- CMA leadership positions
- Nominations process
- Leadership vacancies for 2023
- CMA Nominations Committee
CMA leadership positions
The CMA has advocated for and with physicians at the national level for more than 150 years. Together, we have led critical change on issues from medical assistance in dying to protection for health care workers experiencing harassment and intimidation.
Joining the CMA Board of Directors or one of its committees is an exciting opportunity to shape the future of the health system and the profession. All eligible candidates are welcome to apply (eligibility criteria are outlined below).
This page will help you understand how the CMA operates and what’s involved in leadership positions.
About the CMA
The CMA brings the medical profession together to advocate for sustainable solutions to national health care challenges. Guided by our Impact 2040 strategy, we champion better health, health care and a thriving health workforce. To learn more about the CMA’s work, read our most recent annual report.
The CMA’s Act of Incorporation and Bylaws set out the rules that govern the CMA. Amendments to the bylaws are approved by CMA members at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Equity, diversity and inclusion
The CMA is committed to equity and diversity, reconciliation and robust processes for inclusion. It is important that CMA leadership reflects the diversity of the medical profession and the communities it serves to ensure a wide range of experiences, perspectives, attributes and skills to develop better solutions, drive innovation and creativity, and enhance decision-making.
CMA Board of Directors
The CMA is a membership organization governed by a board of directors that is responsible for managing the CMA’s affairs and has the legal duties and obligations of any board in addition to the specific duties stipulated in the CMA bylaws. The board directs the organization’s work within the framework of our mission, vision and values (see Impact 2040).
The board is made up of the CMA’s president, president-elect and immediate past president, as well as a chair, a CMA member from each province and territory with at least 40 CMA members, a medical student, a medical resident and a non-physician.
Terms for provincial/territorial directors are three years, renewable once; these directors generally serve two three-year terms. Terms for the medical student and medical resident directors are one year, renewable twice.
Board directors are selected via a robust nominations process. Each year, after a broad call for expressions of interest, the CMA Nominations Committee (comprising board members and members-at-large) reviews applications and approves a slate of candidates to fill board vacancies. The slate is then ratified by General Council (GC) delegates. Some GC delegates (e.g., provincial/territorial and affiliate society delegates) are CMA members appointed by their respective provincial/territorial medical association or affiliate society. Other GC delegates are appointed by virtue of their position (e.g., the chair and members of the CMA Board of Directors, the AGM chair and vice chair, the president of each division, and some past officers).
The CMA has several committees to support its governance and overall activities. All committees include board directors who are appointed by the board. Certain committees also include members-at-large who are ratified by GC delegates at the CMA’s AGM and/or experts appointed by the board.
All committee terms are for three years, renewable once (except the medical student and medical resident positions, which are for one year, renewable twice).
Current CMA committees:
- Advises the board on appointments to committees, groups and advisory bodies (including external bodies), with the exception of search committees reporting directly to the board;
- undertakes additional searches for newly-established task forces or search committees upon board request;
- considers requests for physician nominees to outside organizations/bodies where there is no reporting relationship to the CMA; and
- assists the Nominations Committee as required.
Audit and Finance Committee
- Oversees the overall financial management of the association, including financial risk management, annual budget overview and the external audit function;
- oversees the integrity and credibility of the association’s audited financial statements, liaises with the association’s external auditor and oversees the audit;
- makes recommendations to the CMA Board of Directors on the appointment of the external auditors, the administration of the CMA pension plan and membership fees; and
- receives reports from the risk management team and information updates on enterprise financial matters and year-end consolidated financial statements.
- Reports annually to the Board of Directors on the CMA Awards program in recognizing the achievements, leadership and contributions of physicians and individuals/organizations, consistent with the CMA vision; and
- is responsible for the nomination of individuals to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
Committee on Ethics
- Elaborates, interprets and recommends amendments to the Code of Ethics and Professionalism and addresses problems related to ethics referred to the CMA;
- advises the CMA on matters pertaining to ethical issues that arise from scientific and technological progress in the health sciences and ethical issues of interest or concern to the medical profession; and
- advises the CMA on ethical issues related to its core strategies and priorities.
