The past few weeks have been such a great pleasure – sharing ideas and hearing from so many of you on the issues that are important to our patients and to the profession.
I am so encouraged by what I have heard and by what I have learned from you. There is an incredible energy in the physician community in Canada – a genuine and sincere commitment not just to patients but to the improvement of our health care system. You display, every day, a deeply-held sense of professional obligation to our country and to the world through your advocacy, your commitment to the principles of health equity, and your adherence to the noble ideals of professionalism.
I have immensely enjoyed the campaign for CMA president-elect nominee. I am so grateful for the hard work and unwavering support of my campaign team – Nick Neuheimer, Pearl Behl and Kieran Quinn. Their tireless work on my behalf is deeply appreciated. To my Dean (Richard Reznick), my Department Head (Stephen Archer), my chiefs-of-staff (David Zelt and Dale Mercer), and my hospital CEOs (Leslee Thompson and David Pichora) – thank you for believing in me and for your very tangible support. To all my colleagues and friends in the Queen’s, KGH and HDH communities, the family medicine community and the specialist communities across Ontario and the country – thank you for your encouragement and support. To the medical students and residents – whose views on wellness and health human resources are held so passionately and articulated so resonantly – thank you for your advice, support and leadership. To all my other health professional colleagues from across the country, as well as administrative leaders in hospital, primary care and community settings – thank you for your emails, calls and texts of encouragement!
And to Dr. Gail Beck – a longstanding and tireless champion for children, women and all patients; and an eloquent advocate for mental health – your honourable, principled and respectful campaign has been an inspiring one to many people, including me. I very much look forward to working together with you in the coming years on these and other issues that are important for our patients.
As I look back on the campaign, I see it as a bit of a trail blazer – Dr. Beck and I both communicated extensively through social media – Twitter, Facebook, blogs and LinkedIn. The “Twitter Town Hall” in which we were invited to participate was a first for a CMA election, and challenged us both to “respond in 140 characters or less”. I was glad we had a moderator (thanks, @NarayanMD!) because the questions coming in were like a ticker tape – I didn’t even have a chance to read the question before it was scrolled off the page by the next questions! What a wonderful experience! It was fantastic to see so much interest and so many passionate questions.
Looking forward, we have a federal election looming and many discussions to have about the role of the federal government in both the delivery of health care and in the promotion of health. We have other stakeholders to engage as well – provincial governments, the Council of the Federation, the broad array of medical organizations across the country, our colleagues in the other health professions, our trainees, our patients, the public, and those who work in and lead our hospitals, our primary health teams and community agencies.
We have a lot of work to do. I believe passionately in the capacity of Canada’s doctors to be solutions providers. Together, we can help lead the transformation of Canada’s health care system into one that is truly worthy of Canadians’ confidence and trust.