We have reached a significant point in our journey toward a new conceptual model of physician engagement in the CoM’s academic mission. May 31 marked the deadline for those approximately 130 faculty members involved in the transition that we began last August. This transition, as you know, involved a voluntary severance package for eligible CoM faculty members in-scope of USFA, with the option to move to new forms of engagement through an Academic Clinical Funding Plan (ACFP) or contract.
I am aware of how varied in nature this process has been for those faculty members involved; that it has been relatively straightforward for some, and has been very difficult for others. People are at different stages of their career and have their own unique set of goals and preferences. We are one team, but within that we are individuals whose situations and choices are unique.
The nature of an ACFP (or contract) is such that the work since last August needed to be carried out on an individual-by-individual basis. This created challenges, as many know. It meant handling communication with care and consideration to ensure appropriate privacy of those directly involved.
Nonetheless, I continue to firmly believe that what we are moving toward is both better and necessary. We must have physicians across the province engaged with the college and involved in our academic mission. We must get to a place where academic time is safeguarded and appropriately valued, if our college is to survive and thrive. We have made an important step in that direction now.
Our transition team has been working very hard to support and inform our faculty members throughout this process, and those efforts were especially elevated in the days leading up to and after May 31. I have great confidence in this team and have seen firsthand their commitment and the lengths they have gone to in supporting and assisting our faculty through the transition. I extend a heartfelt thank you to our transition team members for your diligence and perseverance in this incredibly important work for the College of Medicine.
I also thank our faculty members for their perseverance through this process. Information wasn’t always available immediately for you, and in some cases, details are still being worked out. Your patience and faith in light of this is certainly appreciated.
Our work is of course not finished with May 31. We will continue to strive to engage physicians in Saskatchewan in the work of our college. Note that our transition team needs the month of June to ensure that the work associated with the May 31 deadline is completed and therefore won’t begin additional ACFPs until July. This team will remain in place as we move into the next stage of adding more and more detail to the new model. In addition to the transition team, don’t hesitate to take your feedback and questions to your UDH, and of course Keith Ogle, vice-dean faculty engagement, is also available.
I have heard from our UDHs and many of you that you want unification, you want to be included and you want to focus on our future. I couldn’t be more pleased to hear this, as I want—and our College of Medicine needs—those same things.
As always, I welcome your feedback.