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In 2017, my wife, Dr. Jane Healey, and I created the Physician Financial Independence (PFI) online community to teach Canadian physicians about personal finance. The group is not a business, it is a collegial place where physicians can learn from each other about practice management, investing and financial literacy. It is a national grass roots group that has grown to 24,000 physician and physician spouse members. It now contains a database of thousands of posts, comments and educational links that aid physicians on a daily basis. This was created with no budget and has become a well known, reliable, and non-biased resource. I recognized the need among my colleagues for honest conversation about a taboo subject. The group has utilized social media to make a positive impact on the well-being of Canadian physicians.
The CMPA is an organization that has defended the interests of physicians over its 120 year history. I most admire the approach to improving patient safety through careful analysis of its substantial database of Canadian medical legal history. I have found the information and teaching provided by the CMPA to be pragmatic, efficient and highly relevant to my practice. The CMPA's patient safety education is analogous to how the aviation industry has approached aviation disasters. In those investigations, the emphasis is not on "blaming and shaming" of pilots and personnel but on examining the underlying barriers, conditions and situational factors that lead to errors. Prevention of medical errors is cost-effective, reduces physicians stress related to legal and regulatory proceedings and, most importantly, protects our patients.
In the last 10 years, I have served as a medical expert for plaintiff and CMPA cases. Having seen the same errors made repeatedly has been extremely educational for my personal practice. The aggregate knowledge of the CMPA is a resource that should be made more easily available to Canadian physicians to improve care.
As a member of council, I would advocate for making CMPA's important patient safety message more accessible. There is a great information product being produced by the CMPA that unfortunately is not reaching the audience that it should. In 2021, a mailed magazine and in-person conferences are not adequate to reach busy, technologically savvy physicians. There needs to be a push to distribute information via social media, online education and app-based mobile modules.