Message from the department head

Family Doctor Week in Canada

Family Doctor Week is just around the corner - November 12-17, 2018.

This annual event is a celebration of the outstanding contributions made by Canadian family doctors and the highly valued relationships they have with their patients and the communities they serve.

In addition to Family Doctor Week, the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) is also celebrating a milestone with 40 years of  excellence of the Section of Teachers (SOT).

The Section of Teachers (SOT) was founded in 1978 to advance the academic discipline of Family Medicine. Now, four decades later, we know that more than 70 per cent of CFPC members serve as preceptors, teachers or educational leaders.

These special events coincide with the annual Family Medicine Forum (FMF) in Toronto, Ont. For those of you attending FMF, I encourage you to join in the celebrations for the SOT’s 40th anniversary with a special dinner and party on Thursday, November 15.

If you can’t make it for dinner, join us for party portion of the evening for $40, which includes live music, dancing, dessert and an open bar.

Mix, mingle and celebrate with your family medicine colleagues the successes we have had over the past 40 years in developing new generations of family physicians!

You may purchase your tickets for the dinner, which includes the party, or for just the party as part of your registration or separately through the FMF registration portal.

Congratulations to the Section of Teachers on their 40th anniversary! Looking forward to seeing many of you in Toronto.

Visit to Norway House

On October 25, I had the pleasure of joining colleagues from Shared Health for a visit to Norway House.

In our meetings with community leaders, we heard of the many and diverse ways our teachers and learners impact the care of people in the community, from teen clinics in the high school, educational sessions on the local radio, and their participation in bring back maternity care to the community.

We also heard of plans to build a state-of-art health facility, expanded health services and the journey towards an Indigenous health authority in the North.

- José

José Francois MD MMedEd CCFP FCFP
Head, Department of Family Medicine
Medical Director, Family Medicine Program
Winnipeg Regional Health Authority


Faculty development

At your teaching sites: As you may already know, faculty development planning within the Department of Family Medicine has moved from a central model to a distributed model, where sessions are planned and administered by the sites and streams. Many sites have already taken part in Pii, a national practice improvement initiative.

Curious about how you might improve your teaching? Look through the CFPC’s Fundamentals of Teaching Activities framework to see where you fit.

We will be happy to support sites in developing or sharing topics and content or arranging for speakers. Data will be collected centrally. Questions or ideas? Contact anita.ens@umanitoba.ca

Celebrate teaching excellence: Our department is large and distributed. As such, we may not always hear about the good things happening in teaching. Let us know of your own or colleagues’ successes or involvements. Contact anita.ens@umanitoba.ca



Orientation to clerkship teaching

Undergraduate director Dr. Amanda Condon and assistant director Dr Sasha Thiem briefly outline expectations of teachers of clerkship students, offering tips as they go through objectives, essential clinical presentations (ECPs) and assessments. Faculty development director Dr. Anita Ens offers brief tips on how to improve narrative (written) comments.

Click to view complete webinar



Priority Topics for the Assessment of Competence in Rural and Remote Family Medicine

The document was developed by the College of Family Physicians of Canada’s (CFPC) Working Group on the Assessment of Competence in Rural and Remote Family Medicine, in alignment with policy themes for advancing rural education to support the development of family physicians ready to practice in rural and remote Canada.

It is approved by the CFPC Family Medicine Specialty Committee and recommended as a resource to guide in-training assessment and inform the design of learning opportunities for all residents, regardless of their context of training. Further work will integrate these priority topics and key features into the existing evaluation objectives for the purposes of certification. The CFPC is releasing the document in cooperation with our academic partners, in hopes that it will generate innovative use and discussion.

An upcoming opportunity to join the conversation will happen at the Rural Road Map Collaborative Forum on November 15. It will start at 1:30 p.m. (ET); the focus session starts at 3:00 p.m. (ET).

Click for more info


Continuous Reflective Assessment for Training (CRAFT)

CRAFT articulates a cohesive approach to programmatic competency-based assessment for residents in training. It is designed to meet the expectations of our specialty-specific CanMEDS Roles and the CFPC’s Four Principles of Family Medicine, in the context of the college’s competency-based residency training guidelines.

This description of CRAFT integrates non-standardized methods of workplace-based assessment with adult learning principles. It emphasizes guided self-reflection as a critical skill of the developing professional. It covers five dimensions of programmatic assessment: learning activities, assessment activities, supporting activities, intermediate assessment, and final assessment.

Elements discussed include the utility of field notes for observation, feedback, documentation, and the use of aggregates of field notes. The use of deliberate points of reflective activity throughout the assessment process and a discussion of this model in making advancement decisions are highlighted.

