The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) is the governing body for all specialties in Canada. It is involved in a broad range of activities related to specialized medicine in Canada. 

This section reviews the training that residents have received, to ensure that they are eligible to take RCPSC examinations (i.e. they look at medical school education as well as the duration and nature of rotations within the residency). This is generally straightforward if all of one’s training has been within Canada, but may be more complicated is this has not been the case. Before taking any examination, you require an Assessment of Training by the RCPSC Credentials Section. Please note deadlines of this and for examination are often many months before the actual examination

The RCPSC administers the Principles of Surgery (POS) Examination and the final Certification Examination in Neurosurgery. The POS Examination is offered in the spring and is open to residents in the RII year or higher. This examination is based on the objectives for Core Surgery. The final Certification Examination in Neurosurgery is offered (both written and oral components) in the spring of the final year of residency. This examination is based on the objectives for Neurosurgery.

All specialty programs in Canada must meet RCPSC guidelines. The RCPSC accredits all programs with on-site surveys on a six-year cycle, and more frequently for programs which have been found to have significant deficiencies. As residents you will have a major role in this survey process; the primary concern to the surveyors is that the residents are receiving a high standard of education in an appropriate environment.

The RCPSC has recently instituted resident membership. There is no change for such membership and you are encouraged to join.

During the Surgical Foundation years, in addition to patient care activities, the residents attend a lecture series and seminars and are evaluated by a written examination at the end of that year. Each trainee is eligible to sit the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Principles of Surgery examination at the end of his second year of training. He must pass this successfully to continue his program and to be eligible to take the Fellowship examinations. It is an expectation that Neurosurgery residents write and pass their Principles of Surgery examination after their core surgery years and definitely by the end of the PGY-4 year. Failure to do so may result in affecting their promotion to the next post graduate resident level. A senior/chief neurosurgery resident must have passed the POS exam.

A national Neurosurgical written exam is administered annually and an local oral exam bi-annually. The Fall oral exam are taken by all the residents while the Spring exam are for the senior residents. Exams are done in Royal College exam type format. Feed back from the exam is given at meetings with the program director.

The resident’s progress will be assessed at the end of each rotation using The University of British Columbia on-line assessment forms, based on the One-45 Web Eval software. Mid rotation evaluation is given by the program director, particularly if there are issues identified and documented. The on-line assessment forms are reviewed face to face with the Program Director. Residents get ongoing real-time feedback on a day to day basis informally during surgical procedures or when managing patients. Any feedback/suggestions on areas that can be improved when appropriate are provided to the resident.

A 360 degree type of evaluation is done, with evaluations filled out by nurse practitioners, ward and operating room nurses, and staff from other services residents have interactions. All of the evaluations are reviewed with residents at meetings with the Program director. Trainees will meet with the Program Director every 3 months for a review of their progress.

Each resident is expected to keep a record of all surgical procedures done, as an assistant and as a primary operator. T-res is made available for record keeping purposes but is not mandatory to use. It is expected that a list of surgical procedures can be made available for review at meetings with the program director.

It is expected each trainee will sit the Royal College Specialty Examination in Neurosurgery upon completion of the requirements for training. This examination consists of a written examination and an oral examination. Eligibility to take the examination requires a satisfactory Confirmation of Completion of Training form (CCT) from the Program Director and a pass in the Principles of Surgery examination. At the present, the examinations are held in May or June where the written and orals are given in Ottawa and written done separately.

A resident must be ̳promoted from each PGY level to the next as appropriate at year end promotion‘ meeting of the Resident Education Committee meeting. The UBC Postgraduate Education Evaluation, Remediation and Probation policy will be implemented in situations where appropriate, and may promote to the next PGY level year. Refer to the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s outline on appeals.

It is an important part of the training program that trainees evaluate and have feed-back into their training program. Each resident will be expected to complete an evaluation form at the end of each rotation or six month period. The residents will be asked:

  1. To evaluate the organized teaching sessions on Wednesday morning and Wednesday evening.
  2. To evaluate the teaching and the learning experience of the patient care related activities.
  3. To evaluate the quality of the operating room experience.
  4. To evaluate each rotation.
  5. To evaluate feedback to staff teaching by specific faculty evaluations.

The resident representative that is elected by the residents to sit on the Resident Education Committee meeting brings any issues or suggestions on a on going basis regarding any aspect of the training program. The resident report is always the first item on the agenda to review resident concerns at the Resident Education Committee meetings.

Each resident will keep a record of all operative procedures (for ABNS and in future RCPS). At the completion of each block of training in clinical neurosurgery, the trainee is encouraged to discuss with the Program Director, their surgical experiences, CanMED competencies and their progress in the technical expectations of neurosurgery.