Winter (Volume 28, Number 4)
Report from the Human Resources Committee
By Claire Barber, MD, PhD, FRCPC; and Jessica Widdifield, PhD
The CRA Human Resources committee was established
more than 15 years ago in response to rheumatologist
workforce shortages across Canada and
low trainee numbers. The committee has undertaken a
number of important initiatives since its inception including
the successful summer studentship program, the
Training Rheumatologists for Tomorrow (TROT) program,1
which highlights rheumatology as a sub-specialty to students
early in their medical careers, the Stand Up and Be
Counted national workforce survey,2 and #MakeRheum
for Rheumatology Campaign - a marketing and awareness
strategy for rheumatology programs (available at rheum.ca).
The committee would like to thank outgoing HR chair
Dr. Alfred Cividino for his leadership on these initiatives,
as well as the hard-working committee members who have
served their term.
In the fall of 2018, Drs. Claire Barber (University of Calgary,
Arthritis Research Canada) and Jessica Widdifield
(Sunnybrook Research Institute, University of Toronto,
ICES) were appointed as the next co-chairs of the committee
and have recruited 18 committee members from across
Canada. The committee work plan follows a framework of
“Curate, Collaborate and Create”. Aims for the upcoming
year include the following:
Conduct an environmental scan of workforce-related research
and ensure these materials are available to the CRA.
Explore interprofessional collaboration opportunities related
to rheumatology models of care as well as synergies
with other CRA committees and related rheumatology and
medical organizations (ACR, Royal College of Physicians
and Surgeons of Canada). Collaborate with ongoing programs
addressing workforce needs (FLIRT, TROT).
Prepare materials (slides, briefs, etc.) to ensure consistent
messaging about workforce shortages and an ongoing maldistribution
of rheumatology resources for education and
advocacy; launch a 2020 Stand Up and Be Counted Survey;
continue supporting the successful summer studentship
The committee looks forward to supporting CRA members
in advocating for HR resources in their regions.
1. Cividino A, Bakowsky V, Barr S, et al. How to Attract Trainees, a Pan-Canadian Perspective: Phase
1 of the "Training the Rheumatologists of Tomorrow" Project. J Rheumatol 2016; 43(4):788-98.
2. Barber C, Jewett L, Ahluwalia V, et al. Measuring the Rheumatologist Workforce in Canada: Stand
Up and Be Counted! J of Rheumatol 2016; 43(6):1204-5.
Claire Barber, MD, PhD, FRCPC
University of Calgary,
Jessica Widdifield, PhD
Sunnybrook Research Institute, ICES
Assistant Professor, University of Toronto,
Institute of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation