Submitted by Dr. Stuart Iglesias and Dr. Jude Kornelsen
In 2008, the University of Saskatchewan ( U of S - Prince Albert) graduated its first rural Family Physician with Enhanced Surgical Skills(ESS). There are now 15 graduates from the first 8 years of the program providing surgical services in rural communities in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and the North. It is the only ESS training program in Canada.
The Joint Position Paper on Rural Surgery and Operative Delivery, 2015, acknowledged the role of ESS, working together with specialist General Surgeons within regional networks, in sustaining maternity, trauma, emergency, and critical care services in rural Canada. This consensus statement from the Canadian Association of General Surgeons, Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada, College of Family Physicians of Canada, and the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada, identified surgical care as the cornerstone of the rural health care infrastructure.
The U of S, in collaboration with the Rural Physician Action Plan, the Rural Coordination Centre of British Columbia (RCCBC), and the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada (SRPC), is convening an Invitational Meeting to assess and make recommendations regarding the professional and practice successes and challenges of the first 15 graduates in Prince Albert, September 29-30, 2017. In preparation, they have commissioned Jude Kornelsen and Dr Stuart Iglesias, supported by the RPAP research team, to interview all of the graduates from the ESS program. These interviews will provide valuable information about the relevance and efficacy of their training, their experiences with privileging, their CPD needs, and their personal satisfaction with their career choice. The Invitational Meeting will bring together faculty from the program, leadership from the University, representative graduates, and specialty colleagues from General Surgery and OBGYN in an effort to preserve what has shown to be working and to recalibrate where there have been challenges.
Links to Joint Position Paper: https://www.srpc.ca/PDF/cjrm/vol20n4/pg129.pdf
Links to ESS website: http://ess.rccbc.ca
Dr. Jude Kornelsen is one of Canada’s premier rural researchers providing much original work relevant to sustainable rural maternity and surgery programs and to rural transport issues and policy. She is co Director of the UBC Centre for Rural Health Research and Director of its Applied Policy Research Unit. Jude is a past Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator and a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar. She is currently an adjunct Associate Professor, Sydney Medical School (Australia) University Centre for Rural Health in Lismore
Dr. Stuart Iglesias is a rural Family Physician in Bella Bella, B.C. whose research has provided leadership in policy and programs to support rural maternity, anesthesia, and surgery. He is the lead author for the Joint Position Paper on Rural Surgery and Operative Delivery. Presently, he is the ESS Lead for the Rural Coordination Centre B.C. Dr Iglesias has deep roots both with Alberta and with RPAP. He received the inaugural RPAP Rural Physician Award of Distinction when he practiced in Hinton, 2002.