Epilepsy and Seizure Management: Beyond the ER

October 21, 2017

This workshop will provide plenary and case based discussion opportunities for primary care practitioners to rehearse assessments, procedures and techniques to polish patient care management skills.

Contemporary Insights for Optimizing Health

October 27, 2017

The Integrative Health institute conference promotes knowledge translation and networking for health care providers, academics, learners, health administrators, and other key stakeholders. This year's conference themes are 1) chronic pain, 2) mental health; and 3) health system transformation.

9th Rich Man, Poor Man Dinner & Silent Auction

October 28, 2017

One individual per table will be served a "rich man" meal while the remaining attendees will receive a "poor man" meal. The goal of this event is to highlight the disparities that exist in access to stable and nutritious sources of food, while also raising funds for local and global health initiatives.

The Little Heart Heroes Superhero Soiree

October 28 to 29, 2017

This summer the first Heart Heroes Camp, a medically-supervised summer camp for children born with heart disease, took place out at Camp Yowocas. The camp was so successful that the organizers would like to make it a regular event for these incredible children. Please help support the camp by suiting up in your finest superhero attire on October 28 for the Superhero Soiree.

20th Annual Diabetes Canada and CSEM Professional Conference and Annual General Meeting

November 1 to 4, 2017

The conference offers health care professionals the opportunity to share ideas and learn about significant advances in diabetes research, treatment and care. Over four days, participants will receive access to more than 40 scientific sessions, exchange ideas with industry-leading experts and expand professional networks with over 1,800 attendees.

RAH 2017 Hospital Medicine Conference

November 3 to 5, 2017

A conference bringing together Canadian family physicians for an informative and beneficial weekend of networking and learning opportunities. Topics to include interventional radiology, inpatient management of cirrhosis, rotating narcotics when treating palliative care, and more.

42nd Annual Family Practice Review and Update Course – Pearls for Practice

November 20 to 23, 2017

An update focused on information pearls pertinent for practice in primary care. Topics covered include a wide variety of the diagnoses typically seen in both urban and rural settings

CAMH Opioid Dependence Treatment Core Course (Alberta Version)

September 25 to November 27, 2017

This course is the foundation of the Opioid Dependence Treatment Certificate Program. The course is designed to promote interprofessional collaboration among the health care team involved in opioid dependence treatment.

Managing Concussions in Clinical Practice

October 20, 2017 or February 10, 2018

A two-part blended learning course on treating patients for concussion. Part one of the course is a certificate-level online course that offers in-depth concussion management training in three modules covering assessment, diagnosis, management. Part two includes an in-person workshop in either October or February.

Certificate in Patient Safety & Quality Management

September 2017 and March 2018

Designed for health care professionals who want to expand their working understanding of patient safety and quality management concepts. It runs from September 8, 2017 to March 10, 2018 and is offered through the University of Calgary’s Office of Continuing Medical Education & Professional Development. Registration opens June 5. Email to receive a reminder

Evening Course Program & Wednesday Night Webinar

September 13, 2017 to March 14, 2018

A series of lectures targeted to family physicians on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. with topics and speakers selected by a committee of family physicians. Two methods of delivery are offered: in-person at the Clara Christie Theatre, Health Sciences Centre, University of Calgary or via webinar.

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News and Latest UpdatesRSS

Administrative Assistant Policy and Negotiations

October 13, 2017

Are you a well-organized motivated team player, with strong communication skills? 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 is recruiting for a full-time Administrative Assistant, Policy and Negotiations position for our Health Economics branch.

Administrative Assistant, PFSP (Calgary)

October 13, 2017

Do you have senior administrative experience that includes supporting senior managers and high-level committees? Do you want to support Alberta doctors in their provision of quality health care in our province? If yes, the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) is currently recruiting for a full-time senior Administrative Assistant for our Physician and Family Support Program (PFSP).

Our #GOATs are doing great things to promote physician wellness

October 6, 2017

Through the years, the PFSP has been impressed by physicians who support the wellness of colleagues and create a more open, supportive and compassionate culture for Alberta physicians. To acknowledge the work of some of these students, residents and physicians we’ll give you a glimpse of who is doing what on the ground to promote physician wellness. In our eyes, each of these individuals is a #GOAT (Greatest Of All Time).

We're helping future doctors put down rural roots

October 5, 2017

On Wednesday, October 4 at 1:30 p.m., the Alberta Medical Association's Section of Rural Medicine presented the Tarrant Scholarship to two Alberta medical students. Learn more.

Influenza Immunization Program newsletter - October 2017

October 5, 2017

Keep informed about the latest on Alberta's Influenza Immunization program.

CALL ME – Canadians Alleviating Loneliness and Longing by Mingling with the Elderly

October 5, 2017

With their CALL ME (Canadians Alleviating Loneliness and Longing by Mingling with the Elderly) ELiHP project, co-leads Dr. Nabeela Nathoo and Dr. Omar Damji put a Calgary spin on a UK-based study of the positive effects of a telephone befriending service on the physical and mental health of older adults (65 and older).

AMA and CMA Submission to Department of Finance

October 3, 2017

View the CMA’s formal submission to Finance Canada’s consultation on proposed taxation changes. Also included is the AMA's letter of support. The CMA submission incorporates input from taxation experts, economists and thousands of physicians to demonstrate how proposed changes will negatively impact Canadians. The AMA's letter has also been shared with our Premier, Minister of Health and Acting Deputy Minister of Health.

Community Information Integration

September 29, 2017

The AMA, Alberta Health and the CPSA have collaborated to promote the Community Information Integration Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to improve the continuity of care for Albertans across the health system through better access to primary care and community health information.

Seeking members for the AMA Indigenous Health Committee

September 25, 2017

The AMA is seeking member physicians to join its new Indigenous Health Committee. To indicate your interest in serving on this committee, either as chair or as a member, please click here.

Data security

September 21, 2017

Updated Friday September 21, 2017: The AMA has prepared a document to explain what has occurred at Equifax — and what it means for members (to the best of our knowledge at present). Because Equifax is a credit bureau, there are implications for all Canadians, not only those who have purchased services from Equifax. We encourage you to take a few moments to review the document.

My thoughts on 2017-18

September 21, 2017

I wanted to introduce myself as your new president. I am a Calgary pediatrician who has been active with the Alberta Medical Association for almost 20 years in various roles – mostly related to fees and information technology issues. I am honored to have been elected to serve as your president for the 2017-18 year.

CRM Developer

September 21, 2017

Do you have hands-on experience developing Microsoft Dynamics CRM customization and extension solutions? Do you want to work for an organization who knows that employees are fundamental to our success? If yes, the Alberta Medical Association is recruiting for the position of CRM Developer to be a part of our Information Systems team.

President’s thoughts at end of term

September 15, 2017

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: I would like to thank the membership for the opportunity of allowing me to serve as president of the Alberta Medical Association. I am humbled by the trust that has been placed in me. Serving as president is a tremendous responsibility, which I have taken very seriously.

Update on academic medicine developments

September 14, 2017

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: Under the Amending Agreement, the Alberta Medical Association is participating in development of the provincial Academic Medicine and Health Services Program. This is what we have typically referred to as the provincial Academic Alternative Relationship Plan. The parties involved are the universities, Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services.

AMA salutes nine remarkable honorees

September 14, 2017

The Alberta Medical Association is proud to salute nine Albertans – seven physicians, one non-physician and one medical student – as they are honored with the most prestigious awards bestowed by the AMA and the Canadian Medical Association.

Patient portals and secure messaging

September 12, 2017

Over the last decade or so, the advent of computer technology has ushered in a new age of health care in Alberta. From the transition to electronic medical records in community medical offices to the implementation of large-scale electronic health records and clinical information systems, the medical profession in Alberta is now at the crux of integrating the flow of digital health information across the health continuum.

Influenza Immunization Program newsletter - September 2017

September 11, 2017

Keep informed about the latest on Alberta's Influenza Immunization program.

Alberta Health Electronic File Transfer Issues Resolved

September 8, 2017

Earlier today Alberta Health released a bulletin reporting that they had experienced a technical disruption with the file transfers that occur to issue physician payments (fee for service and alternative relationship plan). This issue has now been resolved. Payments began moving to financial institutions late Friday. Some physicians, however, will not receive their funds until Monday.

e-health literacy: Creating our best selves

September 6, 2017

I continue to think about Dr. Gadget’s (AKA: Dr. Wesley Jackson’s) provocative question at the end of his column in the March-April 2017 issue of Alberta Doctors’ Digest: “If you were going to invest now in your future best self, where would you put your time and your energy?” Dr. Jackson was quoting Dr. Robert Waldinger in his 2015 TED Talk about the Harvard Study of Adult Development.

Should study of the history of medicine be a requirement for medical trainees?

September 5, 2017

As yet, the history of medicine is neither mandated for medical student accreditation, nor included in specialty or generalist competencies, but powerful arguments are being made to relevant committees and through academic publishing.

Some pitfalls when using electronic medical records

September 1, 2017

Given the theme of this edition of Alberta Doctors’ Digest (and the fact that this is a medical/legal column), I thought it might be helpful to reflect on some of the risk factors associated with electronic medical records (EMRs).

AHS Clinical Information Systems

August 30, 2017

A revised approach to information sharing among users of the Alberta Health Services Clinical Information Systems will take effect January 1, 2018, pending approval from a number of key stakeholders. Stakeholders include AHS, Alberta Medical Association, College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta, University of Alberta and University of Calgary. This development of a revised approach has been facilitated by Alberta Health.

Project Outreach

August 28, 2017

Project Outreach, established in 1993, provides medical services to children in the developing world. It is a non-profit organization of medical volunteers that is based in Calgary. Learn about the experiences of co-founder Dr. Ruth Connors and fourth-year plastic surgery resident, Dr. Becky Hartley.

Health information sharing

August 25, 2017

Many of us have thought about health information sharing in terms of the referral/consultation pathway or in terms of our obligations to protect information under the Health Information Act, but have you thought about it as a core value of a high-functioning health care system?

How do patients feel about accessing their health information through an online portal?

August 24, 2017

Across the world, patients desire electronic access to their health information, and a trend is growing to facilitate this through web-based patient portals. Canada Health Infoway data show that approximately 80% of Canadians want access to their health records or other digital health solutions. In Alberta, public availability of self-serve health information is upon us and it will be a large change for many practitioners.

Income Equity meetings

August 21, 2017

AMA CC Co-Chairs and the income equity working group will be meeting with as many sections and groups as possible in order to present information, answer questions and gather input and feedback on income equity. View list of meetings to date, as well as scheduled upcoming meetings.

AMA update on taxation proposals for private corporations

August 17, 2017

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: I am writing to update you on Alberta Medical Association activity regarding the proposed federal tax changes to private corporations. (This includes not only physician professional corporations, but also holding/investment companies.) Many of you have taken time to let me know about your personal concerns and provincial/territorial medical associations across the country are hearing similar messages from your colleagues in those jurisdictions.

What new tax rules could mean for incorporated physicians

July 28, 2017

Recently, the federal government’s changes to tax rules for professionals (including physicians) who practice in some complex corporate and partnership structures became law. The new rules can affect physician eligibility for the small-business tax deduction.

Legal recreational cannabis: Tell the government what you think!

July 27, 2017

As the Government of Alberta prepares to make a number of decisions about the legalization of cannabis in Alberta, Albertans are being asked to share their views so that legalization in our province reflects our values. Visit to learn more about cannabis legalization and participate in the survey, which will run until July 31, 2017.

Canadian self-employed professionals at risk with proposed tax reform

July 21, 2017

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has issued a statement with respect to tax changes proposed by the federal Department of Finance. Self-employed professionals like physicians are at risk when governments change the tax rules without comprehensive measures to alleviate the impact.

Reconciliation Process and Retention Benefit

July 17, 2017

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: I am writing to update you about the status of the 2016-17 Retention Benefit. As you may recall, this was one of three at-risk payments under the two-year Amending Agreement.

