Dr. Simon Moore, the BC representative on the CFPC First Five Years (FFY) Committee,  describes the transition from residency to practice as a “cliff”. Suddenly the structure and mentorship you experience in residency is gone, and newly minted family physicians are faced with the challenges associated with establishing themselves in a new practice, and in some cases, an unfamiliar community.

The topics of discussion on the peer-managed BC’s FFY Facebook  page provide a snapshot of some of the unique needs of new family physicians.  Posts range from a request for advice on recruiting patients to a new practice, to questions about billing services, lawyers and accountants.

Dr. Moore suggests that the needs of FFY physicians range from  information about “snow mats (for the office) to teaching opportunities and life insurance.”

To help our Chapter better meet the unique education and knowledge needs of members new to practice, BCCFP is seeking participants interested in joining a new First Five Years (FFY) working group or task force.

“As family physicians, we understand the need for lifelong learning,” says BCCFP President Christie Newton. “But one size does not fit all. Our member survey clearly showed that members at different career stages, with widely varying practices, have different education needs. We are acting on this feedback.”

Dr. Newton notes that collaborating with an FFY group will help BCCFP create education opportunities to address the new learning needs experienced by many family physicians as they transition from residence to practice.

Dr. Moore says that needs assessment data from CFPC shows that meeting the needs of FFY physicians means providing the right information in the most suitable format. Some education needs are best met through small group discussions. For example, this format can work for providing information about resources relevant for physicians who are new to a community or covering some of the practical aspects of practice management that are not taught in residency. (Note that some small group discussions also qualify for CME accreditation.)

He notes that good progress is being made at the national level, including separate learning streams for FFY physicians at Family Medicine Forums and plans for another needs assessment.  However, he encourages members who are new to practice to get involved with the College and make their voices heard: “It’s an opportunity to have a say and make a contribution.”

Providing input

If you are physician in your first five years of practice, the College needs your input.

  • We want to know what matters to you, how you’d like to be kept informed, and if you might be interested in joining a FFY group or participating in a focus group. Please contact Toby Kirshin at toby.kirshin@bccfp.bc.ca if you would like to connect with BCCFP or become more involved with our Chapter.
  • Join the BC FFY Facebook group, First Five Years in Family Practice – British Columbia. (This is a peer-managed, closed group and you will need to ask for permission to join.)
  • When you receive needs assessments or other surveys from the CFPC or BCCFP, be sure to respond and make your voice heard.


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