- Advises and makes recommendations to the board, and the AGM as it pertains to bylaw approval and on all aspects of the governance of the association (excluding nominations and appointments); and
- reviews member corporate proposals.
Human Resources and Compensation Committee
- Makes recommendations to the board with respect to the recruitment, compensation, evaluation, performance management and succession planning for the CMA CEO;
- makes recommendations to the CMA board with respect to the compensation for all elected/appointed CMA leadership;
- makes recommendations to the CMA board on the high-level principles to guide and direct the subsidiary boards in setting compensation for the subsidiary leadership;
- has visibility of the CMA Executive Leadership Team as it pertains to compensation, evaluation, performance management and succession planning; and
- has stewardship of the Respectful Workplace Policy.
- Reporting annually to the CMA GC, recruits and secures strong balanced leadership for the association;
- calls for nominations reflecting the diversity and demography of the physician population; and
- interacts with divisions, affiliates and the membership to bring forward nominees for ratification by GC.
The CMA has established policies and procedures to facilitate meeting participation for board and committee members across Canada and clearly outline roles and responsibilities.
Code of conduct – It is mandatory for CMA board and committee members to sign and abide by the board/committee Code of Conduct and Organizational Expectations, which sets out requirements around conflicts of interest, confidentiality, communications and fiduciary duties (if applicable).
Format and frequency of meetings – The CMA board has at least five full-day meetings per year and additional meetings are scheduled as necessary. Board meetings are held virtually or in person with a virtual option. CMA committees have at least two meetings per year, and additional meetings are scheduled as necessary. Committee meetings are held virtually and occasionally in person.
Compensation – Board directors and committee members receive an honorarium for meeting preparation and attendance time. Chairs of certain committees receive an annual retainer in lieu of preparation time. If applicable, the CMA also provides an honorarium for travel time and reimbursement for travel expenses.
Nominations Committee – A committee appointed by members for members
The CMA bylaws, which are approved by members, outline the mandate of the CMA Nominations Committee under chapter 12. The primary task of the committee is to recruit and secure strong, balanced leadership for the association.
All members of the CMA Nominations Committee are ratified by GC delegates at the CMA’s AGM. The committee is comprised of one member from each province/territory; one member from the affiliate societies; one resident member; one student member; the Chair of the Appointments Committee; and the immediate past president of the CMA, who chairs the Nominations Committee. View their biographies.
Annual call for expressions of interest
Every year, the CMA holds a nominations process to fill vacant positions on the Board of Directors and certain committees. This process is organized through the Nominations Committee, which welcomes expressions of interest from all eligible CMA members. (Note: Interim vacancies that arise between nominations cycles are considered by the CMA Board of Directors pursuant to the CMA bylaws.)
The Nominations Committee collaborates closely with numerous stakeholder organizations — including provincial and territorial medical associations, affiliates and associated societies — to encourage applications and secure strong, balanced and diverse leadership candidates.
The application form and interview questions invite candidates to voluntarily self-identify with respect to their diversity attributes (with open text fields for responses rather than prescribed options to choose from) and self-assess with respect to various skills specific to the position for which they are applying. The application process is also designed to confirm CMA membership status and the absence of conflicts of interest pursuant to the CMA bylaws.
Application review and ratification process
The CMA operating rules and procedures allow the Nominations Committee to strike working groups, which are responsible for reviewing expressions of interest received for any position and selecting one candidate to recommend to the CMA Nominations Committee.
Each working group consists of the CMA Nominations Committee chair, the CMA Appointments Committee chair and up to two other representatives. In the case of a working group to select a candidate for a provincial/territorial director, the additional representative(s), insofar as it is possible, should come from the province/territory for which there is an upcoming vacancy.
