CMPA hosts education session to enhance doctor - patient relationships

Better Together! Collaborative conversations with colleagues and patients


OTTAWA, August 15, 2022—The Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) addressed the important topic of communications with patients and colleagues during a half-day education session today.

Physician members explored the role relationships play in the ability of healthcare providers to not just cope, but to meet the unprecedented challenges of today’s complex healthcare environment, and the important impact these relationships have on patient safety.

During the half-day session, held both on-site in Vancouver and online, CMPA physician advisors presented data-driven evidence, gained through analysis of our extensive medico-legal data, demonstrating how healthy relationships facilitate safe care. The program identified practical communication tools to support effective relationships, both with patients and their families, as well as with colleagues, to advance patient safety.

Conversations with patients

There is a large body of evidence that shows the link between challenging encounters and their effects on patient care.

“We all know that having healthy relationships with our patients is important. Given how challenging the last few years have been, now more than ever these healthy relationships support safe care,” said Dr. Armand Aalamian, Executive Director, Learning at the CMPA. “We need a trusting relationship so that our patients, an integral part of the team, are forthcoming with us. So that they don’t hold back, and tell us what their hopes, their fears, and expectations are.”

“By building better doctor-patient relationships, this can lead to more rewarding encounters, which can be a powerful mitigator to moral injury and burnout. This then increases patient safety and patient satisfaction, and in turn decreases medico-legal risk for doctors,” said Lisa Calder, CMPA CEO.

Conversations with colleagues

Participants also reviewed the concept of psychological safety within healthcare teams and how it can positively impact safe medical care. Facilitators focused on the relationship between physicians and colleagues and the importance of conversations that matter. These conversations allow healthcare teams to explore new ideas and try new things, challenge old assumptions, learn, and innovate.

“It is important to encourage conversations that matter,” said Dr. Aalamian. “Creating a space for these conversations will strengthen relationships among team members and result in more rewarding interactions with patients. This will optimize the physicians’ competency and lead to safe and improved care for patients.”

Physician members were provided with simple rules, or strategies, that they can implement to foster psychological safety and develop these relationships that are so crucial to the well-being of the healthcare team and for the well-being of patients.

Understanding that the healthcare system is deeply interconnected and that no one person can have the whole picture, the CMPA will continue to provide learning opportunities to support physicians in fostering relationships with team members to help create a psychologically safe environment and lead to improved care for patients.

For more information, or to schedule an interview: [email protected]


About the CMPA

The CMPA is a not-for-profit association that delivers efficient, high quality physician-to-physician advice and assistance in medico-legal matters, including the provision of appropriate compensation, on behalf of our members, to patients injured by negligent medical care (fault in Québec). Our evidence-based products and services enhance the safety of medical care, reducing unnecessary patient harm and healthcare costs.

As Canada’s largest physician organization and with the support of our over 105,000 physician members, the CMPA collaborates, advocates, and effects positive change on important healthcare and medico-legal issues. The Association is governed by an elected Council of physicians.