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  • What is the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)?

    The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) is the professional organization that represents more than 40,000 members across the country. The College establishes the standards for and accredits postgraduate family medicine training in Canada’s 17 medical schools. It reviews and certifies continuing professional development programs and materials that enable family physicians to meet certification and licensing requirements.

    The CFPC provides high-quality services, supports family medicine teaching and research, and advocates on behalf of family physicians and the specialty of family medicine.

  • Who are the members of the CFPC?

    Family physicians from across Canada are eligible for membership. Members of the College are those physicians who are licensed in good standing, fulfill annual continuing professional development (CPD) requirements, are engaged in the practice of family medicine, and pay annual fees as set by the CFPC Board. Family medicine residents are also members of the College.

  • How is the College structured?

    The College has 10 provincial Chapters, and Sections of Teachers, Researchers, Residents, Medical Students, and Member Interest Groups Section (MIGS). Many members also serve on national and/or provincial committees, which are the primary driving force in the development of family medicine policy, programs, education, research, and advocacy initiatives.

  • What does the College do?

    The CFPC establishes the standards for the training, certification and lifelong education of family physicians. It accredits postgraduate family medicine training in Canada’s 17 medical schools, conducts the certification examination in family medicine, and grants the CCFP designation to those who qualify as specialists in family medicine. In addition, the CFPC is a leading advocate of family medicine and quality health care for all Canadians.

  • What does the College not do?

    The College cannot assist patients in finding a family physician. The provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons may be able to help in this regard. The College cannot offer medical advice or counseling to patients. Patients should contact their family physician for any medical care or advice. The College does not handle complaints against physicians or licencing issues. Contact a provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons for assistance in this area.

  • What is family medicine?

    Family medicine can best be described as personal, comprehensive, continuous care. It is personal, based on the relationship between the patient and his or her family physician; it is comprehensive based on the family physician’s consideration of the whole patient in the context of his or her needs, history and life situation; and it is continuous, based on the long-term, on-going nature of the professional relationship.

  • Is family medicine the same thing as general practice?

    While family physicians are qualified to practise general medicine, they have additional training in the specialty of family medicine as well as a clearly defined focus on comprehensive, continuous care of their patients.

  • What is the Family Medicine Professional Profile?

    The Family Medicine Professional Profile is a position statement that defines the discipline of family medicine, describes the scope of practice and training for family physicians, work arrangements, and highlights our philosophy of care.

    Learn more about the Family Medicine Professional Profile

  • What role does the CFPC play in physician education?

    The College sets the standards for education and certification in family medicine and is the accrediting body for the post-graduate training programs in family medicine in each of Canada’s 17 medical schools. The College conducts the certification exam in family medicine leading to the Certification in the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CCFP) designation.

  • What is certification in family medicine and what is a CCFP?

    Certification in the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CCFP) is the professional designation of the specialty of family medicine. Medical school graduates who successfully complete an approved family medicine residency are eligible to sit the Certification Examination in Family Medicine. Practising physicians who qualify may be eligible to earn certification through a combination of approved training and practice experience. The CCFP designation tells patients that their family doctor has achieved certification and is committed to lifelong learning through professional development that is required to maintain the designation.

  • What other professional designations does the College confer?

    Physicians who have earned certification in family medicine may use the designation CCFP after their names. Certified family physicians with additional training and qualifications in emergency medicine, and upon successful completion of the related exam, may earn the CCFP(EM) designation. In addition, physicians who have been certified for 10 years and meet eligibility guidelines may earn the Fellowship in the College of Family Physicians of Canada (FCFP) designation. The College also awards designations for Certificates of Added Competence in the following domains of care:

    • Addiction Medicine CCFP (AM)
    • Care of the Elderly CCFP (CoE)
    • Emergency Medicine CCFP (EM)
    • Enhanced Surgical Skills CCFP (ESS)
    • Family Practice Anesthesia CCFP (PA)
    • Palliative Care CCFP (PC)
    • Sport and Exercise Medicine CCFP (SEM)
  • How is certification maintained?

    Members of the College are required to meet strict standards of continuing professional development (CPD) consisting of a wide variety of certified activities such as attending courses and participating in educational events. Members must submit evidence of these activities on a regular basis and earn a specific number of educational credits in the Mainpro+® (maintenance of proficiency) program administered by the College.

  • What is Canadian Family Physician?

    Canadian Family Physician is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal of family medicine published by the College to disseminate the latest clinical and educational information, as well as to support and publish family medicine research.

  • What is Family Medicine Forum (FMF)?

    The College hosts the largest annual medical educational conference in Canada–the Family Medicine Forum (FMF). More information can be found on the FMF website.

    The provincial Chapters also host Annual Scientific Assemblies throughout the year.

  • What is the Foundation for Advancing Family Medicine (FAFM)?

    To better serve the future of family medicine, the Foundation for Advancing Family Medicine ([FAFM] formerly known as the Research and Education Foundation), was established in 1994. The Foundation is dedicated to advancing the discipline of family medicine through research and education initiatives. Contributions to the FAFM continue to fund numerous awards, grants, and scholarships, as well as initiatives to support the training and continuing professional development of medical students, family medicine residents, and family physicians. The FAFM advances excellence in research, education, and service in family medicine through philanthropy and is proud to support the family doctors of today and tomorrow.

    Learn more about the Foundation for Advancing Family Medicine (FAFM)

  • What information is available for medical students?

    Information about what the CFPC offers to medical students with an interest in a family medicine career can be found in the “ For Medical Students” section of the CFPC website.

Other questions?

Please contact the CFPC.

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