December 2014 E-Brief
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President's Message

Seasons Greetings to All
Sometimes, this time of year can be hard to work in palliative care. There seems to be something extra poignant in our patients and their loved ones' suffering. Holidays should be full of joy and laughter and hugs. When we spend time with patients and families who know there won’t be another holiday together, it can be sad. Maybe it’s the result of working in palliative care for a while, but I’ve become extra thoughtful around this time of year. I give thanks that I work in such a rewarding field of medicine. I’m grateful my colleagues are supportive of each other and that we all feel the work we do is important. I’m grateful to my patients; I’ve learned from every one of them. I try to celebrate every day as a gift; no one knows what the future holds.
Perhaps you feel the same way.
Whatever observances you hold at this time of year, let me wish you a joyous one, to be celebrated with the people who are important to you.  May 2015 be a wonderful year, full of health, happiness and hope.
Susan MacDonald
President, CSPCP

Choosing Wisely Canada

Oct 29 2014 saw the publication of the Choosing Wisely Canada recommendations from CSPCP. Thank you to Dr. Mary Jane O'Leary for developing those recommendations, to Board members Dr. Jessica Simon and Dr. Jeff Meyers for representing the society at the CWC launch, and to all members who participated in the creation, compilation, and selection of recommendations.

Calgary 2015

Join us in Calgary for 2015 Advanced Learning in Palliative Medicine: New Frontiers in Palliative Medicine. The planning committee has been working enthusiastically and has put together a wonderful conference.

Based on your feedback from past conferences:
•    The conference begins at 1 PM on Thursday, May 28th, expanding the program by a 1/2 day
•    Increased opportunities for networking, exhibits, and posters
•    Increased MainPro credits, including a new accredited poster session

See the online brochure, and register online, at

Certificates of Added Competency

 As noted in a November letter to its members, The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) has established the mechanisms for awarding Certificates of Added Competence (CACs) to family physicians with added competence in one of five approved domains of care in family medicine: Care of the Elderly, Palliative Care, Emergency Medicine, Family Practice Anesthesia, and Sport and Exercise Medicine. 

Although future CACs will be awarded based on structured assessments, the initial CACs will be awarded to family physicians who have previously acquired competencies deemed worthy of recognition in the approved domains either through successful completion of a residency training program (Residency-training route), or through practice experience and professional development (Leader route). CACs will be awarded based on the credentials and documented evidence of added competence as judged by a peer review committee process. The CFPC’s Board of Examiners approves the criteria for eligibility as well as for success or failure in the awarding of all CACs. For more information, please see:

CMA Seniors Strategy

The CSPCP is pleased to be actively participating with the CMA in developing a comprehensive strategy regarding the care of seniors in Canada. As part of this process, a CSPCP working group, and the Board, submitted a brief on palliative care.   Many thanks to the CSPCP members who helped develop the submission to the CMA:  

Dr. Stephanie Connidis 
Dr. Lise Huynh
Dr. Albert Kirshen
Dr. Helen Senderovich
Dr. Kara Schneider
Dr. Rebecca Verhaeghe
Ms. Kim Taylor

Our final brief was reviewed by the following people, to whom we are grateful: Ms. Sharon Baxter, Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association; Dr. Deborah Dudgeon, former president, CSPCP; Dr. Frank Molnar, Canadian Geriatrics Society; the Board of the CSPCP.

The CSPCP is also represented on a CMA Working Group for Palliative Care that also includes representatives from the CHPCA, Canadian Cancer Society, and the West Island Palliative Care Residence.  

Palliative Care HR Survey

With the help of the Palliative Medicine Project, a brief but comprehensive survey was distributed to all physicians working in Palliative Care in Canada, including members of both the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Royal College. The online survey, which closed December 5, is part of our ongoing work to ensure that the palliative care needs of Canadians will be met as we move forward. The results, which will be posted on our website, will be released at our Advanced Learning in Palliative Medicine, Thursday May 29, 2015 (afternoon).
See the info sheet at:
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