Chair's Message

Some have wondered about the future of family medicine given the increased fragmentation in the discipline, advances in technology, and some intrusion by other practitioners into the traditional roles of family doctors.

At the recent Family Medicine Forum the Family Medicine Professional Profile was officially introduced and championed by the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC). This document was designed to be a clear definition of Family Medicine for those external to the discipline, and to provide a picture of what can be expected from the discipline and its practitioners. It is not meant to be a job description nor what can be expected from any individual practitioner but it is a clear guide for trainees to understand the responsibilities of a family doctor in today's health care system.

The Professional Profile re-affirms the CFPC’s commitment to comprehensive, continuing and patient centered healthcare including: community-based primary care, emergency care, home and long-term care, hospital care, and maternal and newborn care.

Furthermore, it outlines the roles of family physicians as leaders at the practice, community, and systems level, as advocates, and in scholarship including teaching, quality improvement and research.

Family physicians' unique orientation and skills are highlighted in the document and the concept of community – adaptive experience is introduced. Family physicians will respond to the unique needs of their communities and adapt their practice as required. Family physicians with enhanced skills, focused practices and special interests will collaborate with generalist colleagues to meet the needs of their particular community.

The Professional Profile will stand as an overarching description of the discipline guiding standard setting for training programs.

I am encouraged by the actions of the CFPC in developing the Professional Profile, and see this as strengthening the discipline of family medicine overall, and cementing its important role in our health care system.

As always, I am open to your feedback at or via Twitter @DOCSJW.