College of Family Physicians of Canada
|Purpose||Family medicine certification; advocacy, life-long learning|
|Headquarters||Mississauga, Ontario, Canada|
|English and French|
The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) (French: Le Collège des médecins de famille du Canada) (CFPC), which is based in Mississauga, Ontario, is a professional association and the legal certifying body for the practice of family medicine in Canada. This national organization of family physicians was founded in 1954, incorporated in 1968, and currently numbers over 32,000 members. Members of the CFPC belong to the national College as well as to their provincial chapters. The CFPC uses both English and French as official languages.
The CFPC establishes the standards for the training, certification, and lifelong education of family physicians. It accredits postgraduate family medicine training in Canada's medical schools, conducts the certification examination in family medicine, and grants the certification (CCFP) and fellowship (FCFP) designations.
The CFPC was founded in 1954 as the "College of General Practice of Canada" out of a need to ensure family physicians were dedicated to continuing medical education. At inception, it had 400 members, and Victor L. Johnston was the first executive director and remained in office for ten years. The first executive committee and board of representatives consisted of 17 members. In 1964, the College obtained its current name, "The College of Family Physicians of Canada."
Collaboration with the Medical Council of Canada
In 2013, the CFPC collaborated with the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) to deliver a new certification examination in family medicine. Those who pass the new exam and meet all other qualifications of both organizations are awarded both the Licentiate of the MCC (LMCC; the medical license to practise in Canada) and the certification in family medicine designation (CCFP).
Continuing professional development
The CFPC runs a program designed to support the continuous professional development of its members called MAINPRO (Maintenance of Proficiency). This program assesses proposed learning modules and seminars against established standards and awards various types and numbers of credits that physicians can earn by participating in these learning opportunities. Credits are recorded and physicians must meet a standard number and type of credits in order to maintain their certification (CCFP) and fellowship (FCFP) designations.
Each year the CFPC hosts the Family Medicine Forum, a national family medicine conference. The conference offers hundreds of clinical and professional development sessions for family physicians over three days in November. The conference is held at varying host cities and provinces each year.
The Research and Education Foundation of the CFPC was established to provide funding for honours, awards, scholarships, and grants bestowed by the organization to its members. It is a registered charity with the Government of Canada.
The CFPC's official monthly journal is Canadian Family Physician.
Family physicians have the possibility of accumulating MAINPRO credits by "performing brief reflective exercises after reading eligible articles in the journal," thereby contributing to the spread of family medicine stories and experience across the country to the various readers of CFP.
Choosing Wisely Canada recommendations
In collaboration with the Canadian Medical Association's Forum on General and Family Practice Issues, CFPC released a list of "Eleven Things Physicians and Patients Should Question" as part of the Choosing Wisely Canada campaign (recommendations 1-5 were released April 2, 2014 and recommendations 6-11 were released October 29, 2014). Canadian specific family medicine recommendations include:
2. Don’t use antibiotics for patients who have upper respiratory infections that are likely viral in origin, such as influenza-like illness, or self-limiting, such as sinus infections that lasts less than seven days.
3. Don’t order screening chest X-rays and electrocardiograms (ECGs) for patients who are asymptomatic or low risk.
4. Don’t screen women with Pap smears if they are under 21 years of age or over 69 years of age.
- Don’t do screening Pap smears annually in women with previously normal results
- Don’t do Pap smears in women who have had a hysterectomy for non-malignant disease
5. Don’t do annual screening blood tests for patients unless they are directly indicated by the risk patient's risk profile.
6. Don’t routinely measure Vitamin D in adults who are low risk.
Enhanced skills programs
The CFPC recognizes several enhanced skills programs that generally last between three and twelve months. These advanced programs are accessible to practicing family physicians as well as Canadian medical residents who are completing their second year of residency in family medicine. In some cases, the enhanced skills program counts as a third year of residency. The following are some existing enhanced skills programs:
- emergency medicine
- palliative care
- care of the elderly
- addiction medicine
- maternal and child care
- clinician-scholar program, which requires the completion of a Master's degree or Doctor of Philosophy in family medicine offered at McGill University
- oncology offered by the University of Ottawa
Student interest groups in family medicine
Several medical schools in Canada have student interest groups in family medicine, as well as other medical specialties. These student interest groups often organize activities that allow fellow medical students to explore some facets of the medical specialty.
In September 2014, for example, the family medicine student interest group at McGill University hosted the 6th family medicine student symposium. While the conferences took place in the McIntyre Medical Sciences Building, the workshops led by practicing medical doctors and medical residents in family medicine took place in McGill's medical simulation center near the downtown campus.
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- Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
- Collège des médecins du Québec
- Ontario College of Family Physicians
- Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons
- Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons