Geriatric Medicine Conference 2017: Wellness & Dignity Throughout

May 27, 2017

This is a one day meeting for internists, geriatricians, family physicians and allied health professionals with an interest in geriatrics. This engaging educational course is designed to be interactive with workshops and debates covering some of the challenging areas in the clinical management of geriatric patients.

Combating Stigma

Available online until May 2017.

Combating Stigma is a web-based CME course for physicians. It takes an hour to complete and includes a number of elements shown to be important for anti-stigma programming for healthcare professionals.

4th Annual Women’s Health in Primary Care Conference

June 2, 2017

A practical, clinical review and update on a range of topics on issues related to women's health in the context of primary care; such as contraception, STI, breast cancer screening and menopause management.

Community Physician Education Program

June 3, 2017

Physicians are invited to join the Workers' Compensation Board-Alberta for the Community Physician Education Program. This program will enhance physician ability and confidence in providing care to injured workers. Participants can expect a half-day of discussion, interaction and workshops geared towards the family physicians' role in the care of patients with work-related injuries.

Advanced Obesity Management Program

Online – available 24/7

Online Mainpro-M1 accredited course designed for health care professionals who understand basic obesity principles, but want to learn more.

Mind and Gut: The conundrum of chronic illness

June 10, 2017

The second in a series of Continuing Health Education initiatives for the Northern Alberta physicians and health care providers who manage inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). If you have patients with IBD, join your colleagues to collaborate and exchange evidence-based strategies and guidelines for use in clinical practice.

Essential Strategies for Chronic Pain Management

June 19, 2017

Learn essential skills in chronic pain management, including tips to use in a primary care setting and basic counseling skills.

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News and Latest UpdatesRSS

Data security breach update

May 25, 2017

Email from CEO Mike Gormley on the data security breach and current progress.

Administrative Assistant, Physician Payments

May 23, 2017

Are you resourceful and organized with an eye for detail? Do you enjoy working in a fast-paced environment and adapt quick to change? Do you want to support Alberta doctors in their provision of quality health care in our province? If you're up for a challenge, the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) is recruiting for a full-time Administrative Assistant, Physician Payments position for our Health Economics branch. At the AMA, we know that employees are fundamental to our success as an organization.

Elections for President-Elect are underway

May 16, 2017

Elections for the AMA's next President-Elect are underway. Click here to learn more and vote!

Voting begins: PCN Framework – a major step towards integrated health care

May 12, 2017

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: Voting begins: PCN Framework – a major step towards integrated health care

On the front lines

May 1, 2017

Dr. Jeffrey Way, a Calgary trauma surgeon, travels to Iraq to care for people living amidst the horrors of war.

Dear Minister: Please clean up your acts

May 1, 2017

Alberta has 30 pieces of health legislation and over 100 regulations on its books, many of which are archaic, out of touch and in some cases, just plain irrelevant. It would be nice if a new provincial government bent on reforming the health care system, bending the cost curve and bringing innovation to the delivery of health care services would take an introspective and critical glance at the rules that bind them.

Managing fatigue, relationships and digital technology

April 24, 2017

Late in 2016, the last physician with burnout was identified and treated – about 30 years after the term “physician health” was coined. It looked at first like a career change might be necessary, but the doctor responded well to a novel combination of drugs, talk therapy and Alberta Health Services workplace modifications. That doctor is, for the most part, happily back at work. The medical profession breathed a sigh of relief, and now the spotlight has shifted away from physician health back to sick patients.

AMA student sponsorships: The results are in!

April 24, 2017

The Committee on Student Affairs recently met to review 17 sponsorship applications. Based on funding criteria and the individual components of the application, the committee chose the following projects/events to receive funding...

The art and science of underwriting: Analysis of the whole picture

April 24, 2017

Underwriting is the analysis of medical, non-medical and financial information about a member to determine the effect these factors statistically have on mortality or morbidity. This is also called risk classification.

