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Message from the Registrar

February 2021
By: Dr. Karen Shaw, CPSS Registrar & CEO

It's a New Year - Choose Hope!

Once you choose hope, anything’s possible. (Christopher Reeve)


As 2021 unfolds, I hope that we will continue to act with the best interests of the community in mind, and diligently practice the measures that help keep us all safe. May 2021 be the year that “normalcy” returns.

Thank you for your care of patients during these taxing times. It has not been easy, and at times I know it’s been grueling; however, it appears we must persevere and continue our efforts for a while longer.

Patients rely on physicians for accurate information and their professional guidance. Be prepared to discuss vaccine hesitancy. Please help your patients understand the benefit of the vaccine by referring them to accurate sources of information about the vaccines. Please take every opportunity you can to reinforce to patients the importance of physical distancing, wearing masks, and hand washing in addition to being vaccinated. The Public Health Agency of Canada’s resources on these issues can be found here

Refer your patients to the CanadaCovid app which has both the Federal and Provincial Covid-19 updates in one place. Also refer them to the COVID alert app which will alert them if they have an exposure to a recognized Covid-19 positive person.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

COVID-19 is not society’s or the CPSS’s only current challenge. Concerns about racism continue to be reported in the media and in our communities. In addition to its existing Truth and Reconciliation Committee which deals with Indigenous disparities including racism, the CPSS Council has established a standing committee on diversity and bias. The initial focus of this committee’s work is on anti-black racism. A short report  from Dr. Oladapo Mabadeje, Chair, on this committee’s work is included in this edition. While the initial work of this diversity and bias committee will address anti-black racism, we expect it will provide us a framework to address other types of discrimination and bias.

Strategic goals - where we hope to go by 2025

The College staff will continue to operationalize the strategic goals set by Council in 2020. They include:

Strategic Goal # 1:
An integrated Information Technology and Information Management Platform to effectively support College decision-making, program evaluation, and engagement with members and the public

Despite our best planning our licensure and corporation renewal platforms did not meet our expected standard. While many physicians expressed no concerns, a few had no end of difficulty and for that we are sorry. It was a frustration and disappointment for physicians and staff alike. We continue to incrementally strengthen our integrated information technology and management platform and will continue this work throughout 2021.

Strategic Goal # 2:
A robust College-led process to assess and support physicians for competence and poor performance throughout their careers. 

We are reviewing who does what assessment when, how do they all interconnect, do they measure what we need and what might be missing? Our work will be informed by the national physician competency taskforce.

Strategic Goal # 3:
Enhanced College supervision, assessment, and support for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) moving from a provisional to a regular license.

We are starting to look at ways to improve supervision through the use of different tools and reporting templates, improved training and education for supervisors, use of MCC 360 with feedback to the candidate, and the consideration of repatriating the supervised year with SIPPA.

Strategic Goal # 4:
Optimal physician prescribing of opioids.

A 35 question Opioid Prescribing Self-assessment tool has been developed. A survey will be sent to physicians and the self assessment tool will be piloted in the Quality of Care work. We have partnered with the College of Medicine CME department to develop a proposal for a multidisciplinary opioid learning module.

Choose Hope

We have some challenging months ahead of us, but the work will be interesting and rewarding and will benefit from the input of many, including our three new Councilors: Dr. Daniel Boye Adeboye, Dr. Amos Akinbiyi and Dr. Pamela Meiers.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the departing Councilors; Dr. Grant Stoneham, Dr. Pierre Hanekom and Dr. Prasad Bhathala Venkata. They served Council well and we wish them success in their new endeavours.

Keep warm, keep safe and choose hope.

Respectfully submitted,

Karen Shaw

    Dr. Karen Shaw has served as Registrar and CEO of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan since 2011.