Monthly Archives: May 2014

Job Posting of the Month – Callingwood Crossing Medical Clinic, Edmonton, Alberta

Canadian Family Physician Alberta Dream Career Opportunity – Callingwood Crossing

CanAm’s client is seeking a Family Physician to accept a full-time permanent position. The physician will work as an independent medical professional in a well-established, collaborative Primary Care setting in a busy clinic in West Edmonton.  The clinic support staff includes 5 physician colleagues, 10 Medical Office Assistants (MOAs), a Complex Care Nurse, an LPN, a Full-time Psychologist, a Pharmacy team and an amazing Office Manager. The physician will attend to a mix of Walk-In and booked appointment patients presenting with multiple general patient care issues. Although the clinic’s focus is continuity of care and preventive medicine, the physician is also encouraged to enhance their practice to include complimentary specific clinical interests.

The quality of the clinic business model cannot be understated! The successful candidate will be in a highly organized collaborative working environment. All patients are triaged and assessed by an astute, competent and supportive alternative health care team, ensuring that physicians are able to assess, diagnose and treat their patients efficiently and effectively – ensuring a quality worklife, while maintaining an affluent and balanced lifestyle..


Callingwood Crossing Medical Clinic

6905 172nd Street, NW

Edmonton, Alberta

Terms of Employment:

The physician will remunerated as a Fee-For-Service independent contractor, and will be expected to enter into a Shared Revenue Split of 70/30% with the clinic to cover overhead expenses. As a full-time Family Physician, expected Annual Income, after the Shared Revenue Split can exceed $350,000.



Canadian or Permanent Residents already holding an Alberta medical license, CCFP Certified or CCFP Eligible, preferred.

  • USA, UK, Irish, or Australian certified Family Physicians/GPs may also be considered.

In accordance with immigration requirements, preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

This is truly an extra-ordinary Canadian dream career opportunity.

If this sounds like the ideal job for you – contact me NOW!:

If you are not available for this posting, please feel free to forward this email to an interested colleague.

Phil Jost, HSM,MBA

VP Operations & Regional Manager


Physician Recruiting Inc.

Office: 902-439-3400

Toll Free – Canada/USA: 866-446-4447

Fax: 902-482-3473


Follow me on Twitter – @CanAm_Phil – for new job postings, and the latest news on MD recruitment, licensing, and immigration issues.

Posted April 29, 2014


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Oil and Medicine: Alberta Doctors Gain Support

Joyce Edwards,Calgary, Alta., May 22, 2014

A new report says there may be a link between Peace River, Alberta residents’ symptoms and odours from heavy oil operations in the area.

hen Mike Labrecque told his  doctor that he believed his symptoms were linked to emissions from the oil  wells around his house, the doctor promptly stopped treating the 60-year-old  man.

“The physician stood up and told him you need a lawyer, not a  doctor and basically told him to leave,” recalls Mike’s son Brian Labrecque,  whose family lives in the Peace River area of northern Alberta. “We were  shocked. From that point on we had to find other physicians who could treat my  father.”

“Physicians are frankly afraid to diagnose health conditions  linked to the oil and gas industry,” stated Margaret Sears, an Ottawa,  Ontario-based consultant in toxicology and environmental health, in her Jan. 13 report prepared for hearings by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), the oil industry’s governing body, into “human health effects associated  with emissions and odours from heavy oil      operations in the Peace River area.”

Peace River-area physicians can take heart from the AER’s Report  of Recommendations on Odours and Emissions in the Peace River Area,  which states that there may be a link between residents’ symptoms and odours  from heavy oil operations in the area and calling on the industry to reduce  odour to “the extent possible.” In addition, both the Alberta Medical Association  (AMA)  and the Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons have now spoken out in  support of physicians who may feel too intimidated to advocate for these  patients.

AMA President Dr. Allan S. Garbutt said he told a leading  physician in the area to let other doctors know that there is support available  for them from the association in the event of intimidation. “Advocacy is a key  function for physicians and it must be protected,” said Garbutt. “If any of our  members feel they are being intimidated, there are a variety of ways we can  support and assist them to help deal with that situation.”

Dr. Trevor Theman, registrar at the Alberta College of  Physicians and Surgeons, said doctors shouldn’t be afraid to advocate for their  patients, adding however that “it should be responsible advocacy, meaning that  the information should be presented fairly and should be scientifically based.”

