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PTMA Newsletter - Issue 6 2015

2015 CMA General Council Notice to Delegates

General Council (GC) delegates were notified in June of all the pre-GC information they needed and available on - including the Reports to General Council and the motion form and the submission deadline for the Call for Motions for 2015.

Motion packages will be provided to delegates one week earlier, emailed on Friday, August 14. The earlier timeline will allow delegates to review and prepare in advance for motion debate at GC. Paper copies of motions will be available – upon request only – during onsite registration for General Council 2015 (Aug. 22-23).

CMA and Choosing Wisely

CMA recently signaled its continued support of the Choosing Wisely Canada initiative to the Chair, Dr. Wendy Levinson, and the team at the University of Toronto. A multi-year funding proposal will be brought forward to the CMA board this Fall; more information on this will be available later this year.

New! CMA Member Experience Video

We would like to invite you to take a few minutes to watch our new CMA member experience video and learn more about NewCo’s PMI physician leadership courses. We have created this member experience video to increase awareness and participation in NewCo's PMI physician leadership courses. Our hope is that every physician will be able to identify with this member story in some meaningful and memorable way and that it will drive increased participation in our courses. It was truly an amazing experience to be invited into Dr. Gerin-Lajoie’s personal and professional world to learn about how PMI courses have shaped her leadership journey. This video also tells a compelling story of why leadership training is important to all physicians regardless of career stage or job title.

Please do not hesitate to share the video with your colleagues and members via email or social media as you see fit and do not hesitate to contact Kim Peters if you would like more information.

New on

Seniors roundtable planned for Fredericton. A major national roundtable on seniors care has been announced for Sept. 22, to be co-hosted by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and New Brunswick Medical Society (NBMS). Read more.

New Article: Most people would agree that given the choice, they would prefer to grow old in the comfort of their own home. Thanks to technological advancements, seniors can live at home longer. Read more.

New Article: With an ailing partner to care for, more than 600,000 aging Canadians are left becoming an advocate and navigator in a complicated health system. Read more.

Current State of Seniors Care in Canada. What’s the problem? What’s the solution?
Video featuring Dr. Molnar, Ottawa Geriatrician and Member of the CMA Seniors Advisory Panel.

We are nearing our goal of 10,000 supporters; help us reach it by SHARING this campaign.

Member input on assisted dying sought

For the second consecutive year, Canadian Medical Association (CMA) members have the opportunity to provide significant input to the association on assisted dying — one of the most important issues facing Canadian society today.

On June 8, a member dialogue website was launched to encourage members to post comments and participate in a dialogue with their colleagues on fundamental questions about how medical aid in dying should be implemented in Canada.

On Feb. 6, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the current Criminal Code provisions banning assisted dying were unconstitutional, and the CMA pledged to help draft new national guidelines for assisted dying. The CMA Committee on Ethics developed a principles-based template for how regulations could be crafted when the banning provisions are lifted next year.

In 2014, members responded enthusiastically to the request to participate in a member-only online dialogue on end-of-life care including the provision of palliative care, advance care directives and medical aid in dying. This year, members are being asked to provide feedback and discuss the following fundamental issues:

  • foundational principles to underpin all guidelines and recommendations regarding assisted dying
  • key questions on issues related to medical aid in dying including potential regulations, oversight, the right to conscientious objection and the interaction between physician and patient on this topic
  • how to practise in this new landscape

Among questions being asked:

  • What process should be followed after a patient requests assisted dying?
  • For those physicians who refuse to participate in assisted dying for reasons of conscience, how do we reconcile this with their obligation to ensure equitable access?

“This is a historic opportunity for members to help develop a national approach to medical aid in dying that is respectful, values-based and consistent with our shared sense of compassion as Canadians,” said CMA President Chris Simpson.

The dialogue is moderated by Dr. Jeff Blackmer, CMA's Vice-President, Medical Professionalism, who guided the public and member dialogue on end-of-life care issues last year.

The online dialogue site will be available until July 6, 2015, as will the related online survey.

Results from both the dialogue and survey will be reported to the CMA’s General Council during strategic sessions on assisted dying in August. They will be used to support discussions with governments and licensing bodies, and will inform the development of physician resources and advocacy strategies in assisted dying.

“The CMA is committed to engaging with our members on this important issue and I encourage all members to go to the website and provide input,” Simpson said.

The CMA is also seeking input from – and working with – other medical stakeholder organizations such as the Canadian Medical Protective Association to provide a unified approach.

Guiding Principles for Physicians Recommending Mobile Health Applications to Patients

These Guiding Principles are designed to give physicians basic information about how to assess a mobile health application to decide whether to recommend it to a patient in the management of that patient’s health, health care, and health care information.

For additional information please contact Conrad Amenta.

CMA spells out need to address harms associated with opioids

Canada needs a comprehensive national strategy to address the harms associated with opioids and other psychoactive prescription drugs.

That’s the strong view of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) contained in a policy statement on the issue recently approved by the CMA Board of Directors.

The issue of prescription drug abuse continues to be a priority for the federal government, and has also been a priority for the CMA. The association has surveyed members on the issue and called for a nationwide system of real-time prescription monitoring.

The new policy statement has been applauded for reflecting the complexity of the issue and focusing on possible solutions.

As Canada is one of the countries with the highest per-capita consumption of prescription opioids in the world, the CMA feels we must have a comprehensive national strategy to address the harms associated with the problem.

In North America, the policy notes, about 5% of the adult population and even higher rates of teens and young adults have reported using non-medical opioids in the previous year, a rate that is higher than for all other illegal drugs with the exception of marijuana. What may be more shocking, however, is that surveys with youth have shown that as much as 70% of opioids have been obtained from legitimate prescriptions to family and friends, 55% of which were shared at no cost.

However, the CMA states: “Psychoactive medications are important therapeutic tools and serve legitimate purposes, when prescribed in an appropriate manner with proper assessment, and as part of a comprehensive therapeutic strategy and monitoring. Medications such as opioids have been essential in areas such as palliative and cancer care and have contributed to the alleviation of suffering.”

The 11-page statement from the CMA says any national policy must address:

  • improvement of drug safety
  • enhancement of optimal prescribing through evidence-based guidance, education and supports
  • enhancement of optimal prescribing through physician regulation and prescription monitoring programs
  • increased access to specialized pain management and treatment
  • increased access to treatment for addiction
  • prevention of deaths due to overdose
  • access to community-based programs for opioid overdose prevention
  • public education, including safe medication storage and disposal

This document acknowledges the challenge for physicians and public policy-makers to mitigate the harms of psychoactive prescription drug use while ensuring that patients have access to appropriate treatment for their clinical conditions.

An educational session on opioids in pain management will be held at the CMA’s annual general council meeting in Halifax in August. This session will provide input to the organization’s continued advocacy on this issue.

CMA Physician Leadership Institute

New! CMA offers two pre-conference leadership courses at General Council

This year, for the first time ever, the CMA is offering physicians the opportunity to enhance their attendance at the CMA General Council with two popular PMI physician leadership courses. Both courses will run concurrently from August 21 to 22, 2015 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

  • Managing People Effectively
    This course focuses on the “how to’s” for successfully executing the day-to-day people-development requirements of the physician leader role.
    Cost: $1,995
  • Conflict Management and Negotiation
    Learn strategies to manage conflict within organizations, avoid the difficulties that conflict can create for relationships, and how the effective management of conflict can enhance creativity and innovation.
    Cost: $1,995

Developed by the CMA specifically for physicians, PMI physician leadership courses are accredited by the RCPSC and the CFPC. PMI physician leadership courses are important ways for physicians to remain engaged and resilient in today’s complex healthcare system.

Space is limited. Invite your members to register today.

Upcoming online PMI leadership courses

Physicians can now take advantage of facilitated, accredited online PMI physician leadership courses that offer a unique learning opportunity developed exclusively for physicians.

  • Effective Communication Skills for Physician Leaders
    September 14–October 25, 2015 and November 2-December 13, 2015
    Physicians will gain knowledge of concepts and key themes in effective communication to enrich their practice and will develop a greater understanding of their communication style and its impact on others.
  • Leadership Begins with Self-awareness
    October 19–November 29, 2015
    The course promotes greater self-awareness by teaching the skills associated with examining your own values and principles, thinking patterns, assumptions and emotional skills, and addressing strengths and limitations.

If you or a member would like any additional information, please email

Learn more about Online PMI physician leadership.

Canadian Certified Physician Executive Credential

The Canadian Society of Physician Leaders (CSPL), the CCPE credential is designed to recognize and advance physician leadership and excellence through a national, peer-generated, standards-based assessment process.

Those who earn the CCPE have demonstrated that they have the leadership capabilities, knowledge and skills needed to succeed ? and to direct, influence and orchestrate change in Canada's complex health care system.

Physicians seeking this credential can apply through two routes — one recognizes PMI leadership development training and the other takes into account practical leadership experience gained.

