Asante Centre receives grant to combat FASD

In February Ken Stewart, MLA for Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows, presented a $450 000 grant to Dr Kwadwo Asante, medical director for the Asante Centre for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, to help combat fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).

The grant, funded to support the provision of specialized services to the youth justice population affected by FASD, was made possible by the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

The not-for-profit Asante Centre for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a community-based FASD assessment and family support centre located in Maple Ridge whose services are used by families across British Columbia. The centre was established in 2000 with initial funding from various community organizations and the BC government. The Asante Centre is one of only 11 facilities in Canada that provides diagnosis and assessment for FASD.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a term that encompasses the full range of effects that arise from prenatal alcohol exposure including physical effects and brain damage. As there are serious, life-long disabilities affecting the individual, their family and their community, FASD has been identified as a major public health concern. It affects approximately 5 of every 1000 children born in British Columbia.

For more information, visit the Asante Centre’s web site at www.asantecentre.org.

Driving guide revisions

The Guide for Physicians in Determining Fitness to Drive a Motor Vehicle is a joint publication of the BCMA and the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. The editors have begun the task of producing the eighth edition of the “BC Guide,” which will be more evidence-based (wherever possible) and more focused on functional ability than simply diagnosis.

The current BC Guide is in need of updating. The changes currently contemplated include revised standards for seizure, vision, cardiac disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm, and hearing. Interim updates are considered when organizations like the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, or national medical or surgical specialty task force reports, have recommended the changes.

Prior to making changes to the BC Guide, we want to honor the longstanding tradition of inviting doctors to review and comment on the proposed changes, or make their own recommendations, especially when these are based on new research that they would like to bring to the attention of the editors. The old process of identifying an individual physician in each Section to respond to editorial requests for updates was inefficient. There were often long delays, as these requests were competing with the many other priorities of busy physicians. A delay in the response by any Section could result in a production delay for the entire new edition, or a failure to keep each Section current.

Using web-based publication, we can offer more timely and accessible information to practitioners. For instance, the proposed changes and the rationale for these proposals can be viewed in the new “Parking Lot” section of the DriveSafe web site at www.drivesafe.com. Upon request, the proposals will be mailed or faxed to those who prefer hard copy.

The policy that the editors wish to recommend to the Board of Directors of the BCMA is to implement updates 3 months after the publication of the proposed update, unless input from the medical community results in changes or a recommended delay of implementation. Of course, this is a dynamic process where further improvements will always be possible. For oversight in reviewing this new process, we recommend that any objections be forwarded not only to the editors, but copied to Dr Dan MacCarthy, BCMA director of Professional Relations, and to Dr Doug Blackman, deputy registrar at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC. We further suggest that this policy be tried for the 2005 calendar year and continued only after review and endorsement by the BCMA Board of Directors and the CPSBC.

Direct comments to either Dr Ian Gillespie (tel: 250 595-4222, e-mail: iangillespie@telus.net, 1964 Fort St., Suite 210, Victoria, V8R 6R3) or Dr John McCracken (tel: 250 356-5634, e-mail: John.McCracken@gems4.gov.bc.ca, 2142 Marne St., Victoria, V8S 4J9).

—John McCracken, MD
—Ian Gillespie, MD
Editors, Guide for Physicians in Determining Fitness to Drive a Motor Vehicle

Benefits update

Maternity Leave Benefit Program: Reminder

Are you a female physician practising medicine in British Columbia? Are you having a baby or planning a pregnancy in the coming year? If you are, you may be eligible to apply for benefits under the Maternity Leave Benefit Program (MLBP) that was negotiated in the 2001 Working Agreement between the BCMA and the government. The MLBP ensures that a new mother can prepare for and recover from delivery, and spend time early in her newborn’s life to establish that all-important period of mother-infant bonding.

The current benefit year under the MLBP is 1 April 2005 to 31 March 2006. For more information regarding the program, see the BCMA web site (www.bcma.org) or contact:

Ms Lorie Arlitt
MLBP administrator
Toll free in BC: 1 800 665-2262, ext. 2882
Direct: 604 638-2882
E-mail: larlitt@bcma.bc.ca

Physician’s Disability Insurance Plan: Service Contract Physicians

If you are a physician working under a non-salaried service contract in British Columbia, take note that you are now eligible for negotiated benefits as outlined in the 2001 Working Agreement, including the Physicians’ Disability Insurance (PDI) Benefit. However, unlike the other negotiated benefits (CME Fund, CMPA Rebate Program, CPRSP, and Maternity Leave Benefit Program) you must apply for coverage under the PDI Plan and be approved by the insurer (Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada) before the insurance can take effect.

The PDI Plan provides a benefit up to $6100/month (non-taxable). The benefit amount for each physician is recalculated annually, based on the physician’s eligible income in the prior calendar year and the type of practice assigned to the physician by MSP. Physicians under age 65 who are earning fee-for-service, sessional, or non-salaried service contract income are eligible to apply for insurance under the PDI Plan.

If you have not already applied for PDI coverage you can contact Ms Lorie Arlitt at the above numbers for more details or an application.

Continuing Medical Education Fund: Deadline Approaching

Physicians with CME funds to claim should have received a notice of entitlement from the BCMA in November 2004. The notice would have indicated any funds due to expire on 31 March 2005. If you have expiring funds and plan to submit a claim for them, please note that your completed application form and complete supporting documentation must be received by BCMA no later than 30 April 2005. Expiring funds not claimed by 30 April will be forfeited and returned to the CME Fund for redistribution in the 2005/06 benefit year.

If you have any questions regarding your CME funds, you can go to the BCMA web site (www.bcma.org) to check the amount of your unclaimed benefits or to download a claim form, or you can contact:

Mr Vince Lee
Benefits administrator
Toll free in BC: 1 800 665-2262, ext. 2808
Direct: 604 638-2808
E-mail: vlee@bcma.bc.ca

—Sandie Braid, CEBS
BCMA Benefits Department

Doctors' health program moves

The Physicians' Health Program of BC has moved their offices to:

Suite 912 - 1125 Howe Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 2K8

Phone numbers remain the same:

Toll free: 1 800 663-6729
Main line: 604 742-0747

John McCracken, MD, Ian Gillespie, MD, Sandie Braid, CEBS. Pulsimeter. BCMJ, Vol. 47, No. 3, April, 2005, Page(s) 129-130 - News.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.

For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

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