Doctors of BC is launching a consultation with members with the goal of ensuring our governance structures are inclusive and reflect the diversity of our membership. This wide-ranging engagement will start with a member survey, and will grow over the next few months to include discussion groups around the province. I urge you to please share your views about changes Doctors of BC ought to make to ensure we are more open and encouraging of underrepresented physician groups in seeking leadership roles.
Currently, our governing bodies – the Representative Assembly, Board and committees – do not reflect the composition of our membership. We have many hard working and committed physician leaders working within these structures, but groups such as women, physicians of different ethnic and cultural groups, younger physicians, First Nations, physicians with disabilities, those of different practice experience and other groups are underrepresented.
This means that important perspectives are not reflected at the decision tables. When our physician leadership is truly diverse and reflects the demographics of all our members, we can do the best job of strategizing, planning and advocating for the future of the whole profession.
Before we get to solutions, we must understand the barriers to participation. Over the next few months, we will seek to understand what is currently keeping many physicians from seeking leadership positions in our governance structures.
It all starts with a survey that will be sent to you on Monday, February 25th. The survey is being conducted by TWI Surveys, and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. I assure you your answers will remain anonymous and confidential – TWI Surveys will only share aggregate results with Doctors of BC. Your responses to this survey will help us to shape the questions we will ask in our discussion groups over the next few months.
Our Board is committed to exploring these issues, and acting on what we hear. It is anticipated that a report with findings and recommendations will go to the Board in Fall of this year.
I want to take a moment to thank the members of our Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Working Group for their time and commitment to support this engagement. Many of these physicians have never participated in our committees or other bodies, and their leadership in advising Doctors of BC on this engagement is highly valued.
Ultimately, being inclusive is about respecting our differences and ensuring that all voices are heard, that each and everyone of us is truly represented in our professional organization. Please make your mark. Your input is vital to making positive change, and will help us better advocate for and represent you.
More information on the diversity and inclusion engagement and how you can get involved can be found here. As always, I am happy to hear your thoughts and answer your questions. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Eric Cadesky, MDCM CCFP FCFP
President, Doctors of BC