As I step into my role as your president this year, I very much look forward to getting down to business and working hard on your behalf with the Board of Directors, government, and our stakeholders. I will be a president committed to being a strong representative voice for the doctors in our province and our association as we move forward in a time of progressive and positive change.
In high school I was torn between choosing medicine or law as a career. Four weeks before starting law school I changed my mind and enrolled in medical school—it was my calling. It has provided me with a career in which I am able to have a positive individual influence on people’s lives while also contributing to the greater good of society. This is one of the many reasons I feel so privileged to represent our profession over the coming year.
During my term there are two key values I will keep foremost in mind and in my actions: collaboration and opportunity. The work undertaken by the association this year will be collaborative, for when we work together, come to a consensus, and unite as one, the end result is stronger. Only then can we truly make a difference. And collaboration is also the key to seizing the opportunities we have before us. We must take advantage of and act upon the opportunities that we worked hard to get—opportunities we achieved through the recent Physician Master Agreement. We have positioned ourselves to do so much for the profession and for our patients, but in order for this to happen we as a profession must be engaged; we must be united and we must be leaders!
Under the umbrella of collaboration and opportunity there are a number of priorities I intend to focus on. Included in these priorities is the opportunity to recognize and empower our younger members—our medical students and residents. They are the future of our profession—our doctors of tomorrow—and they are just embarking on their careers. But the beginning of one’s career can be a daunting time, a time in which a young physician would do well to have a mentor to look up to. For this reason I encourage you to get involved to provide the kind of leadership, mentorship, and learning that shapes our future doctors. It is important for them, but it is also important for our profession, for our patients, and for our health care system as a whole.
Another priority is to demonstrate our physician leadership during a time of exciting innovation in information technology, especially in relation to realizing universally accessible patient records. We still have many challenges, but this is an area where doctors can be partners in progress to be a profession of influence in helping set both the priorities and the processes for the adoption of a universally accessible IT system. I will strongly advocate for and continue to support the development of a universal patient record system that can be accessed by the clinicians who need it and by the patients themselves to better understand their conditions and, in turn, better manage their health. Not only will this improve patient care, it will make it easier for us to provide quality care.
These are just a few of the goals I hope to achieve during my term as president. Now is the time for us to get engaged, to unite as a profession, and to collaborate within our own ranks and with all of our partners. We as individuals must be inspired to fulfill our dream for a better system.
Only then will we as a profession be able to influence positive change.
—Charles Webb, MBChB
Doctors of BC President