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FFYFP Blog – Guidebook in the Making

By: Dr. Charissa Ho

Time sure flies. With this blog, I conclude my six years with the First Five Years in Family Practice (FFYFP) committee with the ACFP. It has been a pleasure to be a part of this amazing community and I will miss it as I take the next year or so to focus on other parts of life. Before I officially sign off, I am excited to share an exciting project that the FFYFP committee has been working on.

While we were at the 2023 Family Medicine Summit, we heard from a lot of our FFYFP members that there is no one place to get information about how to practise in Alberta. Everyone just figures it out and learn as they go. As much as experience helps us in figuring out our practice climate, the committee also realized this is a huge gap in our services to the membership.

The FFYFP Guidebook

Coming up in the fall, the FFYFP committee will have a published guidebook on the basics of “how to” practise in Alberta. This has been a large undertaking by our team’s generous volunteer time. This guidebook will walk folks through things like registration, how to stay up to date, various parts of practice management, billing, working with other health professionals and specialists, physician well-being, CPSA standards of practice, etc. Our hope is that this will be people’s one stop shop for information needed to practise in Alberta. In this guidebook, there will be basic explanation of how things work in different realms of practice, and links to more resources.

We hope you folks will find this guidebook helpful, and I am so proud of what our team has accomplished.

What Is Included in the FFYFP Guidebook

The guidebook covers timely topics that are relevant to those doctors in their early years of practice, such as:

  • Licensing and Registration
  • Clinical Practice Guidelines and Protocols
  • Billing and Payment Models
  • Practice Management
  • Collaboration and Team-Based Care
  • Cultural Competency and Sensitivity
  • Patient Safety and Legal Considerations
  • Physician Well-Being and Self-Care
  • Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development
  • Getting Involved: Volunteering, Teaching, Research and Leadership

Which of the above-mentioned topics are you most excited to read about?

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My name is Smitha Yaltho and I feel privileged to work as a family physician. Why? I believe that being a family physician has been the best job any physician can hope to have. I have personally grown in my own abilities and skill-sets with diverse opportunities in ambulatory practice, acute care and work in Facility Living.  Working in primary care has been exciting and has also afforded me tremendous opportunities for growth while still remaining stimulating in its complexity.  I believe that Family physicians are trusted partners in patient care –  every step of the way. 

Why are you volunteering to serve on this committee?
I currently have an interest in Physician Leadership and  trauma informed care.  I have served as a director with the Board of Directors with the Edmonton North PCN, Edmonton’s largest PCN. Thereafter, I have worked as the Director of Medical Services with CapitalCare (also based in Edmonton) for almost 6 years. It is my express wish that my contribution on the ACFP board of directors will highlight the excellence of family medicine that exists right here and now within the Alberta health care system. 

What about the ACFP’s work do you find most valuable?
Ability to highlight and further support the excellence of primary care right here in Alberta.