Barely a day goes by without a news headline about doctors and the practice of medicine: quality of care, billing matters, medication prescribing, and the conduct of individual physicians, to name just a few. The prevalence of controversial health news is but one of the profound changes we have seen in medical practice in recent years, and of which we at the CMPA are acutely aware.
As champions for physicians since 1901, the CMPA is proactively adapting to this new environment. While continuing to do what we do best— supporting and assisting members with medical liability issues—we’re embracing change by forging a new path that will meet our members’ evolving needs and expectations.
Every day, on the phone and through many online interactions with individual members, we hear your concerns and understand the issues you encounter. Faced with greater patient demands, constrained resources, and practising in a healthcare system that does not work as well as it should, it is small wonder many physicians today feel under siege. We recognize this can have a detrimental effect on physician morale and the quality and safety of patient care.
While the gap between the idealism of medicine and the real world challenges of healthcare has grown, I believe medicine continues to be a truly noble profession. Physicians continue to find satisfaction in healing and in making a positive contribution in their communities. And when difficulties arise, doctors in Canada know they can turn to the CMPA for help and understanding.
Not infrequently, the environment in which individual physicians practise is in need of attention. It is why we are working with the regulatory Colleges, hospitals, and others to provide physician leaders and institutions with tools to support a culture of civility, respect, and engagement in the healthcare workplace. It’s why we are expanding our focused education program to support members in high risk practices. And it’s why we will soon be providing specialized educational support for members with identified needs.
The CMPA’s member survey will be coming soon, further enabling you to tell us how we’re doing and where we can do better. We’re making strides as a progressive, learning organization, one that embraces change and works to ensure the sustainability of a well-functioning medical liability system well into the future.
I’m confident about the CMPA’s future direction, and proud to lead the Association for the benefit of physicians and the Canadian healthcare system.
Hartley Stern, MD, FRCSC, FACS