Adult Gastroenterology Training Program

Health Advocate

Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons: Goals & Objectives for Training


As Health Advocates, Gastroenterologists responsibly use their expertise and influence to advance the health and well-being of individual patients, communities, and populations.

Key and Enabling Competencies: Gastroenterologists are able to…

1. Respond to individual patient health needs and issues as part of patient care
1.1. Identify the health needs of an individual patient
1.2. Identify opportunities for advocacy, health promotion and disease prevention with individuals to whom they provide care
1.3. Demonstrate an understanding of the role of screening tests in reducing mortality from colorectal cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma

2. Respond to the health needs of the communities that they serve
2.1. Describe the practice communities that they serve
2.2. Identify opportunities for advocacy, health promotion and disease prevention in the communities that they serve, and respond appropriately
2.2.1. Describe, in broad terms, the key issues currently under debate regarding changes in the Canadian health care system, indicating how these changes might affect societal health outcomes and how Gastroenterologists can advocate to decrease the burden of illness at a community or societal level of conditions or problems relevant to Gastroenterology
2.2.2. Describe population-based approaches to health care services including screening and immunization programs and their implications for medical practice
2.3. Appreciate the possibility of competing interests between the communities served and other populations

3. Identify the determinants of health for the populations that they serve
3.1. Identify the determinants of health of the populations, including barriers to access to care and resources, and apply this understanding to common problems and conditions in Gastroenterology
3.2. Identify vulnerable or marginalized populations within those served, including but not limited to candidates for hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine, hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening amongst high risk populations and respond appropriately, applying the available knowledge about prevention to "at risk" groups within the practice

4. Promote the health of individual patients, communities, and populations
4.1. Describe an approach to implementing a change in a determinant of health of the populations they serve
4.2. Describe how public policy impacts on the health of the populations served
4.2.1. Identify current policies that affect gastrointestinal health, either positively or negatively including but not limited to immunization for viral hepatitis, anti-tobacco legislation, alcohol and substance abuse programs and health care for high risk populations
4.3. Identify points of influence in the health care system and its structure
4.4. Describe the ethical and professional issues inherent in health advocacy, including altruism, social justice, autonomy, integrity and idealism
4.5. Appreciate the possibility of conflict inherent in their role as a health advocate for a patient or community with that of manager or gatekeeper
4.6 Describe the role of the medical profession in advocating collectively for health and patient safety