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PTMA Newsletter - Issue 7 2015

CMA Board of Directors August Meeting

22- 26 August
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Major Discussion Topics

  • Roles, responsibilities and obligations of Board members
  • General Council debrief
  • Further engaging young members at GC and with CMA

New Board Members welcomed:

  • Dr. Granger Avery
  • Dr. Scott Whatley
  • Dr. Tom McLaughlin
  • Ms. Anthea Lafreniere

General Council

  • Positive overall comments about the meeting and changes from the previous format
  • High degree of national media interest
  • 84 resolutions adopted
  • Clarified that motion to divest from investments in fossil fuels relates only to CMA reserves
  • Issue of further engaging medical students and residents at GC and CMA in general discussed
  • Status of delegates vs. observers speaking and time limitations at GC noted
  • Process initiated for creating time-limited working group on better engaging young members

Board Elections

  • Honorary Treasurer: Dr. Brendan Lewis
  • Member-at-Large to Executive Committee: Dr. Nasir Jetha
  • Vice-Chair, Board of Directors: Dr. Linda Slocombe


Seniors care: “What we need now is some action”

There’s little doubt that members are on board with the CMA’s call for a national strategy to deal with the health care needs of Canada’s rapidly growing seniors population.

On Aug. 24, with near unanimity and little debate, General Council (GC) delegates approved four motions designed to help spell out the physician’s role in the development of a national seniors strategy.

The results delighted CMA President Chris Simpson. In his inaugural speech in 2014 he commented: “When we start to think about what we need to do [as a profession], and where we need to start, it becomes clear that seniors care is the paramount health care issue of our time … I would like to make the bold assertion that if we can improve the way we care for our seniors, we will go a long way to creating a high-performing health care system.”

Simpson, who introduced this year’s strategic session on the topic, said much has been achieved since last August, including development of a framework for a seniors care action plan and the launch of a website about that plan — On Monday, delegates took the planning a step further by passing four motions dealing with seniors care and accepting (via consent agenda) six more — all without a vote.

The motions dealt with a broad range of topics.

One called on the CMA to support the development of guidelines and standards for the use of telemonitoring technology, an automated process for transmitting data on a patient’s health status from home.

Another cited the need for evidence-based hospital practices that “better meet seniors’ physical, cognitive and psychosocial needs,” while another called for improvements in tax incentives and financial supports available to those providing care to family members.

In explaining the need for the latter motion, Dr. Sarah Bates – who explained that she is caring for a family member who has Alzheimer’s disease – said the CMA has previously called for improved support for informal caregivers. She noted that more than 75% of care provided to older Canadians is delivered by unpaid, informal caregivers, a role that can be demanding financially.

Simpson described the motions that were passed as “thoughtful,” even though the themes are not new. He said action is being taken on several fronts, including attempts to make seniors care an issue in the upcoming federal election.

“What we need now is some action.”

New on

Thank you for helping us more than double our target of 10,000 supporters! We are now at over 24,000 – let’s keep the momentum going – share this campaign and make seniors care a ballot issue. Please see below for what’s new on Demand a Plan.

Share your story – Since the launch of Demand A Plan we have received many stories by email and on social media. Courageous people sharing their personal experiences, concerns and hope that change will soon come. Do you have a story about seniors health care that you would like to share with us? Read More

Election called: CMA ready – With a federal election now underway, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is significantly ratcheting up advocacy efforts to obtain appropriate care for Canada’s seniors. Watch Past-president Dr. Chris Simpson’s ‘rant’ video (Dr. Pierre Harvey en français).

NEW Report – 2015 National Report Card: Canadian Views on a National Seniors’ Health Care Strategy. Read More

Election Promise Tracker – Want to know what politicians and political parties are promising when it comes to health and seniors care this election? Read More

Member engagement in the Federal Election

We have been reaching out to our over 600 MD-MP Contact program members across the country encouraging them to attend local events, and speak to all candidates about the need for a national seniors strategy. CMA has also developed an Election toolkit for physicians as well as members of the public.

Coming to a city near you: CMA Presidents tour

During the election campaign, CMA is undertaking a number of outreach activities in key ridings across the country. From hosting seniors roundtables, to having our Demand a Plan booth at various events, we have been working with the PTMAs where these will take place and inviting local physicians to participate.

CMA delegates urge action on declining vaccination rates

Physician concern about declining immunization rates in Canada was evident Aug. 26 during the CMA’s annual meeting in Halifax. By day’s end delegates had considered nine motions, many of which focused on efforts to educate parents who hesitate to pursue vaccination for their children.

