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March 20, 2003, Gazette

Extended Web site for physicians

Dr. Steve Darcy
Photo submitted
Dr. Steve Darcy, a family physician in Brookfield, Newfoundland, said online access is a convenient way to pursue accredited courses. “I can complete the courses in my own time, without having to travel or take time away from my practice.”

Just a little over a year since the launch of the Memorial-developed online portal RuralMDcme.ca, an improved and re-named version of the Web site has been developed with the help of public and private partners. MDcme.ca is an online portal for continuing medical education (CME) for Canadian physicians that will extend its reach to all Canadian physicians by offering a broad range of accredited courses and covering a variety of therapeutic areas, including diagnostic and patient management skills.

MDcme.ca is being developed in partnership with six other Canadian university medical schools, including the University of British Columbia, the University of Ottawa, the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary, Queen’s University, and Dalhousie University. Among the major financial contributors to the project are Health Canada, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency through its Atlantic Innovation Fund and Pfizer Canada.

“This public and private sector partnership is very important in expanding this Memorial University-led program,” said the dean of medicine for Memorial University, Dr. Ian Bowmer. “We hope to increase our external partnerships while continuing to develop all course content independently by the university partners.”

The assistant dean for continuing medical education at Memorial, Dr. Ean Parsons, said it is exciting to see Memorial’s original site grow into a national program for physicians who, for reasons of time or distance, cannot attend on-site continuing medical education. “By the end of 2004, we hope to add up to another 20 courses to the current five online programs and include other Canadian medical schools as partners.”

MDcme.ca will address the professional development needs of family physicians across Canada through the provision of accredited and accessible continuing medical education courses. “Online access to CME courses is a convenient way for me to pursue accredited courses,” said Dr. Steve Darcy, a family physician in Brookfield, Newfoundland, a community of about 2,000 people located a four-hour drive away from St. John’s. “I can complete the courses in my own time, without having to travel or take time away from my practice.”

MDcme.ca will include accredited and fully interactive courses between physicians and specialists, access to medical libraries, networking opportunities for physicians, practice Web site creation, easy-to-navigate courses and CD versions of online courses for physicians who do not have access to the Internet.