Section of Communities of Practice in Family Medicine


Introduction to the Section of Communities of Practice in Family Medicine (CPFM)

Here are some frequently asked questions about the Section of Communities of Practice in Family Medicine (CPFM). Find out more about CPFM by visiting our web page.

Q: What is CPFM? Why does this group exist within the CFPC?

A: CPFM is the short form for the Section of Communities of Practice in Family Medicine. This Section was formerly known as SIFP (Section of Family Physicians with Special Interests or Focused Practices). Both of these names reflect the reality that family medicine is dedicated to comprehensive care and that family physicians will have different skill sets and interests and will work in communities with different needs.

The Section is made up of different communities of practice that connect family physicians who work within or have a strong interest in one or more specific communities of practice. These CPFM committees help to:

  • Develop and provide education, both to physicians who identify as belonging to a community of practice and to the broader membership (including residents and medical students)
  • Give section members a powerful voice in national and international discussions
  • Advocate for system changes to support physicians who work within a community of practice
  • Support college members in their day to day practice
  • Facilitate communication and increase engagement among college members who identify with a community of practice

Q: What are the current CPFM areas?

A: Currently, there are 19 recognized communities of practice:

  • Addiction Medicine Child and Adolescent Health
  • Chronic Pain
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Enhanced Skills Surgery
  • Family Practice Anesthesia
  • Family Practice Cancer Care
  • Family Practice Dermatology
  • Global Health
  • Health Care of the Elderly
  • Hospital Medicine
  • Maternity and Newborn Care
  • Mental Health
  • Occupational Medicine
  • Palliative Care
  • Prison Health
  • Respiratory Medicine
  • Sport and Exercise Medicine

New ones are added to the list as they are approved by the CFPC Board.

Q: How do the CPFM Programs serve me?


  • By building networks of members within these domains of practice to enable communication and to share information
  • By developing policies relevant to these areas of practice
  • By advocating on behalf of family physicians who include the area of care in their practices
  • By recommending and developing CPD activities, including for the Annual Scientific Assembly program at Family Medicine Forum
  • By serving as a resource for the Section of Teachers regarding core content for the family medicine residency curriculum
  • By assisting with Practice Support tools and policies to enhance the practice life of members

Q: How do I sign up?

A: There are a few ways you can register to become a member of a CPFM Program:

  1. Sign-up sheets are available at the CFPC booth at FMF
  2. Indicate your area of interest on your CFPC Membership renewal form
  3. Send an email indicating your areas of interest to [email protected].

Q: How do I create a new community of practice?

A: If you are interested in creating a new community of practice, please email your intent to Ms. Lily Oeur at [email protected]. We will then provide you with an application to form a Working Party. The CPFM Staff & Council Executive will review your application to determine whether the community of practice is eligible to move forward in the application process. If the program is deemed eligible, CFPC staff would be provided to assist with the next steps, which includes completion of a CPFM Program application. 

Q: What’s the difference—or the connection—between the CPFM and CACs?

A: There is no direct link between CACs and the CPFM. A CAC is a certificate of recognition of specific competencies in a domain of care. The CPFM section is a much broader entity: a home within the College for all those physicians who belong to an identifiable community of practice. The CPFM section recognizes 19 communities of practice. Five of these communities of practice happen to be in areas that are already approved for certificates of added competence.

One does not have to possess a CAC to be part of a community of practice, nor does one have to be a member of a community of practice to gain and hold a CAC.

Read more about CACs.

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