Area of Focused Competency in Neuromuscular Medicine Approved by Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
The Neuromuscular Disease Network for Canada (NMD4C) are pleased to announce that on May 3rd, 2022, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada approved an application for neuromuscular medicine to be recognized as an area of focused competency (AFC) discipline.
“Our community is extremely excited to receive approval for this neuromuscular AFC. Through collaboration with clinical experts and Canadian neuromuscular fellowship program directors, this was a unified effort, the result of which contributes directly towards our goal of raising the standards of training for Canadian neuromuscular clinicians.”
- Dr. Hernan Gonorazky, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine University of Toronto Division of Neurology, Department of Paediatrics
This recognition is a significant step in raising the standards of care for people affected by neuromuscular diseases in Canada – prior to the approval of this AFC discipline, no dedicated credential focused solely on neuromuscular medicine existed in Canada. The AFC discipline in neuromuscular medicine establishes a national standard for training and specialist competence, provides neuromuscular fellows with additional opportunities to acquire nationally and internationally portable credentials, and will help to centralize specialty training, care, and practice by providing credentials in the highly focused area of neuromuscular practice. The Royal College’s AFC disciplines formally recognize and provide supplemental and advanced training within a specific area of medicine to enhance a clinician’s scope of practice, building on the broader disciplines of clinical specialties and subspecialties.
The Team Behind This Achievement
Led by Dr. Hernan Gonorazky, the NMD4C curriculum development team has been working on this Royal College AFC application over the past two years. Thanks to Drs. Aaron Izenberg, Christen Shoesmith, Kristine Chapman, Theo Mobach, Patrick Frosk, Jocelyn Zwicker, Alberto Aleman, Steven Baker, and all of the directors of Canadian neuromuscular fellowship programs who each contributed their expertise to this application, and without whose hard work this achievement would not have been possible. The NMD4C curriculum development working group are pleased to celebrate this milestone and are excited to work with the neuromuscular clinical community and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons towards implementing the AFC in neuromuscular medicine.
How to Achieve the Accreditation
The AFC in neuromuscular medicine has only recently been approved and has not yet been implemented by the Royal College. Once it is available, there are two pathways to achieve AFC credential and designation: the in-training route, through fellowships at medical schools with accredited AFC training programs, and the practice eligibility route (PER-AFC), for clinicians who have gained competence through their own practice. The PER-AFC is an application-based approval process.