or social activities, you are unifying the move for both decision-makers. We have seen this countless times and it makes total sense. You are a dual-income working family, and although the idea of a move is exciting, it is also an upheaval of everything that is stable, whether you are happy there or not! Parents have jobs; kids are in familiar schools and environments. And even if the partner does not plan to work, engagement in community is still helpful. At some point the excitement of a move can become daunting when the reality sets in that – wait a minute – we have no ties to this community. Help make those ties. Find out what their interests are right away. Is the doctor or their partner into running marathons? Match them up with local running groups in the community. Do they like art? Show them your local galleries! These acts are simple, yes, but they mean a lot.

3. Communication is Key

This ties heavily into the previous point. Long breaks in communication leave room for doubt. If the physician candidate reaches out to you via phone call or email and you take a week to respond, that’s not good enough. If fact, you are heading down a road that will lead to a breakup before a successful recruitment has taken place. This is not the type of scenario where absence makes the heart grow fonder. In fact, it starts to cast doubt, anxiety and plays on all sorts of emotions that are not just the doctor’s, but potentially the entire family’s. Here are some thoughts to consider.

4. Be Supportive & Build Trust

Provide the doctor with the support they need to hit the ground running and do their job effectively. Additional points to ponder can be found here.

Ask yourself these questions: 

Have existing staff been welcoming and supportive? Internal attitudes can make or break an environment.

Has everything that I promised been delivered on? If not, you are etching a knot in the rope of mistrust.

Have I been clear with the information they require to be effective in their role? 

Is the doctor familiar with how to bill properly and most effectively? Knowing the billing system and fee codes is important, including non-insurable services. It is in both of your interest that this is a yes answer!

5. Start your search right away

And finally, if you think you might need a physician down the road, don’t delay. For instance, you have a doctor retiring in 2 years. Start your search now. Be proactive. It can take that long. This way, time is on your side, and patients are being properly transferred and there is no panic on either side. 

If you are a clinic looking for physicians,  or a physician looking to get started on your search today contact us to discuss how we can help. We provide personalised expert guidance, advice and support throughout the entire recruitment process. 

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Physicians in Canadian History - Dr. Gustave Gingras

Dr. Gustave Gingras is one of the greatest names in Canadian medicine history. What he has done for the advancement and quality of life of persons with disabilities during his lifetime is inspiring. During his medical career, he became known as the ambassador for persons with disabilities in Canada and around the world. 

He was a pioneer in the specialty of physical and rehabilitation medicine, and founded Montreal Institute of Rehabilitation in 1949. Dr. Gustave Gingras was a devoted and fierce advocate for the rights of people with physical challenges. He not only started a Canadian program that would assist children that were the victims of thalidomide, he lobbied government and social institutions to provide barrier free access facilities for those who are physically challenged, and tirelessly lobbied for employment and educational opportunity legislation for physically challenged individuals. He served as a consultant to the World Health Organisation, the United Nations, and the Canadian Red Cross as an expert in rehabilitation medicine. He traveled across Canada and internationally to assess rehabilitation needs and set up programs in countries around the world including many South American countries, Morocco, South Vietnam, and Cameroon. He received many honours for his work over his lifetime, including a Companion of the Order of Canada, and was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

A fantastic article was written on Dr. Gingras in Maclean's Magazine in 1969, and shows who this truly remarkable man was.

Dr. Gustave Gingras was born in 1918 in Montreal, Quebec, and died in 1996 in Prince Edward Island.

 

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Physicians in Canadian History - Dr. Wilder Penfield

One of Canada's foremost neurosurgeons, Dr. Wilder Penfield is known for the development of a surgical treatment for epilepsy known as the " Montreal Procedure", and the maps of the sensory and motor sections of the brain created from this technique are still used today. The famous, " I smell burnt toast!" comes from his surgical discovery, and is depicted in the Heritage Minutes video here.

Attending Princeton, Oxford, and John Hopkins Medical School, where he received his medical degree, he was well on his way for success. It was at Oxford that he met fellow Canadian Sir William Osler, and was inspired by his achievements.

Dr. Wilder Penfield's work at the Presbyterian Hospital put him in high demand, and after receiving many offers, he chose the Royal Victoria Hospital at McGill in Montreal. Here he would not only be in charge of neurosurgery, he would also be responsible for research and teaching, which was exactly where he wanted to be. His ambitions were to be able to carry out effective research on the brain, and to do this most effectively, he felt a neurological team operating under one facility would be ideal for continued research and development.

In 1934, his mission was realised, and he founded the Montreal Neurological Institute, now called The Neuro, which became an international centre for teaching, research, and treatment of brain disorders and diseases of the nervous system. Dr. Penfield hoped that the institute would act as a catalyst for Canadian neurology, and is quoted as saying, "We dare to hope that this is the inauguration of an institute of medicine that is characteristically Canadian, the birth of a Canadian School of Neurology."

An American-Canadian, Dr. Wilder Penfield was born in 1891 in Spokane, Washington and died in 1976 in Montreal, Quebec.

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Physicians in Canadian History - Sir Frederick Banting

Sir Frederick Banting is most known for the incredible discovery of insulin, one of the most important medical breakthroughs of the twentieth century, for which he jointly received the Nobel Prize along with Dr. J.J.R. Macleod. He was the youngest man to receive the Nobel Prize in medicine.

