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November Is Licence Renewal Month

Annual renewal of your medical licence to practise in Nova Scotia is now open online .

If you are a physician practising medicine under a corporation in which you are listed as a Medical Director, you must also renew your corporation permit . This permit must be renewed each year with the College.

Please complete your renewal(s) online by November 30, 2016 and avoid late fees. If you have any questions, we are here to help. Please contact us at: .

If you are discontinuing your licence, please review the necessary steps required to do so. If you are permanently or temporarily closing a practice, please review the statutory and regulatory requirements.

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Defined Licence Supervision

Many physicians practising under a Defined Licence in Nova Scotia will be required to have supervision for the duration of that licence. The College will be contacting all physicians who are required to participate in supervision.

Supervision activities are now managed through a new online web-based portal. Those currently holding a Defined Licence will gradually transfer to this new system over the coming months.

Through the web portal physicians can:

  • identify when supervision reports are due;
  • submit supervision reports;
  • receive email notification regarding report sign-offs; and
  • flag reports requiring immediate attention of College staff.
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Peer Review

A pilot of the College’s new peer review program is nearing completion. The pilot includes a group of 15 family physicians from around the province who are conducting both on and off-site reviews of one another’s practices.

Highlights of the new quality improvement program include:

  • providing physicians with feedback on their practices and support in making necessary changes;
  • engaging physicians on the concept of risks and supports in practice – factors that may positively or negatively affect a physician’s ability to provide high quality care; and
  • challenging physicians to adopt a systematic approach to professional development based on identified needs and gaps in practice.

The province-wide program roll-out is planned for early in 2017.

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Medical Assistance In Dying

Over 100 physicians attended medical assistance in dying (MAID) information sessions held in Truro, Sydney, Yarmouth and Halifax in October.

Sessions organized by the College and Doctors Nova Scotia aimed to familiarize physicians with the College’s standard of practice. The Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) was available at these sessions to answer questions regarding the delivery of MAID in the province.

Resources regarding medical assistance in dying have been developed for physicians by both the College and the NSHA . Physicians may also direct inquiries regarding the delivery of MAID to Dr. Lynne Harrigan at: 902-491-5892. Upcoming sessions are being planned for Bridgewater, Antigonish and Amherst. Please check the College website for further details.

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College Council Report: Mandatory Continuing Medical Education

The College’s governing Council consisting of practising physicians and public members met October 14.

Council discussed mandatory prescribing continuing medical education (CME) as one way in which to address the opioid overdose public health emergency. It was noted that this approach is being discussed by a growing number of regulators.

Council directed the College to institute mandatory opioid prescribing CME beginning in 2017 for those applying for a Defined Licence. Such applicants will be required to take the prescribing course delivered by the Atlantic Mentorship Network or the online prescribing course delivered by Memorial University. It is anticipated the online course will be available the beginning of 2017.

Council also directed that all family physicians, regardless of their scope of practice, be required to complete an opioid prescribing course as part of their 5-year CME cycle. The College was instructed to work with the College of Family Physicians of Canada towards the implementation of this requirement.

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Naloxone can now be dispensed without a prescription in Nova Scotia. Given the scope of the opioid crisis and the rapidly evolving role for naloxone in the management of overdoses in the community, the College supports organizations working to distribute naloxone kits.

The College was informed that overdose prevention demonstration projects have provided 450 naloxone kits and training to at-risk communities to date. The College was informed that this resulted in 10 documented “saves in the field’ with no apparent adverse effects.

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Nova Scotia Physicians Receive Recognition

Dr. Richard B. Goldbloom

The College congratulates Dr. Richard B. Goldbloom of Halifax who is among the inductees into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame for 2016.

“The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame is proud to welcome these six individuals whose outstanding contributions to health have made Canada, and the world, a better place,” said Dr. Bryce Taylor, Chair of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. “Their impact is well documented and they have earned their place alongside the current 119 Laureates of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.”

Dr. David Martell

Dr. David Martell of Lunenburg has been recognized as one of the College of Family Physicians of Canada’s “Family Physicians of the Year .”

Dr. David Martell is recognized for his dedication and compassion, which have made a significant difference to his patients and community. Dr. Martell completed his family medicine residency training at Dalhousie University and received Certification in Family Medicine from the College of Family Physicians of Canada in 1999. Dr. Martell has played an instrumental role with the South Shore Opioid Committee, an inter-professional initiative dedicated to helping patients who are affected by opioid addiction.

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In Memoriam

It was with deep sadness that the College learned of the passing of Dr. Reginald Herbert Yabsley, June 12 in Halifax. Dr. Yabsley had a long and distinguished career in medicine including Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Victoria General Hospital in Halifax from 1969-1989 and Chairman and Program Director of the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery at Dalhousie University from 1970-1989.

Dr. Yabsley was Professor Emeritus of Orthopaedic Surgery at Dalhousie University and served as President of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia from 2001 to 2002.

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Professional Standard Regarding Transfer of Care

In the complex world of medicine, it is imperative that a single physician be identified at all times as the most responsible physician (MRP) for any patient. All patients at all times have a right to know which physician is most responsible for their care.

This document sets out the responsibilities of physicians to ensure that there is at all times a MRP for all patients, who is aware of the responsibilities of being the MRP, and whose identity is known to the patient.

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