PMI-Academic route: applicants have completed at least five PMI physician leadership courses within the past five years, and have five years of health care leadership experience demonstrating accomplishments in a senior management or executive position, as well as a minimum 20 additional CME/CPD credits from other accredited leadership programs such as those offered by Schulich, Rotman and Sauder, further PMI physician leadership courses and/or accredited conferences.

Practice eligibility route: applicants are awarded the credential based on 10 or more years of progressive leadership in senior or executive positions. They must also have continuing educational achievements and documented evidence of leadership contributions that are significant and broad in scope.

Eligibility criteria

To be considered for the CCPE credential, physician candidates must first satisfy the following conditions:

  • be a member of both the CMA and CSPL
  • be in good standing with their provincial licensing body
  • have five to 10 years of significant leadership experience in a health care setting -- requirement depends on the application route chosen
  • have a cache of leadership accomplishments and educational experience supported by evidence
  • have a minimum of 2 years’ experience in the Canadian healthcare system

For additional information on this program please contact Carol Rochefort.

July Discount Feature – TELUS

The CMA is pleased to offer exclusive rate plans to its members. With TELUS you can get connected and stay connected anytime, anywhere. It’s easy and now more affordable than ever, just visit

New! Introducing MD MedEd CounselTM

MD is introducing a new brand that aims to elevates our product and service offering for medical students and residents. MD MedEd CounselTM is a team of MD Advisors and Early Career Specialists dedicated to serving medical students and residents. For more information, please visit, or contact Marie-Anne Abboud.

New! Content Marketing initiatives from MD Financial

To provide more timely, client-facing content and showcase MD's financial planning and investment expertise within the context of current events, MD’s Content Marketing group is publishing new articles on the homepage of every week.

These articles include a mix of longer features showcasing MD’s analysis of current financial and investment issues, and lighter personal finance stories to serve as client conversation-starters. Topics are chosen based on their appeal to physicians at different career stages and levels of financial interest and knowledge.

Each quarter, these articles are curated and shared along with new video content and shared with clients via MD’s quarterly e-review newsletter. The next e-review is scheduled for July 28, and will be sent in two editions; one for medical students and residents, and the other for practicing and retired physicians and family members.

Recent articles include:

To inquire about sharing MD article content in PTMA websites or publications, please send an email to:

Reinstate care for refugees, feds told

The message is being delivered loud and clear — Canada’s medical community is not going to let the federal government off the hook for its perceived attempt to limit the provision of medical care to refugees.

The 4th Annual National Day of Action was held June 15 to call for the overdue reversal of cuts to refugee health care in Canada. For the first time, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) was a direct participant in the activities.

“The federal government’s cuts to health services for refugees residing in this country – some of whom may have just escaped war, violence or famine – are not consistent with the Canada that I know,” said CMA President Chris Simpson. “It is time for the federal government to reverse the changes and provide the care for refugees that they deserve.”

The protest represents the fourth time national medical organizations led by Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care (CDRC) have collectively spoken out against the federal government for its decision to cut the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP).

Last July, the Federal Court of Canada ruled the IFHP cuts were “cruel and unusual” and mandated creation of a temporary program to provide care for many of the affected refugees. However, the federal government has appealed that decision and physicians note that despite the temporary program many are still being denied necessary medical services.

According to a CMAJ news report on the North American Refugee Health Conference that was held in Toronto in early June, several studies have shown refugees legally entitled to federally funded health care are now being turned away from scores of clinics in Montreal and Toronto.

"We're hearing stories of people – including pregnant women – being turned away from hospitals because the hospitals don't understand the coverage,” Dr. Meb Rashid, co-founder of CDRC, was quoted as saying. “We're seeing massive confusion stemming from the government's legal manoeuvres."

During the day of protest, a news conference was held on Parliament Hill featuring the CMA president and representatives from several other organizations including the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS), Canadian Nurses Association and Canadian Pediatric Society.

In a prepared statement, CFMS stated in part: “Denying necessary treatment to some of the most vulnerable members of society contravenes the principles that inspired us to practise medicine in Canada.

“Cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program only serve to shift the financial burden to community hospitals, regional health authorities and provinces/territories that may or may not be able to provide care. This creates gaps in the system, resulting in untreated sickness that may lead newcomers to turn to our already crowded emergency departments.“

Events associated with the Day of Action were held in at least 20 cities across the country with widespread participation, especially from medical students — both in person and through social media.