CMA online and in-house courses on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)

April 20, 2017

More and more Canadians are expected to ask a physician about medical assistance in dying (MAiD). In 2016, the CMA launched a self-led foundational online MAiD course which helps members understand the basics and have a conversation with their patients. To help prepare members who are considering offering MAiD to their patients, Joule™ and the CMA have recently launched an advanced facilitated MAiD course. Click to learn more.

Let's recognize that community and the health care system are both important at end-of-life

April 10, 2017

Palliative end-of-life care programs are maturing in Canada, still with somewhat spotty application of resources and expertise. Programs in Alberta continue to be among the leaders, some with a 20-year history of cross-sectoral integration, hospice development, home care capacity, acute and long-term care expertise.

A tribute to Dr. Gerald L. Higgins

April 7, 2017

In the March-April 2017 issue of Alberta Doctors’ Digest, we pay tribute to a past editor of our publication, Dr. Gerald Higgins, who passed away on January 6.

Standardization of refugee care across the province

April 6, 2017

For refugees fleeing war and violence, Canada offers safety and the promise of a better future. But arriving in a new country can be overwhelming, especially for people with health issues. As the medical director of the Mosaic Refugee Health Clinic in Calgary, I see first-hand the struggles refugees face. Contributed by: Dr. Annalee Coakley

Don't miss the Tarrant Scholarship deadline!

April 4, 2017

Calling all medical students: Don't forget to apply for the 2017 Tarrant Scholarship! The deadline is Friday, May 26.

More from the Spring RF - and plans for a Special RF

March 29, 2017

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: In my last letter I promised you more information about what occurred at the March 10-11 meeting of the Representative Forum. It was a particularly influential meeting in many ways.

RF’s direction to Board and work with sections ahead

March 22, 2017

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: The Representative Forum recently held its spring meeting on March 10-11 in Edmonton. A number of important subjects were addressed including an interactive session on future directions of the AMA, an update on Physician Resource Planning, a session on Health Information Exchange, and a session on Negotiations 2018 among others.

Cheese and crackers; sunshine and water; physicians and schools

March 17, 2017

Some things just go together naturally; they complement each other, are mutually beneficial and when together, result in positive outcomes. While it takes a plate to bring together some nice cheese and crackers, and a great day by the lake to join sunshine with water, the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) Youth Run Club (YRC) is the platform for uniting physicians with students and teachers through the opportunities it creates for school health advocacy.

April 1, 2017 Billing Corner

March 16, 2017

The April 1 SOMB reflects only changes made pursuant to the Individual Fee Review of the Physician Compensation Committee as well as the SOMB Rule Changes Initiative. The April 1, 2017 SOMB scheduled adjustment (a cost-of-living increase) is being held back as an amount at risk under the Amending Agreement. A reconciliation process to be completed no later than June 30, 2018 will determine whether the payment will be made to physicians.

Is there a good app for that?

March 16, 2017

The interest in mobile health has grown exponentially in recent years with an estimated 200,000 health and medical apps currently available. While fitness applications (apps) have consistently been the most popular choice, more and more consumers download and use the plethora of other health apps available on all platforms. Standards of quality in apps have been slow in development.

No borders here

March 14, 2017

Calgary physician, Dr. Annalee Coakley helps refugees get off to a healthy start in their new home.

AMA Term Life Insurance: Even more competitive in 2017

March 8, 2017

We are pleased to advise that for 2017 we have been able to further reduce non-smoker rates for members in age-bands 40 to 60 by an additional 15% and continue with our 20% AMA Premium Credit.

Edmonton West PCN Medical Director

March 8, 2017

Reporting to the President of the Board of Directors of the Edmonton West Family Physicians Non-Profit Corporation, the Medical Director of the Edmonton West Primary Care Network (EWPCN) is a key leadership position within the EWPCN. The Medical Director will work part time (0.4 FTE) in a dyad relationship with the EWPCN Executive Director to provide clinical business leadership in a shared decision making model. Together, they oversee the EWPCN budget and operations. The Medical Director will be responsible for supporting clinical leadership for physicians within the EWPCN and will also be a key link between the EWPCN physicians, other Primary Care Networks (PCNs), Alberta Health Services, and provincial physician organizations. This position provides continuity of physician leadership over time and will support the Board with information and advice for decision making.

