Message from the CEO

Practical support for physicians during COVID-19

Photo of Lisa A. Calder

June 2021

The third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has had an immense impact on patients, all healthcare providers, and the healthcare system. I know that, in parts of the country, physicians have confronted ICUs stretched beyond capacity, resource shortages, and cancelled surgeries.

At the CMPA, we are working hard to provide the best possible support to physicians during this extraordinary time. Our physician advisors answer medico-legal questions and support physicians every day, and we are continually updating our COVID-19 Hub and our virtual learning resources to provide the medico-legal information you need. We are speaking directly to provincial governments about the need for legislation that provides medico-legal protection to physicians delivering care during COVID-19, and we’re working with provincial counsel to follow any litigation that may arise in relation to delayed or deferred care.

In the past few months, we have also been partnering with physician health programs and other healthcare organizations to find ways of better supporting your wellness. Burnout was a major issue among physicians before the pandemic, and COVID-19 has highlighted the moral injury among physicians like never before. Burnout can undermine the safety and quality of care, and as CEO I’m committed to working with other organizations to support physician wellness as an essential element of a sustainable and safe healthcare system.

As many of you confront the strain that COVID-19 is having on the profession, I want to emphasize that our physician advisors are here to offer compassionate support. We know that physicians who call the CMPA are often significantly stressed. When we ask those same physicians how they feel after speaking to a physician advisor, they report much lower stress levels. In short, our physician advisors are here for you, and reaching out to us for support for your medico-legal concerns can make the difficulties you’re facing easier to bear.

As we look towards recovery from the pandemic, I know that significant challenges to the healthcare system will remain. However, there are signs of hope. Vaccines are reaching many Canadians, and while vaccine hesitancy is an issue, Canadians are rolling up their sleeves in high numbers. For the first time since the pandemic began, it’s possible to begin imagining a brighter future.

Know that, no matter what turns the pandemic might take, the CMPA is here to support you. If you are facing difficulty in relation to medico-legal issues, please call us at 1-800-267-6522 or contact us via the secure member portal.

Please stay safe and take care,

Lisa A. Calder, MD, MSc, FRCPC
Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director