Members voted by a near-unanimous margin (97%) to ask that governments across the country authorize schools to require a declaration of students’ immunization status. If results indicate that a student has not been immunized, there would then be “a conversation” between public health officials and parents.

Dr. Yun Jen of Quebec, who moved the motion, said the goal is not to make immunization compulsory but to provide an opportunity “to deliver information and to sensitize” parents on the importance of vaccination programs.

“Parents whose children are not vaccinated may be vaccination-hesitant,” added CMA Past President Chris Simpson, the motion’s seconder. “This would provide an opportunity to understand why they are hesitant.”

Delegates rejected a call for a national compensation program for people who experienced “debilitating” injury following vaccination. Medical student Denis Yahiaoui, mover of the motion, said that in rare cases immunization results in serious damage to patients. “It is the duty of society to help if someone is seriously affected [by vaccination],” he said.

However, several delegates warned that the motion could be used by those who oppose vaccination as a “tacit admission” that immunization programs are dangerous. The motion was defeated by a two-thirds margin (70%).

Delegates voted unanimously to have the CMA provide information and tools to physicians to help promote “the medical profession’s critical role in supporting immunization.” The CMA’s new president, Dr. Cindy Forbes, said information provided to parents by physicians can be used to counter “facts” gathered from websites and provided by friends.

There was also a unanimous vote on a motion calling for immunization registries that can feed information from electronic medical records directly to health care providers.

Another motion that passed urges the federal government to develop a national plan to deal with “vaccine hesitancy”.

General Council approved four additional immunization-related motions without debate. These ‘consent’ motions dealt with topics that included urging the federal government to “accelerate the development and implementation of a national immunization registry.”

Registration now open! Canadian Conference on Physician Health – Great expectations: Navigating the competing identities of the modern physician

The Canadian Physician Health Institute and co-hosts, Doctors Manitoba and its Health & Wellness Committee are pleased to welcome you to the 4th Canadian Conference on Physician Health scheduled for Oct. 16–17, 2015 at the Delta Winnipeg Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Learn more

Getting the numbers right in postgrad training

The challenge of matching residency positions to meet societal needs was the theme of a special strategic session held at General Council this year.

The session – organized in partnership with Resident Doctors of Canada (RDoC) and the Canadian Federation of Medical Students – also focused on the worrisome rising number of unemployed and underemployed physicians in certain specialties.

“We have some really concerning statistics,” said speaker Dr. Melanie Bechard, a 2015 medical graduate and pediatrics resident, referencing an increased number of unmatched Canadian medical graduates and the inappropriate mix of residents and practice opportunities.

Bechard also noted the disproportionate number of residency positions relative to the number of medical school graduates.

The inadequate availability of career counselling was also documented by Bechard with a recent survey showing almost half of those polled felt they had insufficient information on career options prior to graduating. She said there’s a need for better-quality counselling based on solid data.

Dr. Ashley Miller, vice-president of Resident Doctors of Canada, acknowledged the medical training system in Canada is “incredibly complex” and said it is “profoundly difficult” for educators to advise residents on career decisions because of the lack of data.

“It is a very long game,” she said, noting the time required to fully train a student to become a physician means that physician recruitment training is often reactive.

She said residents feel the cornerstone of how future residency training should be constructed is to ensure the right mix, distribution and number of physicians to meet societal needs.

Both Bechard and Miller stressed the need for a national approach because of the portability of medical licensure in Canada, but Miller noted competition between jurisdictions can hamper national coordination.

Miller presented a series of solutions proposed by RDoC, including:

  • a physician resource planning task force
  • reimagining service delivery, including a team-based approach and physician extenders
  • significant investment in data to inform planning
  • evidence-based evaluation of how residency positions are allocated

In the well-attended session, several medical students and residents stood to express their views on the strategic questions presented —such as the options for providing sufficient capacity in the postgraduate medical system.

Dr. Hugh Scully, a former CMA president and chair of two major studies on health human resource planning, reiterated the need for a national health human resources institute to better integrate physician workforce data.

"I urge the CMA to support their young members because, frankly, we need it," said Connor Sommerfeld, a 4th year medical student at the University of Manitoba, pointing to recent cuts in postgraduate positions in Ontario.

Strong backing voiced for OMA

Delegates at General Council gave overwhelming support to the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) in its current dispute with the provincial government.

At the request of OMA leaders, delegates from across the country passed three resolutions condemning the Ontario government for unilaterally imposing a cap on physician billings, and supporting the OMA’s call for binding dispute resolution.

Support was unanimous or almost unanimous for the resolutions.

OMA President Mike Toth said the government decision to impose a 1.2% limit on the growth of physician expenditures – when the province’s own estimates are for growth of double this amount due to the aging population – means all additional costs will have to be borne by physicians.