Upcoming events in your province or territory

Date Event City Province Details
20-JulOntario IMG Financial TalkTorontoONMD Seminar
20-JulWine TastingHalifaxNSClient Appreciation
20-JulOntario IMG CMA TalkTorontoONMD/CMA Seminar
21-JulNewfoundland Wine Tasting at 48 HighGrand Falls – WindsorNFLClient Appreciation
24-JulStudent Orientation –U of CCalgaryABTrade Show
29-JulResident Orientation – McGillMontrealQCNetworking
31-JulResident OrientationLavalQCTrade Show
7-AugResident Orientation – SherbrookeSherbrookeQCTrade Show
8-AugMontreal Impact Soccer gameMontrealQCFamily Event
14-AugStudent Orientation- University of SaskatchewanSaskatoonSKNetworking
20-AugLaval Golf TournamentLavalQCNetworking
21-AugCourse: Managing People EffectivelyHalifaxNSCourse
21-AugCourse: Conflict Management and NegotiationHalifaxNSCourse
24-AugStudent Orientation U of AEdmontonABTrade Show
24-AugStudent Orientation – University of TorontoTorontoONNetworking
23-26-AugCMA Annual General CouncilHalifaxNSMD/CMA Sponsoring and exhibiting
25-AugFondation de l’Hôpital Montfort – Charity Golf TournamentOttawaONMD
Aug-26Student Orientation – McMasterHamiltonONNetworking
Aug-27Student Orientation – WesternLondonONNetworking
1-SeptStudent Orientation – uOttawaOttawaONNetworking
4- SeptStudent Orientation – University of B.C.VancouverBCNetworking
8-SeptStudent Orientation - Northern Ontario School of MedicineThunder-BayONNetworking
8-SeptStudent Orientation – Northern Ontario School of MedicineSudburyONNetworking
13-SeptCourse: Leading Change and InnovationTorontoONCourse
14-SeptOnline Course: Effective Communication BeginsOnlineOnlineCourse
15-SeptCourse: Self-AwarenessTorontoONCourse
17-19-SeptCanadian Surgery ForumQuebec CityQCTrade Show
20-22-SeptAll-Advisor ConferenceTorontoONMD/CMA Sponsoring and Exhibiting
22 SeptNational Roundtable on Seniors CareFrederictonNBCMA Event
25-26-SeptAlberta Medical Association Annual General Meeting 2015EdmontonABMD/CMA Sponsoring & Exhibiting
24-26-SeptSaskatchewan College of Family PhysiciansReginaSKMD/CMA
25-27-SeptFederation of Medical Women of CanadaTorontoONMD/CMA Sponsoring & Exhibiting
25-27-SeptIce BowlSaskatoonSKMD/CMA Sponsoring & Exhibiting
2-OctNova Scotia College of Family PhysiciansHalifaxNSMD/CMA Sponsoring & Exhibiting
2-3 OctNew Brunswick Medical Society Annual General Meeting 2015MiramichiNBMD/CMA Sponsoring & Exhibiting
14-17-OctCanadian Society of Internal MedicineCharlottetownPEITrade Show
16-17-OctCanadian Conference on Physician HealthWinnipegMBMD/CMA Sponsoring & Exhibiting
18-OctCourse: Influencing BoardsMontrealQCCourse
19-OctOnline Course: Leadership Begins with Self-awareness BeginsOnlineOnlineCourse
20-OctCourse: Conflict Management and NegotiationMontrealQCCourse
22-23 OctQuebec College of Family PhysiciansMontrealQuebecMD/CMA Sponsoring & Exhibiting
22-25-OctInternational Conference on Residency Education/International Resident Leadership SummitVancouverBCMD/CMA
22-24-OctNewfoundland College of Family PhysiciansGanderNFLMD/CMA Sponsoring & Exhibiting
24-25-OctBritish Columbia College of Family PhysiciansVancouverBCMD/CMA Sponsoring & Exhibiting
25-OctOnline Course: Effective Communication EndsOnlineOnlineCourse
2-NovOnline Course: Effective Communication BeginsOnlineOnlineCourse
7-NovYukon Medical Association Annual General MeetingWhitehorseYKMD/CMA
7-NovOntario Association of General Surgeons TorontoONMD Sponsoring
12-14 NovFamily Medicine ForumTorontoONMD/CMA Trade Show
19 NovemberQMA/CMA Physician Executive SymposiumMontrealQCCMA Event
21-NovCourse: Engaging OtherVancouverBCCourse
24-NovCourse: Dollars and SenseVancouverBCCourse
29-NovOnline Course: Leadership Begins with Self-awareness EndsOnlineOnlineCourse
13-DecOnline Course: Effective Communication EndsOnlineOnlineCourse

For additional information please contact Natalie Theriault.