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Preparing our future family physicians


(Mississauga, ON) The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), is pleased to release a report— Preparing our Future Family Physicians: An educational prescription for strengthening health care in changing times. The report offers a critical reflection on the current training of family physicians in dynamically changing times. It has created a unique opportunity to enhance medical education for future family physicians, ensuring their training keeps pace with the needs of patients, prepares them for complex and evolving societal health care needs, and changes to the family physician role.

“Canada is producing competent family doctors, with the shortest residency program in developed countries around the world,” says the CFPC’s Executive Director and CEO, Francine Lemire, MD CM, CCFP, FCFP, CAE, ICD.D. “Through an extensive and robust review of data and evidence-based educational outcomes, the Outcomes of Training Project has helped us to pinpoint areas of training and education that would benefit from enhancements to ensure our future family physician workforce is best prepared to meet the evolving health care needs for everyone in Canada.”

The CFPC is committed to leading family medicine by setting high standards for education, training, certification, professional support for family physicians, and championing high quality residency training of physicians. The report sets the stage for training enhancements and includes a set of educational recommendations that address the need for:
  • Enhanced recruitment, selection, and retention of medical students into comprehensive family medicine as a career
  • A system of training that promotes the ability of family physicians to adapt to ever changing community health care needs
  • A broad scope of training to enable family physicians to serve Canada’s diverse communities and contexts  
  • Increased opportunities for new family physicians to develop skillsets that keep pace with societal changes, increasing complexity of care, new technologies, and medical advances
  • More opportunities for new family physicians to work within advanced, interprofessional and evidence-based care models—as described in the Patient’s Medical Home vision
  • Improved data and metrics to support family medicine research, evaluation, and continuous improvements in education
  • An extended length of residency training from two to three years, in order to make the necessary educational enhancements
In 2018 the CFPC published the Family Medicine Professional Profile (FMPP), which describes the collective commitment of family physicians to providing comprehensive care close to home. The Residency Training Profile for Family Medicine and Enhanced Skills Programs Leading to Certificates of Added Competence (Residency Training Profile) is based on the FMPP and elaborates on what the CFPC is aiming to achieve with family medicine residency training in Canada.

“The pandemic has exposed pre-existing injustices in the context of an aging population, social changes, an opioid crisis, medical advances, and new technologies,” says the CFPC’s Executive Director, Academic Family Medicine, Nancy Fowler, MD, CCFP, FCFP. “These factors have brought us to a point of critical evaluation. We need additional investment in family medicine training to implement the recommendations to ensure that new family physicians are properly supported to fulfill their excellent potential to strengthen our health care system and improve access for all the people of Canada.”

Educational reform in family medicine and health care reform are each complex endeavors that take time to implement. The CFPC will work in collaboration with family medicine training programs at Canada’s 17 medical schools and closely engage regulatory partners, governments, and other stakeholder groups. There will be no immediate change to CFPC accreditation or certification requirements for at least five years to allow for this change process to take place.

A full copy of the report can be accessed on our website.

About the College of Family Physicians of Canada

The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) is the professional organization that represents more than 42,000 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 the specialty of family medicine, family physicians, and the patients they serve.


Susan Monic
Manager, Communication Services
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Tel: 905-629-0900, ext. 432
Email: [email protected]

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