Area of Focused Competence (AFC)-diploma program in transfusion medicine

What is transfusion medicine?

Transfusion Medicine is that area of enhanced competence concerned with all aspects of the collection, testing, preparation, storage, transportation, pre-transfusion testing, indications for, infusion and safety of human blood components and products, nonhuman alternatives and alternative products manufactured by recombinant DNA technology. These activities are undertaken in such a way that the rights of blood donors, patients and families are respected.

What is the transfusion medicine AFC-diploma program?

The transfusion medicine AFC-diploma program is a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RC) Area of Focused Competence (AFC) diploma program. Accredited University programs include:

Please visit the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada website for more information about the program at transfusion medicine AFC-diploma program.

The University programs are led by the transfusion medicine AFC program directors.

What is the role of Canadian Blood Services in the program?

The role of Canadian Blood Services in the transfusion medicine AFC-diploma program is to provide funding, deliver blood-centre based training, and organise additional educational content in which all the University Programs participate.

  • Salary support and travel funding is provided to two successful Canadian national or permanent resident trainee candidates per academic year.  Please see information about the Canadian Blood Services Transfusion Medicine Residency Fellowship.
  • Training provided by Canadian Blood Services includes a rotation at Canadian Blood Services head office in Ottawa, Ontario, the Donor Testing Laboratory which is moving to Brampton, Ontario and at local Canadian Blood Services centres. This training also includes activities such as the LearnTransfusion Series and an annual retreat.

The Canadian Blood Services component of the program is led by the Program Director, Dr. Robert Skeate, with the assistance of the Program Coordinator, Julia Gilmore.

The partnership between Canadian Blood Services and the University programs provides a global understanding of Transfusion Medicine in Canada by exposing the trainees to both the blood manufacturing side (done by Canadian Blood Services) and the Blood Bank/Transfusion Medicine services (done at the hospitals). The partnership also enables the program to overcome the unique problem of providing focused, sub-specialty training to a small number of physician trainees spread across the country.

What does the program qualify you to do?

Upon completion of training, an AFC diplomate is expected to function as a competent specialist in Transfusion Medicine, capable of an enhanced practice in this area of focused competence, within the scope of Internal Medicine, Hematology, Pediatrics, Hematological Pathology, Anesthesiology or General Pathology. The AFC trainee must acquire a working knowledge of the theoretical basis of the discipline, including its foundations in science and research, as it applies to medical practice.