I get high with a little help from my ... prime minister?

March 7, 2017

In the fall of 2014, Alberta Doctors’ Digest published a Health Law Update story entitled “I get high with a little help from my … doctor?” It focused on one of the hot topics for discussion at the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Annual General Meeting in Ottawa that year: the prescription of medical marijuana by Canadian doctors. The medical profession is taking shots at the federal government's expressed intention to legalize the possession and use of marijuana by 2019.

CPSA rolls out new prescribing rules to help combat opioid crisis

March 6, 2017

A new process for prescribing high-risk drugs like opioids, benzodiazepines, sedatives and stimulants will improve physician prescribing and enhance patient safety. Approved by the Council of the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA), the new standard of practice on Prescribing: Drugs with Potential for Misuse or Diversion comes into effect April 1, 2017.

FORE! Registration open for 90th Annual North/South Doctors' Golf Tournament

March 3, 2017

Registration is now open for the 90th Annual North/South Doctors’ Golf Tournament taking place Monday, June 26 at the Red Deer Golf and Country Club.

Preparing for Representative Forum

March 1, 2017

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: The upcoming spring Representative Forum (RF) will address many important activities under the Amending Agreement. Members may review information provided with this letter and contact their delegates to provide input for the forum, particularly with respect to a major session regarding relativity and equity.

“American Medical Directory” scam alive and well

February 21, 2017

Are you among the Alberta physicians being bullied by the American Medical Directory, also known as or the UNITED Directorios LDA? After agreeing to be added to what you thought was a free and legitimate medical directory, were you then sent invoices for thousands of dollars with threats of collections and legal action if not paid or settled in full? You’re among good company.

Wellness for women physicians

February 16, 2017

Dr. Amber Fripp, a practicing general internal medicine specialist in Calgary, is an advocate of taking ownership of a healthy lifestyle. She has a passion for fitness and an interest in promoting health and wellness amongst her colleagues.

Residents' Page - Alberta Doctors' Digest

February 16, 2017

Read the latest "Residents' Page" contribution to the Alberta Doctors' Digest: "PARAdime: Resident physicians support some of Alberta's most vulnerable through annual community campaign".

Priming our brains for 2017

February 6, 2017

Too many colleagues and kith and kin, aging alongside me, have disappeared into clouded, anxious fuzziness. Truth is, I am worried. And so are my demographic cohorts. Defining exactly what can be sourced and what must be known may be one of the most vexing issues in education today.

Call for Expressions of Interest: CMA Committees Members-at-Large

February 6, 2017

AMA members are invited to submit expressions of interest in running for openings on two Canadian Medical Association committees. The openings are for members-at-large positions on the CMA Appointments Committee and CMA Audit and Finance Committee. Expressions of interest are due February 20.

A place to call home

February 3, 2017

Edmonton physicians help homeless pregnant women build a better future.

SOMB savings complete – Results and next steps

February 2, 2017

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: As outlined by our Amending Agreement, we have been working with government to identify $100 million in savings via changes to Schedule of Medical Benefits (SOMB) rules. Guided by consultation with sections and also considering input from individual physicians, a joint Alberta Medical Association (AMA)/Alberta Health (AH) working group developed a list of SOMB rule changes which were based on the following principles...

Employees, contractors, partners, the government: You have obligations to all of them

January 31, 2017

Physicians are very well-educated, but that education does not necessarily prepare them for the business and legal considerations of operating their own practice. While some will work as employees, many doctors will find themselves alone or as part of a group operating their own office and running a business.

The power of the whiteboard

January 31, 2017

Dr. Gadget highlights two educational tools using whiteboard animations that are readily available to all physicians.

The Alberta Medical Association stands as an advocate for its physician members, providing leadership & support for their role in the provision of quality health care.