As outlined in the Red Book (the section “Assessment of competence in family medicine programs”), it is expected from all family medicine programs, “that there is a program of assessment using a Continuous Reflective Assessment for Training (CRAFT) approach that maps, facilitates, monitors and informs decisions about the progressive achievement of competence for residents.”

Click for more info



Trajectories of Manitoba Physicians - Urban or Rural/Remote?

In the latest issue of the Canadian Medical Education Journal, the results of a study are available which examines for associations between exposure to rural-focused professional learning and career trajectories among Manitoba physicians.

The study was led by Dr. John Murray, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine with colleagues Dr. Charles Penner, Associate Dean for the Brandon Satellite Program and Dr. Don Klassen, Associate Professor in Family Medicine (Head of Distributed Medical Education) and Medical Director of the Manitoba Office of Rural and Northern Health (ORNH).The Director of the ORNH, Wayne Heide, and its database coordinator, Dawn Piasta, provided logistical supports to the study.

Four matched cohorts who participated in the mandatory Rural Week experience (MED 1 in 2004 through 2007) comprised the sample (N = 344). Certain of these students opted for additional, co-curricular and extra-curricular experiences offered through the Dauphin-based ORNH. The remainder in the sample had only the mandatory one-week rural block rotation experience. The results of the study are encouraging in terms of indicators of eventual selection of a rural-focused practice. If you wish to read more about the research, please see the reference and links here:

Murray, J., Penner, C., Heide, W., Piasta, D., Klassen, D. (2018). Trajectories of physicians in Manitoba, Canada: the influence of contact points of rural-focused professional learning. Canadian Medical Education Journal, vol. 9 (4): e1 - e9.

The trajectories project was also featured in the Brandon University publication, Research Connection.

Click for a full-text PDF.


Survey participants wanted

Family physicians are invited to take part in a survey to determine what barriers make it difficult for physicians to initiate conversations regarding diet with patients, and what may help better facilitate these discussions.

There will be a draw for three Apple iPads for physicians who participate. This survey should take 8-9 minutes to complete.

Click for more info



Dr. José François has been named the recipient of this year's Margaret-Teresa-McDonell award by Santé en français.

This award recognizes the exceptional commitment of a health or social services professional who has demonstrated outstanding dedication in providing high quality French language services within the workplace.

The recipient demonstrates human and professional qualities by implementing positive, creative initiatives in providing high quality French language services.

Click for more info


Please join our colleagues at Family Medical Centre (FMC) in congratulating their colleague Ruth Thomson on her Canadian Group Psychotherapy Association Fellow Award in recognition of her knowledge, skills, leadership and volunteerism within the organization and the professional network.

Way to go!

On Sept. 28, director of resarch Gayle Halas received a University of Manitoba School of Dental Hygiene Alumni Association (UMSDHA) Alumni of Distinction award.

Click for more info



Accreditation town hall

Wednesday, November 21
12 noon - 1:30 p.m.
Room 264, Apotex Centre  
750 McDermot Ave.

The Department of Family Medicine is holding a town hall in preparation for the external review. Please mark your calendar so that you can attend this event. The town hall will be combined with the Department of Family Medicine Council meeting.

For those unable to attend in person, it will be available via video/audio conferencing using Blue Jeans. Call in details to follow.

Click for more info



Faculty development / research seminar

FMF debrief: Workshop gems

Wednesday, December 12
10:00 a.m. - noon
Chown 207 A&B, Bannatyne Campus

If connecting via Internet, make sure the computer has microphone and audio enabled so that you can join the conversation and hear the presenters.

Facilitators: Drs. Anita Ens & Gayle Halas

In this session, attendees of this year’s Family Medicine Forum (FMF) will present short snappers on what they learned there. This session offers an opportunity for family medicine preceptors to share and discuss with colleagues what they learned. Using a series of questions to reflect, presenters will speak for eight minutes followed by discussion.

Together, we will discuss these FMF gems and consider ways in which they might be translated to our current methods of teaching or patient care.

Regardless of whether or not you are attending FMF, come learn from your peers!


At the end of this session participants will be able to:

• Identify FMF workshop content relevant to own teaching, research, or scholarly practice

• Demonstrate the potential of applying presented information for own learning, teaching or scholarly development

Be a presenter

If you are attending FMF this November, consider presenting a short snapper that will move us to think about alternative or complementary ways of teaching or providing patient care. 

Contact Anita Ens at anita.ens@umanitoba.ca or Gayle Halas at gayle.halas@umanitoba.ca if you would like to present.



Cultural competence session

Wednesday, June 26
10:00 a.m. - 12 noon

Faculty development session on cultural competence with Dr. Mandy Buss, Postgraduate Faculty Lead - Indigenous Health, Department of Family Medicine. Details will be shared closer to the date.