Dialogue Volume 13 Issue 4 2017 - Page 9

FROM THE REGISTRAR’S DESK Reflections and Predictions N Rocco Gerace, MD Registrar Serving as the Registrar of this College for the past 15 years has been the greatest professional experience of my life ow that I’ve hit the home stretch of my 15-plus year tenure as the College’s reg- istrar, I’ve had some time to reflect on all that we have accomplished, and how much medical regulation itself has changed. We’ve made significant strides in improving pa- tient safety and in seeing doctors as part of a much broader health-care system, and in starting to apply the ‘right touch’ regulation to the way we think about and carry out the work we do. I also have no doubts that medical regulation will go through just as much – if not more – change in the next 15 years. So with that in mind, I’d like offer up my top five predic- tions on how medical regulation will evolve over the coming years. 1. Prospective regulation – includ- ing periodic assessment – will increasingly focus on education. I think proactive - rather than reac- tive - approaches to regulation will become increasingly the norm. This will be a growing expectation of both government and the pub- lic, and we will need to continue evolving our programs to ensure that we are a conduit to regular and meaningful education for doctors. There will always be an element of regulation that involves disciplining physicians who fall short of stan- dards, but there will also be more onus placed on promoting con- tinuous quality improvement, and determining how to effectively deal with the impact that capacity and age can have on a physician’s ability to deliver effective care. 2. The public will increasingly de- mand a credible source of informa- tion about doctors. Patients want information that will give them a sense of the quality of care that their doctors – or their prospective doctors – provide to patients. For that reason, we should anticipate that the proliferation of user-gener- ated websites like RateMD, is only going to increase. But I believe that medical regulatory authorities will prevail as the most trusted source of accurate information – thanks, in very large part, to our ongoing transparency efforts. 3. Data will play a much greater role in assisting doctors with their practice and ensuring safe care for patients. The days of a one-size-fits- all, cookie-cutter approach to qual- ISSUE 4, 2017 DIALOGUE 9