Doctors’ reluctance — or fear, as Sears notes — may stem at  least in part, from the case of Dr. John O’Connor. In 2007, Health Canada laid  four complaints of professional misconduct with the Alberta college against the  Fort Chipewyan physician after he suggested a link between oil sands  development and elevated rates of cancer in his northern Alberta community. O’Connor was later cleared of all the complaints by the college.

Although no disciplinary action was ever taken against  O’Connor by the college, the AER’s new report indicates that one reason  physicians may feel intimidated when it comes to treating these patients is the  O’Connor’s case.

“High profile consequences of researchers’ and physicians’  findings of harm potentially linked to the petroleum industry have driven  professionals not to ‘go there’,” adds Sears.

Mike Labrecque is just one of several people who have left  their homes in Reno, south of Peace River, because, they say, emissions from  bitumen processing are causing them health problems including headaches, sinus  infections, vomiting, dizziness and throat congestion.

The AER Mar. 31 report confirmed that there may be a link  between residents’ symptoms and odours from heavy oil operations in the area.  “Odours caused by heavy oil operations in the Peace River area need to be  eliminated to the extent possible as they have the potential to cause some of  the health symptoms of area residents,” stated the report.

The AER panel that authored the report recommended that  further study be undertaken to access the link between odours and health effects in the area, and that companies operating in the area install vapour  recovery units to capture gas produced in their operations.

On April 15 the AER accepted  the recommendations of the panel and announced that as of  Aug. 15, all existing heavy oil and bitumen operations in the area must capture  produced gas rather than releasing it into the environment.

In a press conference, Carol Crowfoot, the vice-president of  regulatory operations for the regulator, said the measure was aimed at reducing  emissions in the area. “The AER has accepted the work and the participation of  everyone in that [Peace   River] proceeding and believes that the recommendations  are certainly valid and will go a long way to hopefully eliminate the odour and  emissions in that area,” said Crowfoot. “If there is found to be non-compliance  enforcement actions will occur and could also result in the shutting of a well  or a facility.”

Baytex Energy was unavailable for comment but in a press  release, company President and Chief Executive Officer Jim  Bowzer said work was underway to capture tank top vapours from all existing and  future well sites. “Baytex’s gas conservation activities and plans are  consistent with the AER initiatives announced today,” stated Bowzer.

In its report, the AER panel also recommended that Alberta  Health take steps to link local physicians to specialists in environmental  health.

Both Garbutt and Theman say the lack of knowledge may be  another reason that physicians may shy away from treating patients with  symptoms linked to oil exposure.

“If a patient had come to me and asked me to link symptoms to  oil and gas exposure I would have not known how to do so,” says Theman. “I  would have not known what tests to do and how to prove that.”

“Most physicians receive little training in assessing ongoing  exposures,” adds the AMA’s Garbutt.

Whatever is behind physician hesitation to treat oil sands  patients, it may have resulted in patients who are reluctant to tell their  whole story.

When searching for a new doctor, Mike Labrecque’s family  advised him not to talk about why he was experiencing the symptoms he believes  are caused by exposure to oil emissions.

“We made sure to tell my father, ‘Don’t tell [the new doctor]  it’s due to the air quality or the emissions because we don’t want you to get  dismissed,'” said his son Brian Labrecque.


CMA call for palliative care strategy gets federal backing

By Pat Rich

May 2, 2014

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and a Parliamentary All-Party Committee have joined forces to advocate for the development of a national strategy on palliative care.

The Parliamentary All-Party Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care held a joint news conference to announce its support for the CMA and the association’s current initiative to encourage a national dialogue on end-of-life care issues. The news conference also provided an opportunity for the CMA to voice its support for the all-party committee’s work.

At the news conference, CMA President-elect Dr. Chris Simpson noted that as few as 16% of Canadians will have access to any palliative care services this year.

“How comfortable and peaceful a death we have should not depend on our postal code,” he said.

“The Canadian Medical Association calls on governments, federal and provincial, and Canadians everywhere to join these farsighted parliamentarians in thinking with compassion and practicality.”

The committee on palliative and compassionate care is an ad-hoc caucus of MPs from all parties founded four years ago and dedicated to promoting awareness of, and fostering research and constructive dialogue on palliative and compassionate care in Canada. It has the support of 55 Members of Parliament and two years ago issued a comprehensive report ‘Not to be Forgotten: Care of Vulnerable Canadians’ which dealt with end-of-life care, elderly abuse and suicide prevention.

The news conference by the committee comes as the CMA is in the midst of a cross-country series of town hall meetings to allow Canadians and their physicians to become more informed about end-of-life care issues and to voice their opinions.

