One of the great things about this job is that I get to do a lot of travel across Canada and a chance to meet lots of fantastic people as we share ideas and experiences.
This week, it was Vancouver, and it was lovely. The sun was out, the weather was warm, and I had a blast.
My first stop was the University of British Columbia, where I met with Dr. Gavin Stuart, the Dean of Medicine.
Dr. Stuart is in his 11th year as Dean – he is well-seasoned, wise, and a highly respected leader in BC as well as nationally and internationally. We talked a lot about medical education – particularly the new distributive model in BC (70% of BC doctors are now on faculty!) and the collective effort to improve access to care in rural and remote communities. We also talked a lot about medical professionalism; how our professionalism must extend beyond advocacy for our individual patients and more into advocacy for the system, for our communities and our country.
My next stop was the Vancouver Sun, where I met with members of the editorial board.
We had a long, free-ranging discussion about seniors care. I told them the CMA intended to make seniors care a ballot issue in the next federal election. We need a plan, involving all levels of government, and with Ottawa taking the lead. The Sun was supportive, and published this editorial yesterday:
Osler said that the practice of medicine was an art, not a trade; a calling, not a business. Although Osler has made his mark in so many ways, what inspires me most from his teachings is the fact that he always sought to bring medical education to the bedside. He recognized the need to connect with patients at a human, personal level – to truly understand our patients and their lives so that we can contextualize their illnesses and therefore serve them best.
I spoke about our seniors strategy and about our civic duty, as professionals, to work toward a better system; to be leaders in society and to keep our patients at the centre of everything we do and everything we stand for.
One of the best parts of the evening was the chance to reconnect with my Dal Meds 1992 classmates, Drs. Scott MacDonald and Beata Byczko, who came out to hear the lecture!
Thanks to Vancouver Medical Association President Jim Busser and all who helped to make the evening so special!
The next morning, I was off to visit with the Board of Directors of Doctors of BC (formerly the British Columbia Medical Association).
We had a great discussion! Lots of alignments between Doctors of BC and the CMA. I emphasized how important the PTMAs are to CMA and that our strategy of engagement with the provincial and territorial medical associations meant a culture of continuous communication and feedback. Together, we are so much better than the sum of our parts.
Thank you, Vancouver!