To Canada's 2,806 newest medical residents,
On behalf of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and your 85,000 member-colleagues, we applaud your devotion as you prepare to start your residency this month. It's been a little while since I was in your shoes but I'll never forget the anticipation of leaving the classroom — taking the next step in a profession that has been one of the greatest sources of joy and satisfaction in my life.
You are embarking on a challenging and rewarding journey, at a time when the medical profession is renewing itself and addressing some critical issues. Leadership is needed more than ever, from you, the new generation of physicians. Our role must evolve to meet the changing needs of our patients, amidst a complex health care environment. You will lead the way, embracing innovation, technology and disruption. Whether at the patient side, in research, or in advocacy – you will champion change.
Patients will be the real winners, as will the profession. You will help us redefine our professional responsibilities to patients, to society and to each other. I invite you to get involved and to make your voice heard. We need your perspectives, as we re-write the standards and values that will form the basis of our shared accountabilities. We look to you to lead the way!
Our profession is rewarding, and certainly demanding. While you focus on your patients, never lose sight of your own health and well-being. Resilience is an acquired skill. I urge you to reach out when help is needed, to extent support to a colleague, and to accept help when it is offered. While there's no doubt that your days will be long ones, practicing medicine should not be about struggling to keep up.
This year, the CMA celebrates 150 years of empowering physicians to care for patients. I can't wait to see the many ways that all of you will break ground, blaze trails and challenge the status quos. May you always feed the passion for change, the thirst for knowledge, and the curiosity for learning that motivated you to become physicians. Know that your colleagues are here to support you.
All the best,
Granger R. Avery, MB BS, FRRMS