The motion adopted at the meeting calls on the Ontario government to take responsibility for fully funding all necessary physician services in the province.

Dr. Gail Beck, OMA board member, pointed out that the provincial government’s unilateral actions place an undue burden on young family physicians who face income cuts of up to 30% and are limited in their ability to join group practices in urban or suburban areas.

“We have to stop this, and we have to stop this now,” said Doctors of BC member Brad Fritz.

“The slippery slope is if the government sees (it) can get away with it in Ontario, they will do it in every province.”

OMA Past President Dr. Ved Tandan said the OMA needs a binding dispute resolution mechanism in its negotiations with government, such as what exists in eight other jurisdictions.

The presidents of both the Saskatchewan Medical Association and Doctors of BC rose to strongly support this.

“It’s absolutely clear that Ontario needs this,” said Doctors of BC President Charles Webb.

CMA Physician Leadership Institute PMI leadership courses

NOTE: Please feel free to share with our collective members

Enhancing leadership skills through courses developed specifically for physicians.

Physicians can register for PMI physician leadership courses for an opportunity to hone their skills as a physician leader and network with colleagues from across the country.

Register for one of these two courses before October 19th and receive a $200 discount: Discount code: PMIOE

These upcoming online PMI courses offer physicians an unparalleled opportunity to enhance their leadership skills at a time and place that’s convenient for them.

Bring leadership training to your organization

In-house courses enable physicians to bring a CMA course to their workplace, and experience the results of improving the effectiveness of their teams and helping their colleagues to develop a common language and leadership skillset, collaborate to address common issues, solve problems and share new insights. All PMI physician leadership courses are available in-house.

To book an in-house PMI course, please call 800 663-7336 ext. 2932 or email

New online CME course: Adolescent depression (major depressive disorder)

New to the CMA’s suite of free accredited online continuing medical education (CME) courses, this course helps physicians identify, diagnose and treat cases of adolescent depression (major depressive disorder).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the adolescent years are when individuals face the greatest risk for the onset of mental disorders, and that neuropsychiatric disorders in this age group contribute the largest single component to the global burden of disease.

Available to CMA members only, this two-hour accredited course is presented by Dr. Stan Kutcher, who is Professor, Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health and Director, WHO Collaborating Centre, Dalhousie University. The course provides a brief overview of clinical depression in adolescents and helps physicians identify and address the issue in an effective, clinically relevant and evidence-based way. Upon completion of the course, you’ll be able to summarize strategies to identify, treat and evaluate outcomes, describe how to evaluate suicide risk in adolescents with depression, and list the criteria for referral of adolescents with depression to mental-health specialty services. Learn more

Canadian Certified Physician Executive Credential

NOTE: Please feel free to share with our collective members

The first Canadian certification program to recognize physicians for their exemplary leadership performance.

Developed by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and 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

CCPE credential - accepting applications

The 2015-2016 application forms for the Canadian Certified Physician Executive credential are now available. A few changes have been made to the application process, so please read the instructions carefully. Please use the fillable electronic forms: both MS Word and PDF forms now available. The application deadline is October 31, 2015. If you have any questions, please contact

CMA Member Discount Update

CMA members are showing great interest in the new Mercedes-Benz Canada discount making in the top 5 most-visited pages during the entire week of GC. If you want to share in this excitement by adding an announcement on your webpage, simply email Emmanuelle Morin and a graphic and link can be provided.

CMA members can now choose their preferred member discount offering! The CMA recently launched a polling feature on where members can log-in and rank-vote their preferred offering from a list of prospective vendors. Each poll will remain active on the website for a period of three months, after which time the highest-ranked prospect will join our list of discount offerings. This is just one more way the CMA is trying to invite members to tell us what they want from the CMA.

#MDatGC - “Live Special Edition” CIO Highlights Video

Each quarter, MD Financial Management (MD) produces a Chief Investment Officer (CIO) video highlighting the key financial issues impacting MD’s funds, pools and portfolios, as well as MD’s specific take and how they impact quarterly performance and our physician clients’ portfolios.

The past few years at CMA General Council (GC), MD has hosted a luncheon with a financial update from MD’s CIO, Bill Horton. At this year’s meeting when the delegates filed from GC Chambers into the lunch room they entered a TV film set, there were lights, cameras and action all around them, ensuring the crowd experienced something they hadn’t seen before at GC.

Moderated by Mike Gassewitz, Executive Vice President, Member Solutions at MD, the live-taped video featured Bill and special guest Brian Peters, President and CEO at MD. MD Content Marketing Manager and resident video expert Ari Grief captured the discussion of MD’s quarterly investment highlights and portfolio performance, and the key financial issues facing Canada’s economy today.

