Archives > September 2018

Message From the President—Building Community

Read the full summer eNews.

Dear Members,

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
Nelson Mandela

As we all settle in to our regular ‘back to school’ schedules, I’m reminded why I became involved with our College. I was early in my career, and relatively new to Alberta. The ACFP, being the provincial chapter of the College of Family Physicians of Canada represents our community of family physicians and being involved with the ACFP was a way to connect with my colleagues and contribute to the impact our discipline of Family Medicine can have on the delivery of health care in our province.

We are a member organization not distracted by regulatory activity or negotiations, but one that focuses on education and excellence in family practice. No matter what uncertainties or challenges are presented, the ACFP can be counted on to stay the course and will remain true to its mandate.

I look forward to my next few years as President of the ACFP and hope you can trust that the Board and I are here to better serve your needs and support your ability to deliver the best possible care to our patients throughout the province. Please contact me any time at

Dr. Vishal Bhella, President

Now Certified! PEIP is over 75% sold out!

The PEIP Conference has sold out every year!

Don’t miss your opportunity to join ACFP and the PEER team this October for the popular PEIP Conference in Edmonton. Register today and save before prices increase on September 29.

Registrations are available online only and the deadline for registrations is October 12, 2018.


Session Spotlight: Begone Evidence Nihilist: Some primary care interventions that really work

Sometimes, in trying to separate the wheat from the chaff in terms of evidence, we have to spend so much time debunking exaggerated claims of effectiveness that we forget about all of the advances we’ve made and continue to make in modern medicine. This talk will review some of the greatest medical achievements in terms of prolonging human life, why they’re still so important, and the interventions we are making now that not only prolong life, but quality of life.

Planning committee member, Tony Nickonchuk, closes this year’s conference on a happy note: What you’re doing does make a difference!

Session Spotlight: It’s Okay to Get ANALgesic About Pain: Non-opioid solutions for chronic pain

Treatment of chronic pain can sometimes feel like running around in circles, leading us to question if we are doing the right thing. This talk will review what evidence currently out there for chronic pain which, we hope, will confirm that you’re on the right track or affect your current approach to managing pain.

Our newest planning committee member, Danielle Perry, and team member Joey Ton, keep it pain-free during this session on the evidence in chronic pain and the struggles encountered with interpretation.


Earn Up to 13.0 Credits!

This Group Learning program has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Alberta Chapter for up to 13.0 Mainpro+ credits.

Please note: You must attend both the pre-conference workshop and the full conference to be eligible for the full 13.0 credits.


Accommodations at the DoubleTree by Hilton West Edmonton

Reserve a room before Thursday, October 4 to take advantage of the conference rate. When booking your accommodations, please reference “PEC” or book online now.

Enhancements to Engage Primary Care, ACFP’s Leader Registry

Alberta’s health care system is constantly evolving and primary care is being asked more and more to provide advice and input on these changes.

To ensure the voice of family physicians is heard when these requests come in, we have created the Engage Primary Care portal–a way to link requesters to those physicians who want to be engaged. In order for it to be a success, though, we need you!

Taking 10 minutes of your time to fill out the family physician engagement form helps us identify the leaders within our communities–those physicians who want to have some sort of an impact or a voice in how primary care works in Alberta. Whether you want to be on province-wide committees or would rather complete an occasional survey, whether you have a specific clinical interest or have some non-clinical ideas you’d like to share, we want you to be part of our Leadership Registry.

Have you already filled out the form and been engaged? We’d still like to hear from you as we have added some more questions to the registry. Contact Adam at either or 587-525-8440 to update your information.

Engage Primary Care is a partnership between the Alberta College of Family Physicians, the Alberta Medical Association, Alberta Health Services, the Strategic Clinical Networks™ and the Primary Care Alliance.

Call for Volunteers!

