In her valedictory address wrapping up
her year as President of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), Dr.
Cindy Forbes urged her colleagues to unite in the face of the challenges
facing physicians and fears that medicine has "lost its soul."
do not believe that we are a profession that has lost its soul," said
Dr. Forbes. "If anything, I believe that the values that are reflected
in the oath that we all take, the values that brought us to this
profession in the first place, are as strong as they have ever been."
Forbes cited challenges brought on by the "shifting landscape" of
information, communication, technology and evolving public expectations
as key issues driving some of the angst being felt by physicians.
believe that a gap exists between what society expects and what we can
currently provide," said Dr. Forbes. "I believe that we do need to
redefine our role in this new paradigm, that we need to be stewards of
the health care system, that we must be leaders in the transformation of
In describing her year as president, Dr. Forbes
highlighted the CMA's advocacy work during last year's federal election
as a high point, particularly the connection the association made with
Canadians during the campaign.
"Through media interviews, social
media, our MD-MP Contact Program, town hall meetings, our partnership
with other health and community organizations, and our social networking
through Demand a Plan,
we mobilized the support of thousands of individuals," said Dr. Forbes.
"That shifted the conversation during the election to include health
care and now we are determined to ensure that those promises are kept
and that new opportunities like the negotiation of a new Health Accord
will result in improved care and improved health for Canadians."
Dr. Forbes highlighted her year of meeting physicians, policymakers and
many others, she said it was a young woman from Quebec who reminded her
of "the great privilege we have in serving others."
woman never mentioned tests, diagnoses or treatment," Dr. Forbes said of
the woman's description of her doctor. "What I heard her describe was
the compassion and respect with which she was treated and her testimony
of the opportunity we have as a physicians to make a huge difference in
Watch a clip of Dr. Forbes' speech.