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Defining a progressive vision for medical professionalism

What it means to be a medical professional in today’s world has informed more than a few debates at the Canadian Medical Association’s annual General Council (GC) meeting in recent years.

But with professionalism now a major strategic focus for at least the next three years, this year’s meeting will give GC delegates and observers a first chance to help the association frame its strategy in this area.

In particular, the CMA will be engaging the 30 GC ambassadors attending the meeting in a special interactive lunch session.

During the session, students, residents and early career physicians from the Atlantic region will participate in exercises to understand the current landscape as it relates to medical professionalism. They’ll identify perceived gaps or challenges in addressing professionalism in training, discuss the informal/hidden curriculum with respect to professionalism and identify opportunities for medical students and physicians to become enablers of change.

The CMA will have two other opportunities for GC delegates and observers to weigh in. At the Member Lounge on Monday, members will have a chance to identify attributes they associate with medical professionalism. There will also be a video booth at which delegates and observers will be encouraged to answer one of three questions:

  • What characteristics or behaviours do you associate with medical professionalism?
  • What would you describe as the biggest challenge facing professionalism in medicine today?
  • What role can the CMA play to support a progressive vision for medical professionalism in Canada?

“Those who have attended General Council for the last two or three years will recognize these questions as underlying much of our debate on more specific issues relating to the health care system,” said CMA President Chris Simpson.

“Defining a progressive vision for professionalism in a rapidly evolving health care system is critical for the future of medicine in Canada.”

The activities at General Council are just part of the work being undertaken by the CMA to define its vision and strategy for medical professionalism.