Developing Added Competencies in Family Medicine for the Care of the Elderly

Developing Added Competencies in Family Medicine for the Care of the Elderly
Care of the elderly

With population ageing, competencies in better caring for the elderly becomes vital

Earlier this year, the College of Family Physicians of Canada  (CFPC) announced it would be offering family physicians across the country the opportunity to sharpen their skills in five domains of care: care of the elderly, palliative care, emergency medicine, family practice anesthesia, and sport and exercise medicine.

As family medicine is changing rapidly throughout time, the CFPC will deliver Certificates of Added Competence (CACs) to acknowledge the expertise of several family physicians. With population ageing, competencies in better caring for the elderly become vital. As I was discussing with other colleagues, I realized that the CAC for elderly care is not known amongst students. In addition, only some of my colleagues were aware of the possibility of further specializing in geriatrics after a three-year internal medicine residency.  For the purpose of this article, I will summarize what the CAC in elderly care entails.

At Université de Montréal, the one-year program allows the family physician to be in contact with seniors whose average age is 80. The resident is put into different settings (short-term geriatric unit, emergency, intensive rehabilitation and others). Training in home care is also offered. The resident also has the opportunity of participating in a research project. UdeM especially emphasizes the fact that this program is particularly worthwhile for aspiring leaders in the care of the elderly.

To be admissible, one has to pass the residency in family medicine, the CFPC examination, and the procedures for having a licence from the Collège des médecins du Québec. Moreover, as the program is competitive, one has to demonstrate his motivation for the care of the elderly, and his abilities in teaching and research. Finally, after succeeding in the program, the CFPC confers a credential. Family physicians who receive the certificate can use the designation CCFP(COE)/MCFP(COE).

This program fills a great need in Canada and especially in Quebec. I am excited to see the outcomes of this initiative and I think many students will consider taking this avenue.

For more information:

Alain Nathan Sahin, équipe 2015-2016
Alain Nathan Sahin
Medical student at Université de Montréal

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