University of Saskatchewan
  We have a new website. Click here to view it.
Department Heading

Notice Board

NEW for Saskatchewan Physicians

The Division of Continuing Professional Learning is planning to provide some "for credit" articles on this website. To prepare for this a "Members Only" section has been developed. This section can be accessed using each physician's College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan identification number and a self-selected password. At present there will be only non-credit articles in this section, which are considered too 'sensitive' to be accessed by non-physicians, for example, an article with video concerning the taking of effective pap smears. But, in the future, credit courses will be available from MDcme through a link on this site.

Work is in progress on developing a universal physician identifier, the "MINC" number. These numbers will be available for each physician in Saskatchewan through the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan, and to physicians in other provinces from their own colleges. Eventually, this number will be used to access the "Members Only" site so that physicians outside this province will also be able to access this section.

To access selections in this "Members Only" section:

If you have any difficulty accessing this section please contact the CME Webmaster at cme@usask.ca


In addition to the services described on our home page, the Division of Continuing Professional Learning is currently offering a "Virtual Teaching Unit", drawing together internet based learning, video teleconferencing, and highlights from videoconferences.

Although central and regional conferences will still provide the opportunity for physicians to learn as they interact with each other the realities of practice in a province, which has a small population spread over a large area dictate that physicians cannot always leave their practices and homes to learn. The ultimate aim of the "Virtual Teaching Unit" will be to offer another modality of learning to all physicians, which is rapidly adaptable to changes in medical knowledge and practice.

Help in obtaining MAINPRO-C credits can be accessed at the College of Family Physicians of Canada site.


MDcme.ca

Physicians using this website may have noticed a link in the 'Related Links' section to University Developed Online CME for Family Physician. This is an exciting new way by which physicians are able to earn study credits through web based CME programs.

Courses have been developed by Continuing Medical Education departments across Canada which would offer MAINPRO-M1 credits and the option to upgrade to MAINPRO-C credits. Please take advantage of this link provided on our site to learn more about this excellent program.


Dr. James C. Johnson named 2008
CPL Teacher of the Year

Dr.James C. Johnson

Dr. James Johnson was named our Teacher of the Year for his work as a preceptor with International Medical Graduates.

Dr. Johnson has been willing to work with physicians in his practice to orient them to Canadian medical practice and to assist with developing and enhancing the skills required to practice medicine in Saskatchewan.

His willingness to work with International Medical Graduates is greatly appreciated by the Division of Continuing Professional Learning and we are delighted to have presented this award to him.

To view past winners, please click here



Teacher of the Year Award

For many years full time and part time teachers have given unstintingly of their time in preparation and delivery of teaching through the Division of Continuing Professional Learning (previously known as Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development). The Division, in conjunction with the College of Medicine wishes to acknowledge their contribution by initiating a "Teacher of the Year" Award. The criteria for receiving this award will be as follows:

The recipient will have demonstrated:

If you wish to nominate a teacher who you feel demonstrates these features and deserves to receive this award, please email your suggestion to CPL


Study Credits Telehealth Presentation

From a Telehealth presentation on December 13, 2006, the link takes you to questions and answers from participants regarding revalidation requirements.


News from Alzheimer Society...

Saskatchewan has the highest percent of people over 65 in the country and the numbers of people diagnosed with Alzheimer¹s disease or a related dementia will continue to climb in the next twenty years. The Alzheimer Society Of Saskatchewan, the provincial health care system and other agencies and organizations serving seniors will be challenged to provide programs and services to ensure a high quality of life for people and families affected by the disease.

Research conducted in developing The Strategy for Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementias indicates that residents of Saskatchewan lack an understanding of Alzheimer¹s disease and the resources available to them. Research also shows that most people only seek help when a crisis has developed and that services may not always be available at that critical time. Many people feel that the health care system is difficult to navigate. With the increase of Alzheimer¹s disease and related dementias on the rise, one single organization will not be able to adequately support all individuals and families affected by dementia.

The First Link Program is being launched in Saskatchewan to address the needs of people with dementia now and in the years to come. The program is an information and referral system that is managed by the Alzheimer Society.

Many families may know about the Alzheimer Society and dementia care services but it is often difficult to make that first call to the Society. Unfortunately, the first call is often made when a caregiver is in crisis. First Link removes the barrier to support by ensuring that individuals and families are referred directly to the Society resources at the time of the diagnosis.

This proactive approach to care links individuals to resources shortly after receiving their diagnosis and builds relationships throughout the journey with the disease. People are more likely to seek help and support from organizations they are familiar with before a crisis occurs.

The family physician or specialist providing the initial diagnosis of Alzheimer¹s disease or a related dementia refers the individual and family to the Alzheimer Society First Link Coordinator. The First Link Coordinator makes the initial contact and offers the opportunity to ask questions about the new diagnosis; written information about the disease; information about community supports as needed; and encouragement to participate in First Link education programs.

The program is designed to ensure that individuals who are newly diagnosed with dementia and their families have early access to information, services and support; to increase effective and efficient utilization of community resources, including those of the Alzheimer Society; to reduce caregiving crisis situations; to strengthen the link between diagnosing family physicians, the Alzheimer Society and community service providers and to raise community education and awareness about Alzheimer¹s disease and related dementias.

First Link is presently offered by Alzheimer Societies in Ottawa, and Edmonton and is under development in Nova Scotia, Manitoba and British Columbia.

The Alzheimer Society Of Saskatchewan has received funding from Saskatchewan Health to implement the First Link Program. The grant from Sask Health provides partial funding of the program for the first three years.

