Message from the Chair

Posted on Friday, November 16, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you to everyone who brought forth exciting ideas at the Departmental Assembly in Calabogie last month.  Your engagement and ideas on “What it will take to make us the best Department of Family Medicine in Canada” was inspiring. 

Dr. Marie-Hélène Chomienne, Dr. Doug Manuel, Dr. Dianne Delva, Dr. Liz Muggah and Dr. Jay Mercer

(From left to right) Dr. Marie-Hélène Chomienne, Dr. Doug Manuel, Dr. Dianne Delva, Dr. Liz Muggah and Dr. Jay Mercer

We began the discussion with presentations by four of our Department members.  Dr. Liz Muggah, QI Lead for the Department gave an overview on what family medicine will look like in 2050.  We know that both AI and self-management will expand, yet patients will still want a trusted professional to help them navigate the health care system.  Her predictions include adaptive  generalism, system-level   understanding, change management, leadership in QI, shared  decision-making   skills  (moving  from  EBM  to  Evidence-Based   Practice) , data skills (individual/population  level and  stewardship) , technological  adaptability, teamwork  skills and wellness. Dr. Marie-Hélène Chomienne, a researcher at the Institute Savior de Montfort, focused on the question: “What Medical Education research will meet our social accountability objectives?”  How do we show our educational programs lead to effective learning outcomes for future practice? Are we thinking about their future needs?  Dr. Doug Manuel, Professor and researcher at OHRI built on these ideas, focusing on the role of big data and AI in defining what we can do for our patients and our communities.  He predicted a need to understand the use of data and prediction tools to inform and treat our patients more effectively.  We will continue to work with colleagues and others to ensure that guidelines reflect what we do in the context of the social determinants of health and comprehensive care. Finally, Dr. Jay Mercer, Chief of Family Medicine at Bruyère, gave a provocative presentation on how our program might evolve. He suggested we focus on creating space and time in the program to aim for deep learning as first steps. He asked us what we would stop doing in order to make this space!

As a group, we reflected on what we no longer do in practice (paper charts!), what we will not be doing in the future (non-integrated health care information?) and what new activities will be part of the future (e.g. outreach via technology). Notes from the brainstorming session can be found on our online bulletin board. We then defined a list and voted on the top three strategic directions for our Department as clinicians, teachers, and researchers. You can view the results online

There is consensus that we must maintain generalism, keep up with technology and scientific advances and address equity through social accountability. As educators, we will continue to focus on communication skills and shared decision making, promote independence and focus on critical appraisal and data analysis. Finally, the voting on research resulted in five directions that were not statistically different! These were data management and analysis, building research capacity, integrating Family Medicine with community and public health, and research into what happens to our learners after graduation. 

These outcomes are the beginning of the discussion. I encourage you to read the publication Precipice from the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado that discusses the transformations in our specialty and what the next transformation might look like.  I believe we are on the right track. I invite you to post your comments to our discussion board as we continue the dialogue to develop our strategic direction for 2050!

I wish to thank Eric Wooltorton, Asiya Rolston and Emma Dickinson as well as all of the presenters for a wonderful retreat. It will have long-lasting Impact! I would also like to congratulate all of our distinguished award winners at FMF this week. You can find out more in this month’s issue of PULSE.

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