As this is my last blog, I want to start at the beginning. When my term began, we were preparing for negotiations on a new Physician Master Agreement and advocating for health care system reform and physician health. All this while settling into year two of a revamped organization, and in the context of an increasingly polarized society – where many people have connections on social media but feel distressingly isolated. Yes, there were challenges. But we met them. Together.
After eight months of member consultation, we had a clear mandate which led to successful PMA negotiations before the current agreement ended. What we accomplished with government sets the foundation for the opportunities that we have long been asking for: physician influence, strong primary care, alternative payment options, team-based care, protection against cutbacks and pro-rationing, and recognition of the financial burdens we face.
As the second year of our new governance model comes to an end, a key change that took place was ensuring that any member elected to the Board relinquishes any conflicting positions they hold with other organizations. As well, several committee positions that previously went to board members are now open to all members. And at the upcoming RA meeting there will be, for the first time, an agenda item dedicated to reflection on how the RA is functioning and how it can be improved. These moves show that Doctors of BC values its members and encourages us to participate.
Part of that participation stems from the ongoing Diversity and Inclusion work which, through our Working Group, member survey and upcoming focus groups, you are sharing your experiences and the barriers you face. We will continue to ensure that all voices are heard and that we address these obstacles as we create an equitable organization where every member belongs and feels safe. It’s not easy. Our society is becoming more polarized and it seems everything is political. Scope creep threatens complimentary and respectful team-based care, doctors continue to face overwhelming burdens that take us away from our patients, and disparities within our profession create inequality, resentment, and conflict. All on top of more complex patients’ needs. Change must come.
I am confident the talented and dedicated Drs Kathleen Ross and Matthew Chow, the incoming President and President-Elect respectively, will lead our profession boldly through the next stages. Renewal at the Board and RA will bring new perspectives to the direction of our profession. Doctors of BC will continue to seek ways to collaborate with all members as well as government, Health Authorities, academic institutions, the College, Sections, Societies, and other allied organizations. And the staff of Doctors of BC will continue to support us so ably.
Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me this year. It was my privilege to serve you, and I want you to know that I will continue to be your colleague as we work together towards our common goal of joyful doctors caring brilliantly and sustainably for our patients and communities.
- Dr Eric Cadesky