The Canadian Medical Association is collaborating with Scotiabank and MD Financial Management to commit $1 million to the Black Physicians’ Association of Ontario (BPAO).
The contribution, over five years, will help the organization in its efforts to champion equitable representation and promote the well-being of Black physicians and trainees across Canada.
“Systemic racism continues to be an entrenched challenge that must be more broadly acknowledged and combatted.” — Dr. Ann Collins, CMA president
Dr. Collins said the CMA is excited to support the BPAO’s plan to reframe medical culture to promote inclusion, to ensure Black physicians are equitably represented in the profession, and to eliminate racialized health disparities among the general public.
“The events of 2020 have made it more apparent to society that anti-Black racism is a problem in Canada, and more specifically in the field of medicine.” — Dr. Onye Nnorom, BPAO president.
About 4.7% of Ontario’s population is Black, according to the 2016 census. However, Black physicians comprise only approximately 2.3% of the province’s physician workforce.
“Racism is a form of stress, impacting Black Canadians, including Black physicians, who are then tasked with supporting a community that is experiencing disparities, as demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Nnorom. “This funding will allow BPAO to become a stronger, more sustainable organization that can better support Black physicians and trainees to amplify our work — mentorship, advocating for equitable representation, creating strong networks of peer support and educating all physicians on Black health matters. We as Black physicians need to be well in order to better serve our communities and act as champions of health equity for society.”
The funding for BPAO is part of a 10-year, $115 million pledge by Scotiabank, MD and the CMA to support physicians, medical learners and the communities they serve across Canada. The collaboration has committed $37.1 million to date, supporting a wide range of professional development activities, scholarships, and health and wellness initiatives for physicians across the country.