New National Advisory Committees focus on actionable solutions

To more strongly amplify the member voice and provide actionable solutions on key issues at a national level, the Royal College Council unanimously approved a recommendation to reorganize the Regional Advisory Committees (RACs) to the National Advisory Committees (NACs). The recommendation was approved in December 2023 and is effective as of April 1, 2024. The reorganization marks the conclusion of a 16-month pilot project to identify how the Fellowship Affairs Committee (FAC) and its subcommittees could continue to represent members.

Uniting among common themes

Formed in 1974, the regional committees served as an important mechanism to identify emerging issues, foster meaningful relationships and build support within each of the five regions. More recently, similar themes have emerged across several of the issues raised during individual RAC meetings; however, the regional scope of the conversation did not enable actionable solutions led by the Royal College at a national level. Following a consultative process that included conversations with interested parties, focus groups and discussions at regional meetings, there was strong support to pilot a new approach in 2022-2023. 

The pilot encouraged RAC members from all regions to explore common themes and issues while identifying possible solutions that could be offered to all Royal College members. During the pilot phase, four national-themed conversations took place during meetings of the RAC members, with participants agreeing that themes enabled focused discussion that resulted in actionable recommendations. The four themes were 

  • entry and first few years in practice,
  • transition out of practice,
  • wellness and human resources and
  • rural and remote practice.

As the conversations evolved, participants considered the reorganization of the advisory committees around stage of practice or strategic themes with regional representation from across the country, as well as the inclusion of American and other international contributors. 

“After the pilot, it was felt that this change could bring a better dynamic across Canada as many themes are common to all regions,” explains FAC chair Geneviève Milot, MD, FRCSC. “It is important to note that the structure will have a good regional representation as well as diverse groups to capture the reality of Canadian practice.”

Geneviève Milot

Fellowship Affairs Committee chair Dr. Geneviève Milot

NACs – the voice of members, serving members

The Royal College Council approved FAC’s recommendation to reorganize the five new advisory committees—now national in scope – according to the pilot themes, as well as additional emerging and strategic themes. The themes for the new five National Advisory Committees are

  • first ten years in practice,
  • transition out of practice, 
  • rural and remote practice,
  • well-being and human resources and
  • planetary health (time-limited to 2026).

The new advisory committees will reinvigorate the work of the FAC in its role to represent the member voice and support Council on the issues that matter most to members across the career spectrum.  

“We are hoping that we can create tools and supports for our members throughout their life cycle as physicians. And, as these themes resonated with members during the development of the strategic plan, it is an opportunity to collaborate and exchange solutions and ideas on common themes,” Dr. Milot says. 

With new terms of reference already in place, next steps include the development of committee goals based on direction from Council and a member recruitment plan. 

In the coming months, we’ll be sharing details about how you can become involved in the new advisory committees. 

If you have any questions about the National Advisory Committees, please email