The working groups consider each candidate’s self-identification and self-assessment and responses holistically. They have the discretion to conduct interviews with shortlisted candidates as they deem necessary. In terms of self-identification attributes, the working groups seek nominations that reflect the diversity and demography of the physician population, specifically with a sensitivity to age, gender, sexual identity, ethnicity/race, Indigeneity, disability and regional balance.
In terms of skills, the working groups consider each candidate’s lived experience, professional standing and development, and/or academic credentials and preparation against the board and committee terms of reference. Additionally, for board director positions, the following competencies are considered (i.e., knowledge, skill level, expertise):
- Health sector perspective – Public health/population health, social determinants of health and health innovation
- Advocacy, political and policy perspective – Patient advocacy/experience, connections with non-medical stakeholders and public policy leadership
- Business and organizational perspective – Talent management, communications, finance and accounting, technology, risk management and compliance, and social impact
- Leadership and governance perspective – Corporate strategy and board/governance experience
Applicants for board director positions are subject to the CMA Board Code of Conduct and Organizational Expectations (“the Code”). To assess conflicts of interest pursuant to the Code, shortlisted candidates undergo a background check (including, without limitation, the following areas: bankruptcy, criminal record, litigation and social media), which the CMA conducts via a third party after the interview process.
The working groups bring their final selections to the full Nominations Committee, which reviews all candidates and presents them to GC for ratification en bloc (to be efficient with time during the AGM).
In keeping with nominations best practices, the internal work of the Nominations Committee is confidential. Candidates who are not selected to be put forward for ratification are welcome to request feedback on their application and interview, if applicable.
Leadership vacancies for 2023
In 2023, the CMA Nominations Committee will seek to fill vacancies for positions on the CMA Board of Directors, Audit and Finance Committee, Committee on Ethics and Nominations Committee, as outlined below. Learn more about the mandate of the CMA Board and committees.
Note: The Nominations Committee has a mandate to seek candidates who are willing to serve two consecutive three-year terms, pursuant to CMA bylaws section 12.4.1(b).
Opportunities – vacancies for an initial term
The individuals currently in the roles listed below are not eligible for renewal. The CMA encourages applications from eligible candidates of all backgrounds, regardless of their prior experience with the association (see the next section for instructions on how to apply).
- CMA Board of Directors, director from Alberta (three-year term, renewable once)
- CMA Board of Directors, director from Manitoba (three-year term, renewable once)
- Audit and Finance Committee, member at large (three-year term, renewable once)
- Committee on Ethics, medical resident member (one-year term, renewable twice)
- Nominations Committee, member from British Columbia (three-year term, renewable once)
- Nominations Committee, member from New Brunswick (three-year term, renewable once)
- Nominations Committee, member from Northwest Territories (three-year term, renewable once)
- Nominations Committee, member from Nova Scotia (three-year term, renewable once)
- Nominations Committee, member from Ontario (three-year term, renewable once)
- Nominations Committee, member from Quebec (three-year term, renewable once)
Opportunities – incumbents seeking renewal
The individuals currently in the roles listed below are completing their first three-year term and have indicated their willingness to serve for a second term. New applicants are not precluded from applying.
- CMA Board of Directors, director from Nova Scotia (three-year term, renewable once)
- CMA Board of Directors, director from Saskatchewan (three-year term, renewable once)
- CMA Board of Directors, director from Yukon Territory (three-year term, renewable once)
- Nominations Committee, member from Newfoundland and Labrador (three-year term, renewable once)
- Nominations Committee, member from Prince Edward Island (three-year term, renewable once)
- Nominations Committee, member from Saskatchewan (three-year term, renewable once)
- Nominations Committee, member from Yukon Territory (three-year term, renewable once)
The individuals currently in the roles listed below have indicated their willingness to serve for a second or third one-year term. New applicants are not precluded from applying.
- CMA Board of Directors, medical student director (one-year term, renewable twice)
- CMA Board of Directors, medical resident director (one-year term, renewable twice)
- Committee on Ethics, medical student member (one-year term, renewable twice)
- Nominations Committee, medical student member (one-year term, renewable twice)
- Nominations Committee, medical resident member (one-year term, renewable twice)
How to apply for a leadership position
1. Determine if you are eligible
To be eligible to apply for a board or committee position, an individual must be a resident of Canada, a member of the CMA and a member of the medical profession (required under CMA bylaws section 12.2.1).
