Dr. Albert Schumacher
Dr. Albert Schumacher was still early in his career when he was encouraged by his obstetrician uncle to get involved with their local medical society. Then the Ontario doctors’ strike of 1986 happened, and in his role as the Essex County Medical Society’s secretary, Dr. Schumacher quickly moved from being simply involved in physician advocacy to being truly committed to the cause.
During this time, Dr. Schumacher says he quickly came to appreciate the importance of training doctors on how to run a meeting, give an interview and meet face to face with politicians.
At both the provincial and national levels, Dr. Schumacher has continued this commitment to leadership training and advocacy at the grassroots level. At the Ontario Medical Association, he was instrumental in creating an advocacy training program for medical students, residents and physicians, a program he has spent the past two years helping to refresh.
Dr. Schumacher’s own personal transition through the medical political system culminated in 2004-2005, when he became president of the CMA. As president, Dr. Schumacher was a visible advocate for physicians as he kept pressure on governments to address the shortage of physicians and long waiting lists for patients.
“I realized we had to get younger people involved and keep them involved”
Several generations of medical students also credit Dr. Schumacher with helping them obtain the knowledge and skills required to be advocates for the profession and their patients.