The role and benefits of serving on CMPA Council

September 2016

CMPA Council plays an important role in the overall success of the Association. It governs the Association and provides direction, guidance, and support to CMPA management in running the Association’s day-to-day business. Council and council members are highly valued by the Association and its members.

CMPA Council is led by a president and two vice-presidents who are elected by council. It consists of 30 practising physicians from a variety of medical specialties who represent 10 geographical regions across Canada. Councillors, who are elected by CMPA members, serve three-year terms and may seek re-election at the end of their term.

The dedication and involvement of CMPA Council in governing the Association has been critical to the Association’s success over its 115-year history. Councillors perform a number of significant roles, from determining the principles of assistance to members, to providing oversight into how the Association’s assets held against its members’ liabilities are invested.

"We manage a significant reserve fund dedicated to the payment of claims expenses, so there’s the business side, and there’s the clinical, safe medical care side also," said Ottawa councillor Bryan Callaghan, who is completing his final term this year. "It’s just fascinating work in this organization. The opportunity to have a governance role in that, I think, is just invaluable."

Council’s work is supported by a number of committees who work with the CMPA’s leadership and staff on key organizational issues and projects, such as the CMPA 2015-2019 Strategic Plan.

"The value in being a member of council is that it makes you work really hard to do your best for all the members," said veteran council member Jeanne McNeill from Moncton. "I think it allows you to realize that, as a physician and as a councillor, you have something special to offer and your voice is important." McNeill is also completing her final term on council.

Robust member engagement in the governance of the Association will continue to be a key element in the CMPA’s future success. The Association values the dedication and commitment of members who choose to participate in its governance, either as candidates in the council nomination and election process or as experienced and knowledgeable councillors.

Members need to know that they "can make a difference," Callaghan said. "I think they don’t believe that one voice could have any significant input. In fact, that could not be more untrue."

"I wish I had known how great [serving on council] was because I would have signed up 15 years ago," said McNeill. "I would encourage other physicians who are interested in contributing in a meaningful way to consider standing for election to council."

Read about the council nomination and election process and how you can become involved, and also read the full interview with councillors Jeanne McNeill and Bryan Callaghan.