Patients are at the core of what we do. Everything in the practice of medicine exists because of our mandate to look after patients.
- Dr. Carl Nohr, CMA board member
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is releasing its first-ever patient engagement framework to guide how the association reaches out to patients and the public. These new guidelines were developed in close collaboration with the Patient Voice – a group of patients from across Canada who help shape the CMA’s advocacy work.
The framework is made up of four pillars, each representing a specific level of engagement. Depending on the project, the goal could be to:
- Inform – raise awareness of an issue by sharing policies, fact sheets or infographics.
- Consult – gather input and advice to help shape the CMA’s decisions and actions, through a survey, for example.
- Co-create – partner to develop strategies or solutions to key issues. That’s the role of the Patient Voice group.
- Enable – provide support and resources to help patients and the public collaborate and take action. An example could include hosting a patient-led community of interest on the CMA’s community engagement platform.
The Patient Voice group was created in 2018 and is made up of 12 representatives from across Canada, along with two physicians from the CMA Board of Directors. Their role is to highlight emerging issues that matter to the public and share insights into the best ways for the CMA and physicians to engage with patients.
Along with creating the engagement framework, members of the Patient Voice have contributed to the CMA’s work in a number of other ways, including:
- Helping make patients an integral part of this year’s Health Summit, from being involved in the development of the program, to volunteering to speak on several of the panels, to making sure the event is fully accessible and more.
- Contributing to the CMA’s campaign to get health back on the agenda during this fall’s federal election by helping determine the key issues to advocate on.
- Along with CMA members, lending their perspective and experience to the development of CMA policies on organ and tissue donation and transplantation, and AIDS.
To learn more about the group and its members, please visit cma.ca/patientvoice.