Parliamentary Committee co-chair, Joe Comartin, MP for Windsor-Tecumseh, applauded the CMA for the town hall meetings stating:  “It’s that type of productive community engagement that we need in order to create a palliative framework that will speak and connect with all Canadians.”

“I am glad the Canadian Medical Association will cross the country this year to keep the discussion going, ” Frank Valeriote, MP for Guelph and another co-chair of the committee, told the House of Commons later that day.

Three town hall meetings have been held to date, with future meetings scheduled for this month in Regina (May 7) and Mississauga (May 27). Simpson noted the meetings have all been “well attended and highly engaging.”

Simpson called for more upfront investment in long-term care to allow more appropriate use of acute care hospital beds and better meet the needs of patients. “Many Canadians die in hospital beds when they could peacefully pass with loved ones at hospices or home.”

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Best practices in physician health available on podcast

By Pat Rich

May 6, 2014

Best practices and emerging knowledge about physician health are featured in a new series of podcasts released by the Canadian Physician Health Institute (CPHI).

The podcasts feature such Canadian physician leaders in the field of physician health and well-being as Dr. Derek Puddester, director of the CPHI, Dr. James Sproule, managing director of physician services, Canadian Medical Protective Association and Dr. Michael Kaufmann, medical director, Physician Health Program, Ontario Medical Association. Other podcasts feature powerful presentations by Canadian Medical Association leaders such as Past-President Dr. Anna Reid

Topics range from managing boundaries between life and technology, to dealing with disruptive physician behavior and addressing addiction in physicians.

“Healthy doctors practice better medicine,” Puddester states in a presentation on the importance of physician health that is available as part of the series.

“If the profession does not take care of itself, who will,” asks CMA President Dr. Louis Francescutti in another podcast.

The podcasts were prepared last fall in Calgary during the 3rd Canadian Conference on Physician Health and so are both timely and relevant for Canadian doctors.

“Everybody tells us what we should do but they don’t tell us how,” notes Christopher Hurst, a Wellness Consultant in the Office of Resident Wellness in the office of postgraduate medical education at the University of Toronto. The podcasts help to address the ‘how’ for many of the day-to-day challenges facing physicians as they strive to maintain their own health.

The short videos are available on the CPHI website. CPHI is national program focused on promoting physician mental health and wellness that is governed by the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Medical Foundation and the provincial / territorial medical associations.

The podcasts are just one initiative underway through CPHI. Another is involvement in helping plan the International Conference on Physician Health to be held in London, UK from September 15-17 as a co-partnered event of the American Medical Association, CMA, and British Medical Association.

Held every two years, the conference will showcase the latest research in physician health and well-being as well featuring innovative keynote speakers and panel discussions.

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Informed discussion characterizes Regina end-of-life town hall

By Pat Rich

May 9, 2014

We need to make well-funded, comprehensive palliative care services available to all and advance care directives need to be better crafted and promoted: These messages were delivered repeatedly at the most recent Canadian Medical Association (CMA) town hall meeting on end-of-life care held in Regina.

As for the hot-button topic of euthanasia or physician-assisted dying, audience members expressed diverse views on whether it should be legalized in Canada.

This fourth of five scheduled meetings in the national dialogue hosted by the CMA and Maclean’s magazine attracted about 100 people for an informed and thoughtful discussion. The stage had been set for the Regina meeting by a lengthy interview with CMA President Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti published the morning of the meeting in the Regina Leader-Post newspaper.

“Doctors grappling with public calls for euthanasia and assisted suicide are seeking a second opinion – yours,” wrote Pamela Cowan in explaining the rationale for the initiative. “This is an issue that physicians are directly involved in and it’s an issue that Canadians want to talk about,” said Francescutti.

Francescutti referenced the excellent palliative care received by his mother at the West Island Palliative Care Residence in Montreal. Coincidentally, the same day as the Regina meeting, a commentary by Teresa Dellar, executive director of that centre appeared in The Montreal Gazette calling for Canadians to have ready access to quality palliative care services.

The Regina meeting was moderated by Ken MacQueen, Vancouver bureau chief of Maclean’s and featuring a panel consisting of Dr. Jeff Blackmer, the CMA’s director of ethics, Dr. Ken Stakiw, co-medical director of palliative care services for the Saskatoon Health Region and Claire Bélanger-Parker, a palliative care volunteer.

