Dialogue Volume 15 Issue 1 2019 - Page 20

CLOSE UP Q&A Q: How are you enjoying your new role here? A: I like it. I am still very much in listening mode because there is such a steep learning curve here. But I am excited about using my experience in a way that is of service to medical regulation and the public interest. And my new colleagues are great. The people who work here are clearly dedicated to do- ing the right thing. They have also been very welcoming and invaluable in bringing me up to speed. Q: How are we using the experience and knowledge of our Medical Advisors to best effect? A: The role of the MA is evolving at the Col- lege. We are seeing more opportunities for the doctors on staff to contribute a real world context to the discussions of individual cases. With their experience, they recognize when the circumstances that have led to a bad outcome are within the control of the doctor as com- pared to those situations which appear to have come about as a result of a particular system constraint, for example. Q: And how does that align with the right touch regulation framework that we have recently adopted? A: It allows for a more proportionate regula- tory response. The MAs can distinguish those situations that are truly concerning from those that pose low risk or perhaps no risk at all. They understand that most situations don’t call for a heavy hammer. And of course, with the ability to efficiently identify the level of re- sponse needed, we can devote more bandwidth to dealing with those cases that do demand 20 DIALOGUE ISSUE 1, 2019 a greater urgency in ensuring public safety. Q: Do you think this more nuanced approach can strengthen our relation- ship with the profession? A: I think a smarter use of resources means better regulation for both the public and doc- tors. Of course, our obligation to the public is of paramount importance, but if this new approach has the effect of improving rela- tions with the profession, I would be thrilled. Frankly, it is pretty discouraging to hear a physician say that receiving an envelope from the College is so upsetting that it can ruin the rest of their day, even after it is revealed to simply contain a receipt for an invoice. A better relationship with the medical profession should be expected to lead to more construc- tive interaction with physicians, and that is good for health care in Ontario. Q: Is it possible to carry out the duties of a regulator without being perceived as intimidating? A: In many cases, I think so. We are partners in the same effort towards quality care and system improvement. The vast majority of physicians are in medicine for all the right reasons and are just trying to provide good care to their patients. The College is staffed by people who want to help them succeed and are, in fact, developing a variety of tools to help them succeed. To me, that is the stuff of collaboration, not division. I do think ensuring a healthy system also means allowing doctors latitude to provide complex care for our patients with complex conditions. We need to be very careful that