ESS Working Group launches web site, podcast series


The Enhanced Surgical Skills Working Group launched a national web site, hosted by the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc), for Canada’s Enhanced Surgical Skills (ESS) family physicians at the end of December 2014.

This new site ( gathers together documentation about the activities and demographics of Canadian ESS physicians to date. Resources and information from international colleagues and partners are also included on the site in a “Library” of documents.

“We’re excited to finally have a national resource that will support ESS physicians across the country in their search for appropriate and relevant training and continuing medical education,” says RCCbc ESS Network Lead, Dr. Stuart Iglesias. “Additionally, the web site will provide ESS physicians with up-to-date information on the progress of the Working Group’s activities. Key projects for the profession, such as our Joint Position Paper on Rural Surgery and Operative Delivery, and the recognition by the CFPC of ESS as a Community of Practice (CoP), will be reported on and updated through the web site.”

The site also provides information about key issues impacting ESS physicians, such as British Columbia’s Provincial Privileging Project. Updates about the development of the privileging dictionaries for ESS practice are provided on the web site.

Site creators, Drs. Stuart Iglesias and Bret Batchelor, anticipate that this site will evolve greatly as the ESS Working Group advances through its projects. “The Working Group is bringing together stakeholders from across the country, so we anticipate that the site will grow as more individuals and organizations contribute their knowledge and resources to the site,” says Iglesias. “We want to support ESS family physicians as much as we can. There aren’t many of these types of doctors in Canada, but the role they play– especially in rural regions – is absolutely essential for provision of local, high quality healthcare.”

Really Rural Surgery Podcast

In addition to the Enhanced Surgical Skills in Canada web site, Drs. Iglesias and Batchelor are announcing the launch of a new rural surgery podcast. Entitled “Really Rural Surgery” and hosted by Batchelor, the podcast will discuss recent surgical peer-reviewed articles through the lens of rural relevancy and application.

“I love the idea of a podcast as a form of medical education,” says Batchelor, “I was inspired by Dr. Ken Milne, host of the podcast The Skeptic’s Guide to Emergency Medicine. It’s fantastic because it’s Canadian and the episodes are short – about 20 minutes. I can listen to them as I’m doing the dishes or shoveling snow.”

Batchelor – who has a recording studio in his basement – is borrowing the format from The Skeptic’s Guide to Emergency Medicine for Really Rural Surgery. He will feature guests in coming episodes, other ESS family physicians such as himself, who will be able to bring a rural perspective and context to the featured articles.

The first episode of Really Rural Surgery is currently available online on the ESS web site and will be posted soon to iTunes, where listeners can subscribe to the podcast. In mid-February, Batchelor will be Milne’s guest on The Skeptic’s Guide to Emergency Medicine to promote Really Rural Surgery to a national audience. “I’ve been very grateful for the support of Ken Milne in launching this podcast,” says Batchelor, “He given me permission to use his show format and tools, and he’s also been very generous with his time and advice. He’s like a celebrity to me, but he’s also a great guy.”

Listen to the first episode of Really Rural Surgery: a discussion about field prep vs. OR prep in open carpal tunnel surgery.

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