Nearly 200 Canadian Medical Association (CMA) members and more than 100 stakeholders took part in the association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) this week. The business meeting and General Council Elections are an opportunity to review the CMA’s work, elect new board and committee members, approve by-laws revisions and welcome the incoming president. This year’s meeting was held virtually, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Ann Collins was welcomed as the new CMA president and is the first physician from New Brunswick to hold the post in nearly two decades.
She shared her experiences with COVID-19 in her family practice, hospitals and long-term care homes, and how it’s shaped her thinking about how health care needs to change. The need for strong physician wellness supports, more widespread adoption of virtual care and a national strategy for seniors were all issues Dr. Collins committed to championing during her presidency.
“While this pandemic has added another layer of complexity to our work, at the same time it has given us new momentum to push for changes that will benefit our communities. I hope to continue to learn from all of you, and to be a strong advocate for change – for our patients, profession and communities.” – Dr. Ann Collins, CMA president
In his valedictory address, outgoing President Dr. Sandy Buchman also spoke about the impact of the pandemic on the profession.
“In my initial address as president, I referred to the importance of having the courage to confront the challenges facing our profession and to question the status quo. Never did I imagine just how much courage we’d need.” – Dr. Sandy Buchman, CMA past-president
Time was also set aside for member questions, with board chair Dr. Suzanne Strasberg, Dr. Buchman and Quebec spokesperson Dr. Abdo Shabah on hand to provide answers. Some of the issues raised were access to personal protective equipment, physician wellness, virtual care and national licensure, the CMA’s work in Quebec and equity, diversity and anti-racism in medicine.
Several new board members were also elected during the AGM, for terms extending to May 2023.
- Nova Scotia – Dr. Gerard MacDonald
- Saskatchewan – Dr. Clare Kozroski
- Yukon – Dr. Alexander Poole
The one-year resident and student board seats are held by Dr. Michael Arget and Dr. Victor Do. In addition, Dr. Katherine Smart was ratified as president-elect.