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Two Ontario MDs seeking CMA presidency

Two specialists are in the running as Ontario physicians prepare to nominate the CMA's next president-elect. Only the 30,000-plus members of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) who also belong to the CMA are eligible to vote in the election, which involves a two-step process.

The OMA provided information about the two candidates and voting procedures to its members belonging to the CMA in mid-January. For those voting electronically, the voting site will close at 5:00 pm EST on Wednesday, Feb. 27. For those voting by mail, ballots must be received at the OMA's Toronto headquarters by 5:00 pm EST on the same date.

The second step is the submission of the winning candidate's name to General Council (GC) for confirmation during the CMA's August 2013 annual meeting in Calgary. (Under the CMA bylaws additional candidates can also be nominated by other means, including from the floor of GC, but this rarely happens.)

After the 250 GC delegates have either elected or acclaimed the new president-elect, that physician will hold the post until August 2014, when he or she will assume the presidency during the CMA's annual meeting in Ottawa.

The 2013 nominees are:

  • Dr. Gail Beck, a child psychiatrist from Ottawa, is past president of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada and the Ottawa Academy of Medicine, and has served as the CMA's acting associate secretary general. She has been a member of the CMA Board for five years, and was elected by the Board to the Executive Committee as member-at-large in 2011 and 2012. She is currently the director of youth outpatient psychiatry at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre.

  • Dr. Chris Simpson, a cardiologist based in Kingston, Ont., is chair of the Canadian Wait Time Alliance. He is executive member-at-large with the Canadian Cardiovascular Society and founding president of the Canadian Heart Rhythm Society. He is currently professor and head of the division of cardiology at Queen's University, and medical director of the cardiac program at the Kingston General Hospital/Hotel Dieu Hospital.

Each year, the CMA president-elect is nominated by physicians in a different region of the country according to a pre-determined rotation cycle involving the 12 provincial and territorial medical associations that form the CMA.

The current president-elect is Dr. Louis Francescutti of Edmonton. The president is Dr. Anna Reid of Yellowknife, and Dr. John Haggie of Gander, Nfld., is past president.

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