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CMA's accreditation program still growing after 75 years

The CMA has been involved in accrediting the education programs of allied health professionals for more than 75 years, and a new survey shows that a strong majority of doctors (91%) consider this type of education oversight to be either "critical" or "very important."

CMA President Anna Reid says the positive response is not hard to understand, since physicians rely on these professionals to help provide care for their patients every day.

Today, CMA Conjoint Accreditation Services (CMA Accreditation) is responsible for reviewing, assessing and evaluating 236 college and university education programs that cover 15 professions ranging from paramedicine (67 programs) to clinical genetics (2 programs).

In the process, CMA Accreditation works with over 40 national associations, provincial regulatory bodies and physician specialty societies to ensure that the training programs meet rigorous national standards. "These professionals often work behind the scenes, but the very technical and skilled work they do is essential to health care," says Reid. "Physicians certainly know this, and I think that helps explain why the CMA has been involved in accrediting this training for so long."

Another physician offered a similar observation in the 2013 CMA Member Survey on CMA Accreditation's activities. "I think the fact that almost all medical and allied health professions require accreditation contributes to higher quality medical care. Physicians, knowing that allied health professionals are coming from an accredited system, can rely on them to make the best judgment call in critical situations."

Reid says accreditation provides assurance that training programs are sound and reliable. "It helps guarantee that today's training translates into tomorrow's excellent care," she said.

Forward any comments about this article to: cmanews@cma.ca.