The CMA president serves as the primary spokesperson for the association.
The CMA president-elect serves a three-year presidential term as a member of the CMA Board of Directors, holding the following three positions: president-elect, president and immediate past president.
In the first year, the CMA president-elect assists the CMA president in performing presidential duties. They are provided media training and orientation about the CMA and the issues facing the association.
In the second year, the CMA president is the senior elected officer and the primary spokesperson of the association. The CMA president represents the CMA at the annual meetings of various provincial/territorial medical associations, and to parliamentary committees and stakeholder organizations.
Presidential duties are shared with the CMA president-elect and the CMA past president to:
- allow for representation at more than one event when there is a scheduling conflict;
- ensure that the person with the most expertise on a given issue is speaking on behalf of the CMA;
- ensure that a person with the appropriate language capacity is speaking on a given issue; and
- provide the CMA president-elect with opportunities to develop and hone skills before assuming the presidency.
The CMA president is expected to represent the association effectively full-time (for approximately 200–220 days during their one-year term). The CMA president, CMA president-elect and CMA past president are each remunerated through an annual stipend and receive honoraria and maintenance allowances when on official CMA business. This is to enable practising physicians to take time away from their practices.
Presidential stipend amounts are provided to candidates on a confidential basis once the candidates have been confirmed.
In the third and last year of the presidential term, the CMA past president serves on the Human Resources and Compensation Committee and, under the current bylaws, as chair of the Nominations Committee. Currently, the CMA past president also presides over the ratification of positions at General Council.