My decision to run for President of the CMA has brought me many great opportunities. The largest of these, by far, continues to be my contact with students and residents across the province. When I meet with trainees, I feel refreshed, enlightened, and optimistic. This great profession belongs to these future leaders. Today’s medical learner is sophisticated, bright, passionate,connected, and value-based. They are ready to innovate care for patients beyond what established docs could ever have imagined.
Despite this positive sentiment, there is no doubt that learners face tremendous pressure. I am dedicated to being an ally and advocate for students and residents. To this end, I feel strongly about the following issues:
A pan-Canadian health human resources strategy
I believe HHR cannot be done justice in provincial silos. Identifying needs and matching interested minds to them must be driven by data, not politics and campaign cycles. We must plan and project for the next year as well as the next decade, paying close attention to a changing population, aging, workforce demographics, and regional needs.
There were 68 unmatched grads in CARMS this year. These are not all people who have chosen small specially subjects; they include generalists. It is unacceptable and socially irresponsible for us to train moremedical students than there are residency spots. Rebalancing must occur so that no Canadian medical student is forced out of the country for a residency. Ultimately, there should be a small surplus of positions to make way for repatriation of Canadians studying abroad and for immigration
Student debt is at an all-time high. As a result, graduates may face pressure to select high-paying specialties and subspecialties and avoid generalism. We need generalists now more than ever, especially in the face of our aging population. Moreover, high tuition excludes those who do not come from wealthy families. It is heartbreaking to see that some students graduate with up to $300,000 of debt, while 20% of students leave medical school with no debt at all. We are creating a situation where only the privileged can afford medical school. I will work to address this systemically.
It is well-known and accepted that we have a hidden curriculum that disadvantage minorities, women, generalism, diversity, and alternative voices. I will fight for equity and transparency in medicine.
Unequal playing fields
I will not stand back and watch rules being created that disadvantage younger colleagues over established ones. Their future careers are our concern and they are an equal and forward looking part of our profession.
A relevant modern CMA
It is up to us to create a CMA where young leaders are valued and nurtured. There is so much room for new thoughts and ideas in healthcare, and certainly we must create space for our young leaders to develop these ideas. I’m dedicated to ensuring this happens.
We have much to do to support our students, residents and new in practice physicians. Teaching and mentorship are my passion. It is therefore my privilege to fight for the future of our profession.