Dr. Gabe Woollam - MD CCFP FCFP FRRMS
Happy Valley Goose Bay, NL
A rural lens on physician credentialingAlong with warm weather and mosquitoes, summer 2020 brought yet another example of SRPC's important role. Our members highlighted concerns about changes to the College of Family Physicians of Canada (Emergency Medicine) (CFPC[EM])'s Practice Eligible Route (PER). Many hoping to challenge the examination were impacted, especially by the new requirement to have 'access to on-site… advanced imaging (such as formal ultrasound, computed tomography and/or magnetic resonance imaging)'. Rural physicians know that a lack of on-site advanced diagnostics requires a keen set of skills to manage the acutely unwell patient. When faced with a decision to transport a patient for investigations, risks and benefits must be seriously considered.
While we cannot allow the credential creep of the CFPC (EM), this designation can play a positive role in rural communities. Certificates of Added Competence (CAC) should reflect advanced competencies and leadership in emergency medicine. Having colleagues with the CFPC (EM) in my community adds a skill set to enhance educational capacity and support rural critical care, allowing our generalist team to better meet the needs of the community. We also need to ensure that by choosing rural generalist practice, early career physicians are not putting future career decisions at a disadvantage.
These concerns were discussed during a meeting with the CFPC leadership.
This meeting confirmed that many of the impacts affecting our rural
colleagues were not intentional. It was clear that decisions by the CFPC
Board of Examinations and Certification (BEC) lacked rural or practice