The CMA's General Council has been described as the Parliament of Canadian medicine, and if that's the case the Members' Forum that is held during it might be considered equivalent to the Question Period that highlights daily sittings of the House of Commons.
The forum, which will be held for the fifth time during the CMA's Aug. 19-21 annual meeting in Calgary, serves the same function as Question Period: it allows members to question the CMA's leaders about their decisions or the association's policies.
"With this forum, any member of the association can ask any member of the executive any question they wish," says CMA President Anna Reid. "We're basically telling members, 'the floor is yours.' If you're going to be a member-driven organization you want to do this - you want to be transparent and accountable."
This year the forum will be held Aug. 19 from 2:15 to 3:30 pm (MT) in Calgary's Telus Convention Centre. Members do not have to be present to pose a question - they can simply forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org and then follow the live streaming of the forum on www.cma.ca. They will also receive a copy of the response that was provided, and every question raised and the answers provided will be posted on the website.
Last year more than 150 members attended the Members' Forum in Yellowknife, and over 20 had their questions answered, either onsite or via cma.ca
"When we say 'the floor is yours,' we really mean it," says Reid.