Medical assistance in dying

July 15, 2017

The passing of Bill C-14 initiated a sea change in the practice of medicine. In our training, we prepared to relieve suffering and preserve life. That we are now expected to participate in ending life is unsettling to many physicians, even to some who support the concept.

The Wallaces of Wainwright and the Battle of Vimy Ridge

July 14, 2017

The 100th anniversary of the World War I Battle of Vimy Ridge occurred from April 9 to 12. Many Canadian historians believe Canada came of age on that cold, muddy, snowy, Easter weekend in 1917, when our army forced the entrenched German army to retreat. Both the British and French armies had previously failed to take the ridge.

Residents' Page - Alberta Doctors' Digest

July 14, 2017

Read the latest "Residents' Page" contribution to the Alberta Doctors' Digest: "Burnout: Is it happening to you?".

Made-in-Alberta consumer health websites

July 13, 2017

WebMD is the most popular consumer health website, with an estimated 80 million unique visitors each month, but a significant amount of its information may not apply to Canadians in general or Albertans in particular.

Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!

July 12, 2017

Quality and efficiency are key elements of professional patient care and because many patients receive care from two or more providers, physicians need to communicate and consult quickly. When e-communicating, however, the last thing you want is for your message, often containing confidential patient information, to be “Lost in Space.”

AMA Youth Run Club wraps up another season!

July 12, 2017

With the season-end Fun Run event in Fort McMurray on May 25, the AMA Youth Run Club ended its fourth school-year season with a record 27,000 kids running, in 455 schools, in 154 Alberta communities.

Should BC residents have the right to purchase health insurance to fund privately secured medical services?

July 11, 2017

The Greek gods punished Sisyphus, the king of Ephyra, for his self-aggrandizing craftiness and deceitfulness by forcing him to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it come back down time and time again. Through the adaptation of this myth into modern culture, tasks that are laborious and futile are described as Sisyphean. Cambie Surgeries Inc. et al vs. British Columbia is a truly Sisyphean effort.

Mystery solved! How property insurance is calculated

July 10, 2017

Insurance companies consider many factors to estimate the likelihood that you will make a claim and what that claim will cost. Here are some of the main things that will affect the cost of your property insurance.

Physician supply regulations

July 7, 2017

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: I have good news with respect to the efforts to develop a needs-based physician resource plan as established by our Amending Agreement with government. Some significant progress has been made and entrenched in new regulations approved by government this week.

Income equity and the Special RF

July 6, 2017

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: I am sending this letter to update you regarding the results of the Special Representative Forum (RF) regarding income equity. I am pleased to say this was a very productive meeting for the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) that provided greater clarity on a very complex initiative. The direction given to the Board of Directors going forward is crucial to the success of this endeavor.

Tartans, kilts and slippery surfaces

June 19, 2017

"May your slide/stick be straight, your turn be perfect, your weight be true and your sweeping effective. But if not, remember – have fun.” These were the welcoming words at the 2017 Interprovincial Medical Curling Bonspiel at the Granite Club in Edmonton from March 15-19.

Sodium Bicarbonate Shortage - Memo from AHS

June 19, 2017

There is currently a critical shortage of sodium bicarbonate 8.4% (1 mmol/mL) 50 mL vials with the shortage anticipated to last until August 2017. Current sodium bicarbonate stocks will last for less than 1 week. Please read the following memo from AHS on restrictions and substitutions.

AMA Advocacy Night

June 17, 2017

On February 6, outstanding physician leaders joined University of Alberta students in an evening of celebration and mentorship in health advocacy and leadership in medicine. The first-ever Alberta Medical Association (AMA) Advocacy Night took place at Bernard Snell Hall on campus. Around 50 students and seven physicians attended.

AMA President-Elect 2017-18 Election

June 16, 2017

Dr. Alison M. Clarke has been elected to the position of Alberta Medical Association President-Elect for 2017-18. Dr. Clarke will assume the President-Elect role on September 16, at the close of the Fall 2017 Representative Forum meeting.

AMSCAR promotes student wellness and collegiality

June 16, 2017

The 13th annual Alberta Medical Students’ Conference and Retreat (AMSCAR) was a huge success and a wonderful experience for medical students from University of Calgary and University of Alberta. This year, it occurred in Banff over the weekend of February 10-12. The Alberta Medical Association (AMA) was a gold sponsor for this event.

