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REF NO.: 131

SUBJECT: More opportunities for Canadian physicians to learn through MDcme.ca
DATE: Dec. 7, 2004

MDcme.ca, a Web site developed by Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Faculty of Medicine, has partnered with the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) to provide first-class online continuing medical education to CFPC members.

CFPC members can now enjoy their first MDcme.ca online course for free and will receive 25 per cent off each subsequent course. Residents can take courses for free. The bilingual MDcme.ca web site offers courses in a wide variety of therapeutic areas including cardiology, dermatology, emergency medicine, gastrointestinal medicine, gynecology/sexual medicine, infectious diseases, musculoskeletal diseases, neurology, oncology, psychiatry/psychology and telehealth.

Dr. James Rourke, dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial, is delighted with the new partnership. He said the course offerings are particularly valuable to physicians living in rural and remote areas of Canada, and he urged all Canadian family physicians to join CFPC and take advantage of the MDcme.ca offerings.

MDcme.ca is a not-for-profit web site that is managed by Memorial University. The online courses are developed and accredited by 11 leading medical schools in Canada, including Memorial, DalhousieUniversity, Université Laval, Université de Montréal, University of Ottawa, Queen’s University, McMaster University, University of Saskatchewan, University of Alberta, University of Calgary and University of British Columbia.

“Online CME has established itself as a convenient, relevant and effective option for lifelong learning for physicians,” said Dr. Bernard Marlow, CFPC director of Continuing Professional Development/ Continuing Medical Education. “The CFPC is pleased to be able to partner with one of the premier on-line CME providers in bringing this option to family doctor members of our college.”

Since its inception in 2001, the Web portal has been gaining in popularity for physicians across Canada. Although there are approximately 35,000 family physicians in Canada, there have been 81,700 visitors to the site as of Nov. 30, 2004, one-third of whom are returning visitors, with over 462,000 hits. An average of 1,267 unique visitors come to the site every month. In addition, over 500 physicians have registered for 881 MDcme.ca online course offerings.

Dr. Susan King, past president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association, has taken three courses offered by MDcme.ca. “It was extremely convenient to access high quality professional development 24 hours a day and work at my own pace,” explained Dr. King. “I also appreciated the opportunities to consult with colleagues from across the country. For the province’s health care system, MDcme.ca offers tremendous value to doctors regardless of where they are located because the course prices are so reasonable and the travel time is eliminated. Overall, the site is contributing to our health care system by linking doctors to critical health information and to each other.”

“Research indicates that the physician satisfaction rates for MDcme.ca are high,” added Fran Kirby, manager of the Office of Professional Development with the Faculty of Medicine. “Almost 90 percent of research participants consider the instruction appealing, interesting and motivating and most respondents reported they were better able to learn at their own pace and juggle learning time with work and home responsibilities. Many also indicated that they intended to use online courses again and anticipated this would be the ‘wave of the future for doctors.’”

The College of Family Physicians of Canada is the voice of family medicine in Canada. Representing 17,000 members across the country, it is the professional organization responsible for establishing standards for the training, certification, and lifelong education of family doctors and for advocating on behalf of family medicine, family doctors and their patients. The CFPC accredits postgraduate family medicine training in Canada’s 16 medical schools.

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