Implementation has begun with the hiring of part-time First Link Coordinators based in Regina and Saskatoon. During the first year of the implementation, the program will be developed. The coordinators will establish a referral network and work with care providers and community organizations to educate and inform them about First Link. In the second year, the program will be implemented in the Regina Qu¹Appelle and Saskatoon Health Regions. In subsequent years, the First Link program will grow to serve all areas of the province.

Donna Wilkinson, First Link Coordinator Southern Saskatchewan, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this position including previous employment with the Alzheimer Society Of Saskatchewan as Resource Coordinator from 1996 to 2000. Donna has worked as a Recreation Therapist in Long Term Care, has provided care to people with disabilities and has served as the Executive Director for the Saskatchewan Camping Association for five years. Donna received her B.A in Human Justice from the University of Regina in December, 2004. She worked on the development of The Strategy for Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementias in conjunction with her student practicum placement with the Alzheimer Society.

Evangeline Patkau, First Link Coordinator Northern Saskatchewan, has been working for the Alzheimer Society in the Saskatoon office since April 2005; first as a Support and Education Program Assistant and subsequently as the Support and Education Coordinator for Prince Albert and Northern Saskatchewan. Evangeline received a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Regina in 2004, completing the required field-work placements at a long term care facility, and at the Alzheimer Society Of Saskatchewan. Prior to joining the Alzheimer Society, Evangeline worked in administration and refugee resettlement in the non-profit sector.

The Alzheimer Society Of Saskatchewan believes that the First Link Program will make a real difference in the way people who have received a diagnosis of Alzheimer¹s disease or a related dementia, their families and caregivers can access support. It will link agencies and services together in a collaborative effort to best serve people with Alzheimer¹s disease. The provision of early support, information and education will decrease crisis situations, will assist family physicians in providing care and will increase the effective use of existing community support services.

For information about our programs, services and events visit www.alzheimer.sk.ca


News from SOGC...

SOGC has recently published a 2006 update to the Canadian Consensus Conference on Menopause. The literature was reviewed and recommendations developed. This is a synopsis of the hormone therapy information.

The primary indication for hormone therapy is for management of moderate to severe menopausal symptoms. It should be prescribed in the lowest effective dose for the appropriate duration to achieve treatment goals, taking into consideration risks, benefits and the woman¹s quality of life. The primary goal of progestins is endometrial protection when systemic estrogen therapy is used in women with an intact uterus. Hormone therapy can be prescribed for an extended period of time with proper counseling if the woman decides that for her, the benefits outweigh the risks. Health care providers can offer identified complementary and alternative medicine such as black cohosh and red clover for mild menopausal symptoms, although long-term efficacy and safety data are still lacking.

Local estrogen therapy is recommended if hormone therapy is prescribed for vulvovaginal symptoms. Estrogen therapy may be used as an effective treatment for depression in perimenopausal women and may augment response to SSRI antidepressants. Hormone therapy should not be prescribed for primary or secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease or primary prevention of dementia

The full report is available at the website (sogc.org) and may be accessed by anyone for more information.


Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH)

CADTH is Canada's nationally recognized health technology agency, offering credible health technology information through three key programs. All information is free of charge:

Health Technology Assessment (HTA) -- this program offers systematic reviews of existing evidence of drugs, devices, and medical systems. The assessments provide an evaluation of clinical effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and impact on both patient and health care system. HTA also provides a horizon scanning program alerting decision makers to upcoming technologies that are likely to have an impact on future delivery of health care in Canada. HTA has a section for evaluation of effectiveness of "older drugs" entitled the Drug Effectiveness Review Project (DERP) that provides updated information on value of particular common medicines. HTA also offers a rapid response service (HTIS) that is able to search out research on particular devices for health professionals in 24 hour - 5 day timeframes as required.

Common Drug Review (CDR) -- the CDR provides a single process for reviewing new drugs, while focusing on clinical and cost-effectiveness with forumulary listing recommendations provided by the CEDAC (Canadian Expert Drug Advisory Committee). This information is shared with participating publicly funded federal, provincial and territorial drug plans. All jurisdictions participate except Quebec. Information on approval of new drugs that have been submitted for review to CDR are available on the CADTH website.

Canadian Optimal Medication Prescribing and Utilization Service (COMPUS) -- COMPUS identifies best practices for the use of medicines by rigorously evaluating the evidence and consulting with health care providers and other experts.

All of the above CADTH information can be obtained at the website (www.cadth.ca) or by contacting the Saskatchewan Liaison Officer, Brendalynn Ens at ph (306) 655-6486 or brendalynne@cadth.ca


RCPSC Accredited Self-Assessment Programs

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada is in the process of developing an "Accredited Self-Assessment Program" system on their website. If you are interested in accessing these, please click here


Increasing Awareness of Genetic Services In Saskatchewan

This is a "NEW" brochure published by the Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, at the University of Saskatchewan. It contains information on the services provided by the Division as well as wonderful resource guides regarding support organizations across the country, useful web information for physicians and frequently asked questions about Medical Genetics. As part of the project, designed to promote medical genetics education throughout Saskatchewan, project organizers would be happy to meet with you and your colleagues to discuss how you can capitalize on the services available to your patients.

Please call Janet Lucas at 655-1692 for a copy of the brochure or to book a meeting or presentation. Thank you to the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors for supporting this endeavor.


The RxFiles academic detailing program is a drug information and education program for Saskatchewan physicians. The program features individual physician office visits (academic detailing) from RxFiles pharmacists to discuss pertinent drug therapy materials. Newsletters and comparative drug charts provide objective, evidence based, clinically relevant information with the goal of promoting optimal drug therapy. "We don’t sell anything; we just give away excellent drug information!" Take advantage of this academic detailing service by checking out their website (www.rxfiles.ca) and participating in the 15 — 20 minute office visits offered three times yearly.