More than 350 participants took part in the Canadian Medical Association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Aug. 22, where members heard from CMA board chair Dr. Suzanne Strasberg about Impact 2040 and the ways in which the CMA is aiming to improve health, health systems and the health workforce.
Yukon’s Dr. Katharine Smart was welcomed as the new CMA president and Alberta’s Dr. Alika Lafontaine as president-elect.
“We can no longer accept the status quo on so many issues — who is in the room when decisions are made, a system that leaves patients behind, inadequate access to services such as primary care, continuing care, pharmacare, mental health supports, housing and a living wage.” – Dr. Katharine Smart, CMA president
The proposed bylaw changes were not adopted; however, members expressed strong support for achieving more equity and diversity within CMA leadership and the medical profession.
“We remain firmly committed to working with our members to promote equity, diversity and inclusion within the CMA, medical leadership and medicine more broadly.” – Dr. Ann Collins, outgoing CMA president
To that end, the CMA is organizing a roundtable discussion focusing on how to improve equity, diversity and inclusion through organizational changes. This discussion will help inform the association’s next steps as it looks to welcome more diverse perspectives at its leadership tables.
“We have a mountain of evidence about what the status quo will give us. We have an opportunity to be brave and create change within the medical community,” said one physician who spoke at the AGM.
The CMA will continue its broad outreach to traditionally under-represented groups for its president-elect position, and board and committee membership.
The 2023–24 CMA president will come from BC. The CMA will be holding a webinar in September with current and former presidents, who will share their leadership experience and encourage a broad range of candidates to come forward.