President's Message - July 2017

David White, MD, CCFP, FCFP

How we get better

This message shines a light on the many people who volunteer on the various committees, task forces, working groups, and forums of the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC). Most are CFPC members who care deeply about activities that are core to our mission: improving the health of the people of Canada through education and support for family physicians and championing advocacy and research. Others are allied health professionals, members of the public, and medical students who are inspired by our discipline. All contribute their time and talents in the belief that it makes a difference—and it does.

As your President I have the privilege of being an ex officio member of all CFPC committees and working groups. I’m invited to every Chapter meeting across the country. Whenever possible I attend meetings of the Section of Teachers and Section of Researchers. I see first-hand their hard work and its impact in myriad areas, such as accreditation standards, residency programs, Mainpro+®, the Patient’s Medical Home, and quality-improvement tools.

Here is an example. The Social Accountability Working Group, which was established in 2012, developed the CFPC Social Justice Lens that neatly captures the different levels of the social accountability framework, from the individual to the community to broad determinants of health. Over the past five years, applying this lens has become part of our culture, permeating every aspect of the work of the CFPC from budgeting to educational programs to research.

Additional outstanding examples of the work of our dedicated volunteers are captured in the Section of Teachers’ spring newsletter, encompassing undergraduate and postgraduate education, faculty development, health professions educators, and the First Five Years in Family Practice Committee. It also touches on areas such as maternal and newborn care and Advancing Rural Family Medicine: The Canadian Collaborative Task Force.

A crucial aspect of bringing the efforts of our volunteers to fruition is the diligent work of College staff. That’s another story worth telling—perhaps in a future President’s Message.

For now, I hope all our hard-working members, volunteers, and College staff are making time for a well-deserved break to enjoy the wonderful Canadian summer.

David White, MD, CCFP, FCFP

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