Today, on behalf of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and Canada’s physicians, I mourn the passing of Dr. Bette Stephenson, a dedicated physician, pioneer, politician and a respected medical leader.
Dr. Stephenson was the first woman president of the CMA (1974) and its first female member of the board of directors (1972), as well as a founding member of the College of Family Physicians of Canada.
Dr. Stephenson helped modernize the CMA and raised the profile of women in Canadian medicine and was at the forefront of the divisive struggles to extend the reproductive rights of women. Throughout her career, she personified the principles that are emblazoned on the CMA’s crest: ‘Integritate et Misericordia’, in other words ‘integrity and compassion’.
While we still have important work to do in the pursuit of gender equity, we can all draw inspiration from Bette Stephenson’s example.
On behalf of the Canadian Medical Association, I extend my deepest sympathies to Dr. Stephenson’s family, friends, colleagues and former patients.
Dr. Sandy Buchman