Archives > June 2017

ACFP Highlights 2016

Did You Know?

Membership has been steadily increasing over the last 10 years and it rose by 6% in 2016! ACFP’s membership has grown to 4,611 family physicians, family medicine residents, and medical students.

If you want to learn more about what the ACFP does for you as a member, check out our 2016 Year at a Glance or contact me at or 780-488-2395.

Mainpro+ Tips: Linking to Committee Work

Claim Mainpro+ Credits for Your Planning Committee Work

Earn Non-Certified Mainpro+ Credits for Participating on a Committee

Did you know you can claim non-certified credits for your participation on a committee? You can count the time spent participating at committee meetings, and also the time spent on the work of the committee.

  1. Go to
  2. Click on the large Mainpro+ logo on the centre of the screen to the right of the PROFILE box
  3. Click on ENTER A CPD ACTIVITYgreen button below your name (in the top left of the screen)
  4. Select the Category type and click on Self-Learning
  5. Click on Non-Certified
  6. Choose Committee participation from the drop-down menu
  7. Click on CONTINUE – green button the bottom right
  8. Fill out the form and click on submit at the bottom of the screen. Your form will be submitted for review

Earn Certified Mainpro+ Credits by Completing a Linking Learning to Administration Exercise

In addition to claiming non-certified credits for participation on a committee, you can also submit a Linking Learning to Administration exercise for certified credits. As Linking Learning exercises are based on what was learned from the activity, not the time spent, your participation on a committee or at a single meeting could possibly generate multiple questions or learning opportunities.

The exercise requires you to generate a question on information that you have acquired as a result of your participation on that committee.

  1. Go to
  2. Click on the large Mainpro+ logo on the centre of the screen to the right of the PROFILE box
  3. Click on ENTER A CPD ACTIVITY – green button below your name ( in the top left of the screen
  4. Select the Category type and click on Self-Learning
  5. Click on Certified
  6. Click on Linking Learning to Administration

Ankle Swelling in the Summer?

Seasonality of Ankle Swelling
Population Symptom Reporting Using Google Trends

You might expect to see an increase in sprains, strains, and fractures in the winter when patients are navigating icy sidewalks and shoveling loads of snow. What problems cross our path more in summer?

In my practice, complaints of ankle swelling are more common in the summer and are usually brought to clinic by injury-free and otherwise healthy patients. We established this phenomenon in our 2016 publication, Seasonality of Ankle Swelling.

“Each summer we encounter an increased volume of patients complaining of ankle swelling—patients who do not go on to develop cardiovascular, venous, or lymphatic disease … we looked for seasonal modulation in the public’s interest in ankle swelling as measured by the volume of Google Internet searches related to ankle swelling.”

While clinicians can expect to see an increase of swelling related complaints in office, many such patients will not seek medical advice. Whereas Internet searches for ankle swelling (or related terms) are highest in the summer, hospital admission for heart failure exhibit the opposite trend and peak in the winter. So, rest assured, your patients are certainly not alone—and probably in good health.

About the author

Scott Garrison, MD PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta
Director, Pragmatic Trials Collaborative

Scott spent the first 20 years of his professional career as a full time fee-for-service family physician. He has a passion for evidence-based medicine and left full time clinical practice in 2013 intent on pursuing clinical trials that address important, as yet unaddressed, primary care questions. He is working to build a platform for large primary care trials in both BC and Alberta.

June – Message From the President

Read Full June Newsletter Here.

How the latest Auditor General’s report affects you as a Family Physician?

In the most recent report from the Office of the Auditor in AlbertaBetter Healthcare for Albertans May 2017, it is noted that many recommendations have been made over the last 25 plus years that have never been implemented because there are root causes that have never been resolved. The root causes this report identifies are:

  1. Fragmented structure of the health system
  2. Lack of integration of physician services and the services of other care providers
  3. Lack of sharing and use of clinical information

Integrated care is identified as the framework that is evident in the highest performing health systems in the world. We need a health system in Alberta where all parts work together to produce the highest quality of care for each patient. The Office of the Auditor General insists that “Significantly better health care is within reach” in Alberta if we overcome the challenges that have stood in our way.

In reviewing the report, here is what I see as the recommendations that matter to us as family physicians:

    • Building a system centered on patients with a single care plan based on the patients goals and teams to support that plan
      How do you contribute to care planning in your practice?
    • Integration of family physicians with the rest of the health care system
      How can you connect personally with other parts of the health care system in your daily practice?
    • Patients receive care in the most appropriate location which, most often, should be in a community setting rather than a hospital
      How can you expand your scope of practice to keep patients in your care rather than referring them to another part of the system?


  • Evidence based tools are available for decision making and care planning
    What are the ways you can ensure you have the most relevant and timely recommendations and guidelines for the care of your patients?



  • Linking funding and physician compensation to results
    Have you considered the impacts of a blended capitation model or other payment model for your practice? If so, what do you need to put in place to make a transition to new payment models?



  • Patients are engaged in their own care
    How do you involve your patients in their care planning? How do you maintain that engagement between visits?



  • Measurement and benchmarking of care quality and patient outcomes by everyone
    Are you looking at your own data regularly to see where improvements could be made?


We need to continue to take a leadership role in the stewardship of the health system through daily actions. I truly believe that we can improve how our health care system performs if we are diligent and take responsibility for our own contributions. Our patients will appreciate it.