Before an active and engaged audience, Bill and Mike concluded the Special Edition CIO Highlights by thanking the organizers at the CMA for making the 148th General Council a truly outstanding event for all. Bill and Mike will provide another update at the end of the quarter, but until then, you can find the video on our website at

And, cut!

CMA members receive first-hand accounts of the value of NewCo - CMA’s most recent subsidiary

Delegates and observers at the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) annual meeting were given an extensive overview of the benefits of products and services available through NewCo — the CMA’s newest subsidiary—first-hand from colleagues who use them regularly.

CMA created NewCo to provide a structure to develop and promote products and services that meet physicians’ diverse and ever changing needs. NewCo’s current suite of products—the publications including CMAJ, clinical resources, physician leadership courses, and several other services—are already familiar to many CMA members.

CEO, Lindee David, kicked off a four-member panel discussion led by Dr. Jesse Kancir, immediate past-president of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students and now a resident at the University of British Columbia, attendees heard first-hand how the many products and services available from NewCo, as part of CMA membership, can help physicians become better clinicians as well as leaders.

When polled, attendees voted for having access to the latest clinical evidence and being available anywhere, anytime as the most important benefits. Suggestions for future benefits included secure text messaging and a single sign-on to access online clinical tools.

In early 2016, NewCo will launch its formal name and brand and will offer physician innovators a space to propose ideas and innovations to enhance the current offering.

View NewCo Session video

Upcoming events in your province or territory

Date Event City Province Details
Sept. 25Sherbrooke University
UMF Charles Lemoyne, salle 120B
25-SeptPublic Health Academic Half DayWinnipegMBMD Seminar
25-26-SeptAlberta Medical Association Annual General Meeting 2015ReginaSKMD/CMA
25-27-SeptFederation of Medical Women of CanadaTorontoONMD/CMA Sponsoring & Exhibiting
25-27-SeptIce BowlSaskatoonSKMD/CMA Sponsoring & Exhibiting
1 Oct.Calgary University
Sheraton Four Points, Panorama Room
1 OctUniversity of Toronto
Chestnut Conference Centre, 89 Chestnut Giovanni Room
1 OctUniversity of Saskatchewan
West Wind Primary Health Centre, 3311 Fairlight Drive
2 OctUniversity of Saskatchewan
West Wind Primary Health Centre, 3311 Fairlight Drive
2-OctNova Scotia College of Family PhysiciansHalifaxNSMD/CMA Sponsoring & Exhibiting
2-3 OctNew Brunswick Medical Society Annual General Meeting 2015MiramichiNBMD/CMA Sponsoring & Exhibiting
7 OctUniversity of Toronto
89 Chestnut
7 OctUniversity of Toronto
89 Chestnut
7-OctFemale Physician Series 1WaterlooONMD Seminar
16-OctDMAA Dalhousie Gala SponsorshipHalifaxNSMD Sponsorship
16-17-OctCanadian Conference on Physician HealthWinnipegMBMD/CMA Sponsoring & Exhibiting
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
28-OctUniversity of Manitoba
Theatre A, Bannatyne Building
28-OctFemale Physician Series 2WaterlooONMD Seminar
2 NovUniversity of Ottawa
Kaminski Room, Ottawa Civic Hospital, 1st floor, CPC
6 NovUniversity of Ottawa
Elizabeth Bruyère Centre, Jardin Paquette, 6th Floor
7-NovYukon Medical Association Annual General MeetingWhitehorseYKMD/CMA
7-NovOntario Association of General Surgeons TorontoONMD Sponsoring
12 NovUniversity of Alberta
Edmonton Health Academy, room 1-498
12-14 NovFamily Medicine ForumTorontoONMD/CMA
18 NovUniversity of British Columbia
Hardwick Hall, 2750 Healther Street
18-NovFemale Physician Series 3WaterlooONMD Seminar
20 NovUniversité Sherbrooke
U de Sherbrooke, salle xx
21-NovClinical Care Conference 2015MontrealQCMD Sponsoring and exhibiting
23 NovQueens' University
To be determined
SP QCare
Kingston ONPMC
24 NovUniversity of Alberta
University of Alberta Conference Services
Edmonton ABPMC
25 NovUniversity of Alberta
University of Alberta Conference Services
Edmonton ABPMC
26 NovMcGill University
McGill University, Meakins Amphitheatre
26 NovMemorial University
Ramada, Kenmount Road
26 NovMemorial University
Ramada, Kenmount Road
11 DecUniversité de Moncton
To be determined
17 DecMcMaster University
McMaster Innovation Park, 175 Longwood Rd South, Room 1D

For additional information please contact Natalie Theriault.