Members, mosaics, and master agreements: A year to remember

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 61, No. 4, May 2019, Page 161 President's Comment

This President's Reflection is published in addition to Dr Cadesky's President's Comment in the May issue.

Dr Eric Cadesky
Dr Eric Cadesky

Maybe it’s the acoustic cover of “Despacito” playing the background. Maybe it’s the late-night cuddles I received before opening my laptop. Maybe it’s the solemn knowledge that this is likely the last thing I will write in the BCMJ as your president. Whatever the cause, I am in a reflective mood as I consider everything that we have accomplished together this year.

The most significant is the new Physician Master Agreement (PMA) that, in conjunction with our respectful and collaborative relationship with government, set new standards of recognition for the burdens that doctors carry and the supports we need to provide optimum care. We all owe a heartfelt thank you to the Statutory Negotiating Committee and its chair, Dr Trina Larsen Soles, as well as to our chief negotiator, Mr Paul Straszak, and the staff that advocated for us so well. As a result of this agreement our profession is positioned to continue caring and advocating for the health of our patients, our communities, and our colleagues.

Despite these tribal times when other leaders threatened walls and closed borders, we came together over honest, difficult, sensitive conversations on how to create a Doctors of BC that respects diversity, encourages inclusion, and promotes belonging. You told us about your experiences in different settings: these stories inform us as we move ahead on ensuring that all voices are heard and that everyone feels safe. This is not easy, but worthy journeys rarely are.

This year we continued settling into our new governance structure. We are now 2 years post-referendum that separated governance (the Board) from representation (the Representative Assembly [RA]), and this year saw another cycle for the new structure. In addressing conflicts of fiduciary duty, we have increased confidence that Board members have clear priorities. And allowing more time for reflection in RA meetings will further define roles and provide our leaders with more resources and experiences. This is all part of the RA’s evolution to be your voice for complementary interests in the mosaic that is our organization.

The year ahead promises to be important, with patient medical homes, primary/patient care networks, implementation of the next phases of the PMA, a possible verdict in the Cambie legal challenge, and further collaboration with the Canadian Medical Association, government, health authorities, the University of British Columbia, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Changes in society and the practice of medicine make for uncertain times, but under the leadership of incoming president Dr Kathleen Ross we are in good hands. She understands the stresses we endure and the importance of professional unity in the face of identity politics. Doctors of BC staff support us tremendously, and often in ways that go unnoticed, so on behalf of us all I thank our adept CEO Allan Seckel and the rest of the staff who do their work so well so we can do ours.

Lastly, thank you to everyone who took the time to write, call, or meet with me this year. You are brilliant, dedicated, and inspiring. Doctors of BC is made of members. You are Doctors of BC. And we are better because of it.

It has been my honor to serve you. You may not have always agreed with what I said or how I said it, but, as I promised at the beginning of my term, I tried as hard as I could to represent you. I look forward to continuing this advocacy because no matter our differences on a particular issue, we are all on the same team caring for the same patients in the same health care system. After everything that has happened this year, I hope that you agree that having stayed together we have definitely done better.
—Eric Cadesky, MDCM, CCFP, FCFP
Doctors of BC President

Eric Cadesky, MDCM, CCFP, FCFP. Members, mosaics, and master agreements: A year to remember. BCMJ, Vol. 61, No. 4, May, 2019, Page(s) 161 - President's Comment.

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