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​​​​​CMA annual meeting undergoing major rejuvenation

The highlight of the Canadian Medical Association year – the annual General Council meeting – is undergoing a major update this year to make it more relevant to members.

The 147th annual meeting of the association will be held Aug. 17-20 in Ottawa and will feature a number of changes aimed at ensuring the General Council sessions have a greater impact.

“This year’s meeting will provide a balance between continuing the respected traditions of General Council while introducing modern elements to ensure the meeting is more inclusive and relevant,” said CMA President Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti.

“These changes are being made in response to suggestions from General Council delegates and observers and other stakeholders with a focus on ensuring the sessions promote meaningful debate on issues that matter to our members and all Canadians.”

Changes are planned for all components of the meeting from the opening ceremonies, to seating arrangements in the Council chambers. All changes to the meeting were made by a planning committee that included both the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of General Council.

These changes are personified in the selection of one of the main keynote speakers at the meeting – Dr. Brian Goldman, an emergency physician, author and host of CBC’s White Coat, Black Art. Goldman will address social responsibility and the role of the medical profession.

This is one of the three major themes at this year’s meeting with the others being end-of-life care issues and the medical use of marijuana.

Discussions around end-of-life care will build on debates held at the meeting last year and will be informed by a series of town hall meetings with the public and members and an online dialogue on the issues that the CMA has hosted.

Ensuring member input is heard at the meeting and that the deliberations at General Council are better communicated through a number of media channels including social media and video is another priority of the refresh process.

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