Student Information Sessions at the University of Alberta

Once a year the ACFP organizes a student-family physician meet and greet luncheon or dinner. The event provides a great opportunity for students to meet and speak with practising family physicians. The informal setting is the perfect place for students to ask doctors the really tough questions.

Call for Volunteers: Edmonton and Area Doctors and Residents!

Share Your Passion for Family Medicine and Volunteer at Our Student Information Sessions.
The Alberta College of Family Physicians (ACFP) will be hosting an evening information session for first- and second-year medical students at the University of Alberta on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 5:15pm. We are looking for volunteers located from communities in northern Alberta, including Red Deer.

ACFP’s Student Information Sessions at the University of Alberta

5:15pm – 8pm, Tuesday, October 30, 2018 (dinner will be provided)

Katz Centre for Pharmacy and Health at the University of Alberta

How It Works
A physician and/or resident will be assigned a room with a small group students (approximately eight to 10 students/group) for dinner. This will provide an opportunity for medical students to meet with family physicians and residents in an informal, relaxed, and interactive manner to ask questions about careers in family practice and/or family medicine residency. There is no set agenda and the discussion will be based on the questions the students have for you. All we request is that you share with students your perspective about and passion for family medicine.

Why We Need You
Evaluations from previous sessions have been very positive and this event helps to develop student awareness about the scope, diversity, and benefits of choosing a career in family practice.

Sign Up Now
For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, contact Susan Soufi at (780) 701-9716 or by email.

Important HIV PrEP update: No cost for high-risk individuals

On October 1, Alberta will make generic versions of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) available at no cost to individuals at high risk of HIV acquisition.

In order for a client to be covered, the medication must be prescribed by health professionals who have demonstrated specific knowledge in HIV prevention, and have registered with Alberta Health Services as a Designated PrEP Prescriber.

PrEP Prescriber Status Form

If you are physician or other health professional with specific knowledge in HIV prevention and are interested in becoming a Designated PrEP Prescriber, please fill out the Application for Designated PrEP Prescriber Status form.

Visit the AHS website for more information including the list of designated prescribers, treatment eligibility and PrEP guidelines.

Interested in learning more about prescribing HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)?

AHS will deliver a number of webinars to assist physicians in making this transition.

Prescribing HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) AHS Module
Learning Objectives:

  • On completion of this module, participants will be able to:
  • Understand and describe the key eligibility criteria for PrEP
  • Describe key components required to safely prescribe PrEP
  • Describe key components to monitoring a patient on PrEP
  • Indicate the rationale for referral to a specialist
  • Identify how to safely discontinue PrEP

Webinar Dates

  • November 8 at noon
  • November 26 and 28


Lindsay Bertholet, Director of STI Services
Communicable Disease Control Population, Public & Indigenous Health, Alberta Health Services

Opioid Response: Take Action

Could she be your patient?

It’s a typical day at the clinic and a new patient arrives without an appointment. She’s in her early 20s and behaves in an agitated fashion, but she’s polite and trying her best not to disrupt anyone else. The body language of other patients in the waiting room shows curiosity, wariness and perhaps a little fear. The patient leans in to the clinic staff and says,

Please, I need to see a doctor. I’m an opioid user and I need help.

Could this happen in your clinic? The answer is YES. In every community across Alberta, there are people with, or at risk of, Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). For Katie, it took getting arrested for her to get the help she required because she could not find the support she needed to start her journey to sobriety.  Watch Katie talk about her road to recovery here. (video courtesy of City of Leduc)

  • When this happens at your clinic, are you and your team willing to support this patient?
  • Do you and your team feel confident in supporting this patient?
  • Could you and your team identify who, among your existing panel, is at risk of OUD?

Now is the time to actively identify and seek out patients like Katie. Look beyond your panel and connect with local ODT clinics to provide safe, consistent care for stable patients without a family physician.

Tools, support and resources are available to you and your team through the Primary Health Care Opioid Response Initiative (PHC ORI).

If Katie is not your patient, could she be?