Sir Frederick Banting's discovery came after his hypothesis of isolating the internal secretion of a protein called insulin turned into experiments with Charles Best, a student research assistant provided by Dr. J.J.R. Macleod. Together they began work in 1921 to prove that insulin could be a life-saving effective treatment for diabetes. They had a research and collaboration team included Dr. J.J.R. Macleod, James B.Collip, and a few other collaborators.

In 1922, their luck came with a 14-year-old boy who was dying, and they were able to successfully save his life by injecting him with insulin.

Banting House National Historic Site of Canada, the house where Sir Frederick Banting originally conceived the hypothesis that led to the discovery of insulin, is now a museum in London, Ontario.

Sir Banting was not only an incredible researcher, he was a decorated soldier who served Canada in both World Wars. He was also named Canada's first Professor of Medical Research and went on to be knighted by King George V.

Born in 1891 in Alliston, Ontario, Sir Frederick Banting died in 1941 in Musgrave Harbour, Newfoundland.

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Physicians in Canadian History - Sir William Osler

Sir William Osler is known as the Father of Modern Medicine. He was a charismatic physician, professor, speaker and author, and by the time of his death, he was one of the most influential and best-loved physicians in the English speaking world. He obtained his medical degree at McGill University, and served as a member of the McGill Medical Faculty. Throughout his life and extensive career, he maintained close ties to this university.

Sir William Osler brought a teaching style that revolutionised the way physicians were taught in North America. He began bringing his medical students out of the lecture hall for bedside clinical training and brought a more human style to. He was quoted as saying about his medical students, "Take him from the lecture-rooms, take him from the amphitheatre - put him in the out-patient department, put him in the wards."

This was a teaching method that, although practiced in Europe, was not practiced at all in North America. And by teaching this style in the prestigious medical school of Johns Hopkins Hospital, of which he was a founding professor, and advocating for students to learn from practicing, he revolutionised the medical curriculum in Canada and the United States. The system of postgraduate medical training and education that remains the standard for the Western world today was greatly due to Dr William Osler.

His medical textbook The Principles and Practice of Medicine: Designed for the Use of Practitioners and Students of Medicine was published in 1892 and propelled him as the leading authority on modern medicine. The text was translated into multiple languages and was considered the Bible of Medicine for more than forty years.

The Osler Library of the History of Medicine was established at McGill University to hold the priceless collection of books and manuscripts that Sir William Osler bequeathed to the University, and it is there that his ashes remain among his treasured books as well, at his request.

Born in 1849 in Bond Head, Ontario, Sir William Osler died in 1919 in Oxford, UK.

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Physicians in Canadian History - Dr. Emily Howard Stowe

A true pioneer in Canadian medical history, as well as Canadian women's rights history, Dr Emily Howard Stowe is the first feature in our 6 part series honouring notable Canadian physicians.

In fact, this feature highlights three trailblazing women in medical history in Canada, with Dr. Emily Howard Stowe at the forefront.

Dr. Emily Howard Stowe has earned her right in Canadian history as the first Canadian woman to practice medicine in Canada. She was also an incredible champion for women's rights in Canada, earning herself the title of the mother of the Suffrage movement in Canada. She spent her whole life campaigning and eventually succeeding for women's access to medical schools she herself was refused entry to because she was female. She was forced to study medicine in the Untied States after being denied entry to the Toronto School of Medicine, the second time she was denied into a school in Canada for being female. She vowed early on to change the opportunities available to women, but first she needed to advance her education however she could.

And so her journey began at the New York Medical College for Women, a homeopathic institution in New York city, where she obtained her degree. She returned to Canada in 1867, setting up practice in Toronto, becoming the first practicing female physician before actually obtaining her licence in Canada. Changing their policies on doctors trained in the United States, by the mid 1860s the medical profession now required these physicians to take further courses before being granted licences to practice. This created more hardship for Dr. Stowe, as she was still denied entry to the University of Toronto, even with her degree!

Her determination persevered, and in 1871, Dr Stowe along with Jenny Kidd Trout, were finally admitted to the Toronto School of Medicine, where they suffered constant ridicule and humiliation by both their student peers and faculty members. In fact, it was Dr. Jenny Trout who became the first licenced female to practice medicine, as she was the first to pass her exams.

Her relentless championing of women's rights in medicine paid off when her own daughter Augusta Stowe-Gullen became the first female physician to graduate from a Canadian medical school in 1883.

In the same year in a public meeting led by Dr. Stowe and the Suffrage Association, the foundation of the Ontario Medical College for Women was granted, Toronto's first medical school for women. This teaching hospital remains a legacy today in the advancement of women's health.

Born in 1831 in Norwich Township, Ontario, Dr. Emily Howard Stowe died in 1903 in Toronto, Ontario.

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Pioneers in Canadian Medical History

​In honour of Canada Day, we are featuring a 6-part series highlighting our most notable pioneer physicians in Canadian Medical History over the coming weeks. Our series will feature the trailblazing Dr. Emily Howard Stowe, Sir William Osler, Sir Frederick Banting, Dr. Wilder Penfield, Dr. Gustave Gingras, and Dr. Lucille Teasdale. Stay tuned discover who these greats were.

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