For board director positions, an applicant must also:
- not be a voting director or sitting president of a provincial/territorial medical association or affiliate society in August 2023 (required under CMA bylaws section 12.2.1 and operating rules and procedures section 12.4);
- agree to a background check (including, without limitation, the following areas: bankruptcy, criminal record, litigation and social media), which is conducted by a third party; to facilitate this process, applicants are required to provide their public-facing, professional social media handles, if any;
- be a member of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) to apply for the medical student director position; and
- be a member of Resident Doctors of Canada (RDoC) to apply for the medical resident director position.
2. Complete the application form
It should take you approximately one hour to complete the form; you are not required to complete it in one sitting. You will need to provide the following:
- details about your eligibility
- contact information
- brief description of competencies (i.e., lived experience, professional standing and development, and/or academic credentials and preparation) vis-à-vis the role(s) for which you are applying
- brief, optional answers to self-identification questions with respect to various diversity attributes (including age, gender, sexual identity, ethnicity/race, Indigeneity, disability and regional balance)
- biographical statement of 200 words or fewer (view a sample)
- head and shoulders photo (600x600 pixels, JPEG or PNG format)
3. Submit the application form by the deadline: Mar. 16, 2023
Candidates will be notified between April and June whether they have been successful in moving onto the next stage, which may include an interview with a Nominations Committee working group. The interview serves as an opportunity to amplify the responses provided in the application form. Background checks will be conducted on candidates who are shortlisted for board director positions.
For candidates whose names are put forward for ratification, certain information (photo and biography) will be included in the Nominations Committee Report and on the CMA website.
Nov. 16, 2022 – Call for expressions of interest opens
Mar. 16, 2023 – Call for expressions of interest closes
April to June 2023 – The Nominations Committee working groups review applications, conduct interviews and background checks as required, and present their selections to the full Nominations Committee for approval
By Aug. 1, 2023 – The approved slate of candidates is published in the Nominations Committee Report
Aug. 16, 2023 – The Nominations Committee brings the slate of candidates to GC for ratification
If you have any questions or require accommodation throughout the application process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Please note: The deadline to submit an accommodation request is Feb. 23, 2023.
CMA Nominations Committee
The Nominations Committee is ratified by GC delegates and reports annually to GC. Its role is to recruit and secure strong, balanced leadership for the CMA. Its process is set out in the bylaws and operating rules and procedures and includes a call for nominations to reflect the diversity and demographics of the physician population. In collaboration with divisions, affiliates and the membership, the committee brings forward nominees for ratification at the AGM.
- Dr. André Bernard, member from Nova Scotia
- Dr. Paula Cashin, Appointments Committee chair (also a CMA board director)
- Dr. Lynn Dwyer, member from Newfoundland and Labrador
- Dr. Chris Goodyear, member from New Brunswick
- Santanna Hernandez, medical student member (also a CMA board director)
- Dr. Courtney Howard, Member from Northwest Territories (also a CMA board director)
- Dr. Esther Kim, medical resident member (also a CMA board director)
- Dr. Laurent Marcoux, member from Quebec
- Dr. Albert Ng, member from Ontario
- Dr. Larry Pan, Member from Prince Edward Island (also a CMA board director)
- Dr. Conrad Schulte, member from Alberta
- Dr. Katharine Smart, CMA past president and Nominations Committee chair (also a CMA board director)
- Dr. Carole Williams, member from British Columbia
- Dr. Allan Woo, member from Saskatchewan
- Dr. Yong "Jason" Xiao, member from Yukon Territory
Note: The following positions on the committee are currently vacant and will be filled by the CMA Board of Directors in early 2023 (pursuant to the CMA bylaws):
- Member from Manitoba
- Affiliates member