The Benefits of Participation

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We recently asked several Committee members what they enjoy about their work at the College

Dr. Brian Burke

Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) Member

What led you to becoming involved with the ICRC?
I was mostly attracted to becoming a part of the CPSO as so much of what the College does was a mystery to me. I was very interested in finding out more about the processes.

I was also post-graduate director for psychiatry in Windsor and I wanted to be able to help our residents avoid showing up in [the discipline summaries] in Dialogue!

What do you most enjoy about being a member of the ICRC?
I found most of what we see at the ICRC is actually very good practice. I find I’ve learned a lot on the mental health panels as well as on the general panels as to what constitutes state of the art practice. I’ve also learned and understood the College processes much better and I am much less mystified by them.

Mostly I’ve enjoyed the collegiality as well as interactions with peers, legal experts and investigators who are leaders in their fields. I look forward to our meetings to share views and to improve my understanding of how medicine works administratively as well as academically in centres outside of Windsor.

I definitely would recommend ICRC participation to my peers. I think that this has been the best educational experience I’ve had in my career.

Dr. Michael Rogelstad

Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) Member

Dr. Michael Rogelstad, Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) Member, Ophthalmology

What led you to becoming involved in the ICRC?
As society evolves and medical care becomes more complex, I think it’s increasingly important that the ICRC receive input from a wide range of medical and surgical specialties as a foundation for making fair and informed decisions.

What do you most enjoy about being a member of the ICRC?
My brief experience so far has been very positive. The work is both interesting and challenging. It provides a different perspective on the day-to-day practise of medicine as well as insight into ways of improving one’s own practice. It’s a pleasure working with such a knowledgeable and devoted group of people. I would encourage others to become involved with the ICRC or any of the other College Committees.

Dr. Barbara Lent

Registration Committee Member
Family Medicine

Dr. Barbara Lent, Registration Committee Member, Family Medicine

What might physicians not know about the Registration Committee’s work?
Many times, it is simple and straightforward, with the applications for registration falling within one of our registration policies. Other times, however, some cases don’t fit so neatly and we have interesting conversations about professionalism, patient safety, supervision and monitoring.

For example, we may need to discuss around the table whether an incident in someone’s past would have a bearing on the future care that this applicant would provide to patients. We have to consider how egregious the incident was, how long ago it occurred, and whether the applicant can demonstrate that they have addressed the behaviour in question. And if we do decide to approve the application, would there be a way to address that past concern in a way that ensures patient safety? So the issues that we discuss are very important, very relevant.

What else do you enjoy about the work?
I have enjoyed working with colleagues from other locations and other disciplines who are interested in contributing to this aspect of the profession. I’ve also been deeply impressed with the staff who support the Committee. It is energizing to work with people who are so committed to excellence.

Dr. Tracy Sarmiento

Education Committee
Professional Association of Residents of Ontario (PARO) Representative

Dr. Tracy Sarmiento, Education Committee, Professional Association of Residents of Ontario (PARO) Representative

What is your role on the Education Committee?
My role on this Committee is to represent the interests of all doctors training in Ontario for certification in a RCPSC or CFPC specialty. At PARO, we champion the issues that create conditions for residents to be their best and ensure optimal patient care. We have determined that to fulfill this mission we must achieve three key goals: optimal training, optimal working conditions, and optimal transitions. With this in mind, my role has been to ensure residents’ perspectives are heard. I have had the chance to learn about, review and provide input on matters of education in the province, including undergrad and post grad education matters and continuing professional development programs. Throughout my time on this Committee, I have come to realize the importance of having residents contribute to the work of the College by providing their unique insights and experience.

Dr. Robert Byrick

Premises Inspection Committee (PIC) Member

Dr. Robert Byrick, Premises Inspection Committee (PIC) Member, Anesthesiology

What do you most enjoy about being a member of PIC?
As with most College Committees, it is a pleasure to interact with physicians from many disciplines, public members, nurse assessors and staff, who all have a focus on safety. As someone who has worked in Out of Hospital Premises (OHPs) as well as the hospital, I know that unexpected adverse events will occur and they are particularly challenging to manage in isolated environments. I enjoy the challenge of ensuring that when these events occur, staff can mitigate the effect on patients. We do this through maintaining standards that ensure that the caregivers have the knowledge and skills to manage these events and the equipment and drugs to minimize impact. One of the more important roles of PIC, in my view, is the ongoing analysis of adverse event reports to determine if the standards can be improved. It is not a static process. As the health-care system evolves and ‘Guidelines to Practice’ in many specialties change, our standards have to adjust.

Dr. Pam Chart

Discipline Committee Member
Family Medicine

Dr. Pam Chart, Discipline Committee Member, Family Medicine

What led to you becoming involved in the Discipline Committee?
My experience with the workings of the CPSO was limited until I was called to give expert evidence at a discipline hearing. Impressed with the process and nearing the end of my practising life, I expressed an interest in serving as a member of the Discipline Committee.

What do you enjoy about it?
I have found the work intellectually stimulating, challenging at times and personally satisfying. My interest in decision making, preparing and writing reasons to support committee decisions has been most gratifying and that has only increased with time and experience.

More recently, this experience has provided me with the tools to effectively participate in prehearing case management consultations to satisfactorily resolve issues in an attempt to avoid long and costly contested discipline hearings. I feel privileged to have been able to serve as a Committee member and recommend it highly.

Dr. John Jeffrey

Registration Committee Member
Gynecological Oncology

Dr. John Jeffrey, Registration Committee Member, Gynecological Oncology

What do you enjoy about being a member of the Registration Committee?
I enjoy interacting with peers, public members and staff. There is hard work involved, but I continue to find it interesting and the business of licensing doctors is important work.

And significantly, recent changes now allow the College to do a more efficient processing of applicants’ requests. For example, in enabling staff to register applicants who satisfy certain directives without referral to the Registration Committee, our time is freed up to focus on the more substantive issues.

I think that what has really struck me about the College is that when doctors get into trouble – whether it is because of mental health issues, or addiction or clinical concerns – the effort that the College makes in getting that doctor back on track is just very impressive. And to be honest, I am not sure how well that is understood by the profession, but you certainly see it as member of the Committee.