Following the same format as all the town halls, discussion focused on three main areas: advance care directives, palliative care services, and euthanasia and physician-assisted dying.

“We all have an obligation to prepare our exit strategy,” Bélanger-Parker said, discussing the importance of advance care directives and giving examples from her own personal experiences. “We need to leave our family well prepared for our departure.”

Clarity and communication is the key to such planning, Stakiw confirmed, while acknowledging that the lack of standardization for advance care directives can create challenges.

Stakiw also reiterated comments made by palliative care experts at other town halls that while multidisciplinary palliative care services in urban centres are excellent, this “falls apart” even a few miles outside of major centres. “Shocking” was how Bélanger-Parker described the lack of palliative care services in First Nations reserves.

“Anybody who can get palliative care … their troubles are over,” a 96-year-old audience member commented.

A report on the public town hall meetings – which will conclude in Mississauga May 27 – will be released in June and will provide background information for the CMA’s General Council meeting in August where it is anticipated delegates will debate the euthanasia issue.

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CMA debate on end-of-life care goes virtual

By Pat Rich

May 16, 2014

The Canadian Medical Association’s national dialogue on end-of-life care went virtual earlier this week, as CMA President Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti led a wide-ranging online discussion.

Hosted on the Maclean’s magazine website, the one-hour chat covered a number of topics and saw participants ask many questions and express their views. Maclean’s has been the CMA’s partner in the series of public town hall meetings across Canada on end-of-life care issues this spring.

“Canadians are ready to have a frank discussion on end of life,” Francescutti said in his opening comments.

“My grade 12 sociology class is looking at this topic,” one participant posted. “What would you want young people to consider most when thinking about end-of-life issues?” Francescutti answered that advance care planning was an ideal issue for students to consider because families need to discuss end-of-life wishes “right now.”

He also said family doctors “play a crucial role in planning for end-of-life care. Lack of advance care planning usually brings out the worst in family dynamics. Family doctors can really help patients and their families through this.”

Participants in the online forum included 87-year-old Betty Maryon, of Burnaby, BC, who was featured in a recent Maclean’s article discussing her wishes for “a quick, peaceful end — at the time of my choosing.” Maryon tackled the argument that legalizing euthanasia in certain circumstances would lead down a “slippery slope” to widespread use of the practice by stating that “some people abuse pain-killing drugs, but we do not ban them for all, but legislate regulation.”

Asked what role the federal government should have at the end-of-life care debate, Francescutti said: “The federal government can help develop a national palliative care strategy that provinces can build on.”

The online discussion concluded with Francescutti inviting people to join him at the last public town hall meeting in the series, scheduled for Mississauga, ON, and live streamed on the magazine website on May 27. Following that meeting, the CMA will prepare a report for release in June on feedback gathered from the meetings.

Francescutti also acknowledged that, starting in July, he will spend a year at West Island Palliative Care centre in Montreal where his mother received “excellent care”, trying to determine what makes it so successful.

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E-cigarettes facing first rules in US

E-cigarettes facing first rules in US

By Pat Rich

May 21, 2014

Change appears to be on the horizon for Americans who use new tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes. Use of the products, which has been growing quickly and totals about $2 billion in annual sales south of the border, is currently unregulated in both Canada and the US.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing new rules that would “deem” new products such as e-cigarettes to be subject to FDA rules, which currently apply only to cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco.

When the FDA deems an item a tobacco product, it brings three new rules into play:

  • minimum age and identification restrictions that prevent sales to underage youth
  • a requirement to include health warnings
  • a prohibition on vending machine sales unless the machine is in a facility that never admits youth

“The proposed rule would give the FDA additional tools to protect the public health in today’s rapidly evolving tobacco marketplace, including the review of new tobacco products and their health-related claims,” said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.

Last year the CMA took a strong stand against the sale of e-cigarettes, recommending a ban on the sale of all e-cigarette products to minors and ongoing research into their potential harm and benefit.

The new policy says that given “the absence of solid evidence” about the potential health impact of e-cigarettes, “electronic cigarettes containing nicotine should not be authorized for sale in Canada.”

The products are readily available here, despite a 2009 Health Canada notice which stated that “persons who be importing , advertising or selling electronic smoking products with the appropriate authorizations are asked to stop doing so immediately.”

CMA President Louis Hugo Francescutti said the CMA “is urging caution, and with good reason.”

A recent CMAJ editorial described the new products as “a Trojan horse that will allow the tobacco industry to reverse decades of global progress in reducing smoking prevalence.”

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