I am honoured to serve as your Resident Doctors of Canada (RDoC) President for 2017-2018. It is a privilege to advocate for those who spend so much of their time caring for others. RDoC is a pan-Canadian organization that serves as the unified voice of over 9,000 members from various geographic regions, disciplines, and stages of training. Our membership is diverse, yet united by a shared commitment to become excellent, caring physicians.

To fulfill our mission of driving excellence in medical education as the national voice of resident doctors, we plan to use the year ahead to pursue excellence through our strategic directions: training, wellness, and representation.

Training: We continue to provide essential learner perspectives to guide the advancement of Competency by Design. We have also studied and advocated for enhanced Practice Management Training to smooth the transition into independent practice.

Wellness: Our Resiliency curriculum has been piloted at two universities to great acclaim. We look forward to sharing this innovative project with more sites across Canada so all residents can be equipped with the tools to face even our most difficult moments. We’re working with our partners to create a collaborative action plan on how to foster positive work environments to ensure no resident feels unsafe or unvalued at work.

Representation: We represent our members’ interests at over 90 committees and meetings with national medical organizations, F/P/T governments, and learner organizations annually. We’re working with stakeholders to ensure health human resource policies enable residents to access practice opportunities after graduation and serve our patients.

These are the issues, challenges, and opportunities that energize and motivate me on a daily basis. As a medical education enthusiast who has served as Practice Committee Co-Chair of the Resident Doctors of Canada Board of Directors, Vice President Government Affairs of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students, Resident Representative to the Canadian Doctors for Medicare Board of Directors, and Royal College Representative of the Professional Association of Residents of Ontario Board of Directors, I am thrilled to have even a small role in improving the lives of resident doctors – and consequently, our patients.

When I’m not advocating for residents on behalf of RDoC, you can probably find me at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children where I’m a third-year resident in Paediatrics. Or, you might see me enjoying your nearest running trails, community theatre, or karaoke venue. As a Paediatrics resident, I aim for an unfailingly enthusiastic and approachable demeanor. I genuinely encourage you to contact me in person or via social media if you have any questions, concerns, or it’s-so-crazy-it-just-might-work ideas.

Our goals are aspirational but our team is strong. RDoC has the good fortunate to benefit from over 100 diverse resident volunteers from all of our member regions, disciplines, and stages of training. Like many residents, I am impressed by my colleagues every day. Whether displaying extreme devotion to their patients, conducting innovative research, or leading paradigm-shifting health system change, our resident colleagues are a wildly inspiring group. Together, we can impact Canadian medical education and the health system in a resounding, positive way.

Dr. Melanie Bechard
RDoC President, 2017-2018