Distribute electrons, not atoms

June 15, 2017

In our last readership survey, a majority of Alberta Medical Association (AMA) members indicated they would be interested in digital distribution of Alberta Doctors’ Digest (ADD). We looked into it and, wow, this makes a whole lot of sense! So we’re going to give it a go, starting early next year.

Members ratify PCN Governance Framework

June 14, 2017

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: On May 15, voting began for the Primary Care Network (PCN) Governance Framework, a provision of our Amending Agreement with government. I am writing to tell you the results of the vote that was just tallied this morning: The framework was ratified with a double majority: 88% of voting physicians and 98% of PCNs (47% of eligible physicians cast ballots).

About the Special RF

June 8, 2017

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: The Representative Forum (RF) meets on Saturday, June 10 in Calgary to further address the topic of income equity. This special RF will build on the direction that the Spring RF meeting provided. At the Spring RF, the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) was charged to proceed with work toward income equity. The RF approved using an Adjusted Net Daily Income (ANDI) model and reallocation as tools to meet a five-year timeline which was set by the RF.

Let's change the lens on seniors' care

June 7, 2017

Frailty and chronic complex conditions, both more common in seniors, have emerged as drivers of high health care utilization, such as emergency visits and hospital admissions. Social costs, such as dependency and caregiver burden are also increasing. As a result, seniors’ care is a priority for our current health care system, and this necessitates health reorganization and innovative models of care delivery to meet growing needs.

Physician health ambassadors in schools across Alberta

June 6, 2017

I was fortunate to recently share my daring idea with a roomful of trailblazers from the education sector at Shaping the Future, the only conference in Canada promoting Comprehensive School Health, a preventative approach recognized by the World Health Organization that aims to improve the health outcomes for children and youth. My daring idea is to have a physician ambassador associated with every school in Alberta!

Multidisciplinary chronic disease management

June 5, 2017

By working with a team that can offer multidisciplinary resources, patients feel they have accessible resources if and when they have questions or new medical issues. Through this approach, I believe we reduce hospital visits and allow for better quality of life for the patients and their families or caregivers.

CMA Members Joule Innovation Challenge

June 1, 2017

For its first Joule Innovation challenge, the Canadian Medical Association is inviting its student and resident members to contribute ideas for 3D printed product innovations that aim to remove barriers to quality of life. Submissions are due: June 19, 11:59 ET.

Let's consider how technology affects our relationships

June 1, 2017

Today’s technology offers incredible opportunities to be close to those we care about. Conversely, technology, used improperly, can interfere with and often harm relationships. Keep your devices close but your relationships closer.

Investment in multidisciplinary care for rheumatoid arthritis patients

May 31, 2017

How can we convince government and big pharma that we can do better for our patients in a financially prudent way? Seemingly small changes can have a profound impact on the arthritis sufferers in our province, across the country and around the world.

Data security breach update

May 30, 2017

Time to sign up for your free credit monitoring service: Email from CEO Mike Gormley on the data security breach.

Pregnancy Pathways helps homeless pregnant women build a better future

May 29, 2017

On average, each year in Edmonton approximately 100 pregnant and parenting homeless women live on the streets and struggle to survive. Without homes and roofs over their heads, these women face myriad challenges, including limited access to prenatal care, addiction, poor nutrition and violence. Once their delivery dates arrive, the infants often wind up in the social services system, and the new mothers return to the streets and lives of struggle. That reality prompted Dr. John Lilley, a retired anesthesiologist, to join forces with others who were equally concerned about expectant mothers with few resources and even less hope. The result is Pregnancy Pathways, a many-partner coalition whose goal is to secure a 10 to 12 unit apartment building as a residence for pregnant and infant-parenting homeless women.

PCC Update

May 16, 2017

The PCC is pleased to announce the posting of the Overhead Review RFP on May 1, 2017 with a closing date of May 30, 2017. Also, the PCC welcomes additional members from Alberta Health to the Committee.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.