SIPPA - Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment
The Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment (SIPPA) is a “practice readiness” competency assessment program. SIPPA was implemented in 2011 to ensure that internationally trained physicians who wish to practice medicine in Saskatchewan possess the appropriate clinical skills and knowledge to provide quality patient care. SIPPA operates under the auspices of the College of Medicine with the support of a provincial oversight committee with representatives from the Provincial Government, Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA), the Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA), saskdocs, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan (CPSS).
Currently there are three iterations of SIPPA per year; winter, spring and fall. The number of candidates per iteration is determined by Saskatchewan family physician resource needs and the availability of Clinical Field Assessment sites for SIPPA candidate evaluation. SIPPA is a competitive program with many more International Medical Graduate (IMG) physician applicants than there are available spots; eligibility for SIPPA does not guarantee a position in SIPPA.
Note to Applicants: SIPPA is not a clinical training program. Other than an initial “Orientation to Family Practice in Saskatchewan,” SIPPA is an evaluative process. Unsuccessful candidates in the program are eligible to enter the program on one more occasion only.
The Assessment is comprised of two parts:
1. The Orientation to Family Practice in Saskatchewan is to familiarize IMG physicians to the unique aspects of practicing medicine in Saskatchewan. The Orientation to Family Practice in Saskatchewan is not a review of core family medicine knowledge.
Orientation Topics Include:
- Indigenous Culture in Saskatchewan
- Chronic Care of Children, Adults and the Elderly in Saskatchewan
- Saskatchewan Formulary and Controlled Medications
- Provincial Emergency Services
- Consultation and Patient Referral Process
- HIPPA and Record Keeping
- Public Health and Infectious Disease Reporting
- LEAN Basics
- Electronic Medical Records
- Clinical Screening Programs
- Physician Support Program
- Medico-Legal Issues
- Collaborative Care Discussion Panels
2. The Clinical Field Assessment (CFA) is a 12-week competency assessment that occurs outside of the region in which the physician is recruited. The CFA involves direct and indirect candidate supervision and evaluation of patient care by College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan approved physician assessors. The CFA candidate evaluation occurs in multiple settings (ambulatory/clinic, ER, hospital inpatient ward and long term care) and involves multiple assessors and typically will occur in more than one community. SIPPA does not specify a minimum or maximum number of assessments in each specific practice setting; rather, it is expected that candidates will be assessed in the typical practice settings that the physician assessor works in.
- After an orientation to the CFA site, including local and regional healthcare services, candidates are assessed to determine their “practice readiness.” Candidate assessment encompasses a global review of practice including communication skills, information gathering, learning techniques, prescribing, case management and readiness for independent practice. Candidates are assessed at the level of a CANADIAN TRAINED FAMILY PHYSICIAN ENTERING PRACTICE.
Therapeutic Decision Making Examination
A pass standing on the Therapeutic Decision Making (TDM) examination (written January 2016 or later) is required for acceptance to SIPPA. Applicants who successfully complete the saskdocs pre-screen stage are eligible to take the SIPPA TDM examination.
Therapeutic Decision Making Exam information sheet for candidates
What is the Therapeutics Decision Making (TDM) Examination?
Therapeutics is defined as the application of knowledge in the pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of medical conditions. The TDM Examination aims to assess the competence of candidates at the level required of a family physician practicing independently and safely in Canada. It consists of patient-based scenarios representing common or important clinical presentations and problems that family physicians practicing in Canada should be able to competently manage in the following dimensions of medical care: health promotion and illness prevention, acute illness, chronic illness, and safety and adverse effects.
The examination is comprised of 40 cases with approximately 100 short-answer questions. Candidates are allowed up to three hours to complete the examination. The content is developed by the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) and the examination is administered by the Practice-Ready Assessment (PRA) programs for use in the selection of candidates into PRA programs.
How long is a TDM pass result valid and how many times can I take the TDM examination?
Results are valid across jurisdictional PRA programs that require the TDM examination. Candidates are required to declare previous TDM examination attempts.
A pass result will be valid for a period of two years. After the two-year period, you will need to retake the examination should you wish to be considered once more for a practice-ready assessment. You are allowed a maximum of two pass results per lifetime. If you obtain a pass result, you will not be allowed to retake the examination in an attempt to get a higher score.
If you obtain a fail result, you may attempt the examination once more within the two-year period but no earlier than six months from your previous attempt.
No scores will be reported to you; only the pass/fail result will be communicated through the PRA programs. Only your most recent result will be valid regardless of previous scores and pass/fail status.
For more information, contact the PRA program to which you are applying. For a list of PRA programs, please visit the MCC’s website.
Effective April 2018 there will be a fee of $1,200 for candidates who sit the SIPPA Therapeutic Decision Making (TDM) examination. After January 2019 the fee will increase to $1395.00.
A pass standing on the SIPPA TDM examination is required for a SIPPA candidate to be eligible for the Centralized Orientation and Clinical Field Assessment. Eligible applicants who have successfully completed the saskdocs pre-screen will be invited to take the SIPPA TDM examination.
Applicants to SIPPA should be aware that it is a competitive process and that achieving a pass standing on the SIPPA TDM examination does not guarantee selection for the SIPPA program. Please note, all applicants to SIPPA must meet all eligibility requirements as set out by saskdocs and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan.
Candidates selected for SIPPA are:
• Required to fulfill a three-year return of service to the Province of Saskatchewan (follow this link for a sample ROS contract);
• Provided accommodation for the duration of the orientation and assessment;
• Provided an honorarium while participating in SIPPA; and
• Strongly advised to come without family as this is an assessment program designed for an individual person and accommodations are for one.
Who is Eligible?
Entry into SIPPA is a competitive process. In order to participate the physician must first meet the Pre-Screen licensure eligibility requirements. Interested physicians should complete the Pre-Screen Checklist (The Pre-Screen Checklist is best viewed using Internet Explorer. If you are having trouble viewing the PDF and receive a “please wait” message, locate the download icon and save it to your computer. Once you have completed the checklist upload it and a copy of your Curriculum vitae (CV) into your My saskdocs profile. Once these files are submitted a recruiter will provide additional details and next steps.
The Pre-screen Licensure eligibility criteria are:
- Successfully completed an undergraduate medical degree from a country/school listed on the FAIMER or World Directory of Medical Schools list.
- Submit documents for verification through the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) Physician Credentials Repository.
- Pass standing in the Medical Council of Canada’s Qualifying Exam Part 1 (MCCQE1).
- Candidates must pass either the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exam Part 2 or National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Objective Structures Clinical Examination (OSCE) taken after 2013 with a grade of 75 or greater.
- Successfully completed a post-graduate/internship/residency training program in Family Medicine that is a minimum of 12 months in duration. Candidates are required to have a minimum of eight weeks of post-graduate training in the required rotations.
- Candidates who have less than 24 months of family medicine internship/post graduate training must have three years of full scope practice as a family physician.
- Successfully completed the IELTS English language proficiency exam and must have a minimum of 7.0 in each component with a total score of 7 (Exam results expire after two years).
Candidates are exempted from English language proficiency testing if their medical education - medical degree and internship - and patient care experience were in one of the following countries that have English as a first and native language: Australia, Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada*, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America, US Virgin Islands and the Caribbean Islands of: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados,Dominica, Grenada, Grenadines, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago. (*exceptions apply)
8. Have been in active, independent practice as a family physician in the last three years with a minimum of three months full-time family practice.
Additional information on the eligibility requirements can be found by reviewing the SIPPA Common Questions. Completion of the Pre-Screen checklist does not guarantee licensure or selection for SIPPA.
Licensure criteria can change at any time without notice.