Opioid Crisis - virtual conversation

December 8, 2021

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a spotlight has been shown on the impacts of opioids and the prevalence in Alberta. Drug poisoning has worked its way into our cities, towns, suburbs, and homes. There is no silver bullet to addressing this crisis; it requires collaboration and coordination between organizations and communities.

COVID Corner: Keeping COVID Out

December 8, 2021

These episodes will provide an update on several aspects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This will include current and up-to-date information regarding the disease, as well as the exploration of other medical areas affected by the pandemic. It will address the most recent information and direction from medical organizations within Alberta.

Calgary Zone Mental Health & COVID-19 webinar series

Monday, December 13, 2021

Pediatric vaccination and the role primary care can play in addressing hesitancy will be the focus of the next webinar in the PCN COVID-19 and mental health series.

The National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases presents:

Monday, December 13, 2021

This moderated webinar will include a presentation and discussion with live Q&A to inform health care and vaccine providers on COVID-19 in children and authorized COVID-19 vaccine for pediatric use in Canada.

Building Resilience Workshops

November 3 & 17, December 1 and 15, 2021

Short sessions focused on specific tools to build resilience and improve mental health, using real life examples specific to the health care field.

CanREACH: Patient-Centered Mental Health in Paediatric Primary Care

Various dates: January 2021 through March 2022

As part of CanREACH education and training services, CanREACH offers a Continued Medical Education training program licensed and developed by The REACH Institute: “Patient-Centered Mental Health in Paediatric Primary Care (PPP)”, adapted for Canadian Primary Care Providers.

Foundation Course in Occupational Medicine - Part A

September 7, 2021 to June 21, 2022

The Foundation Course in Occupational Medicine, developed by the University of Alberta - Division of Preventive Medicine, is a distance learning course designed to provide knowledge and skills in the areas of occupational medicine encountered in family medicine and other community based clinical practice.

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Alberta Opioid Crisis - presentation by Dr. Elaine Hyshka

December 3, 2021

Dr. Elaine Hyshka, Canada Research Chair in Health Systems Innovation and an Assistant Professor in the University of Alberta’s School of Public Health, recently presented on Alberta's opioid crisis. Member login required to view.

Z-code deadline delayed

December 3, 2021

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: For many physicians the January 1, 2022 date for implementation of the proposed Z-codes and Alberta Health Services overhead policy was a great concern. Yesterday, Alberta Health released a bulletin stating that the implementation date for both of these items is being delayed: Z-codes to October 2022 and AHS overhead targeted for June 2022. We have been actively advocating on these issues and I am pleased to know that so many members who are already struggling with so many challenges will have a reprieve.

The value of appreciation

November 25, 2021

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: After many months of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are physically and professionally tired. Let’s take opportunities when they come to lift ourselves up by celebrating accomplishments.

Be a part of the solution - Helping Albertans living with pain

November 18, 2021

The AMA Section of Chronic Pain has written a letter to Alberta’s physicians asking for help in establishing innovative and scalable actions to help Alberta’s chronic pain population.

Alberta Doctors' Digest

November 17, 2021

The November-December 2021 issue of Alberta Doctors' Digest is now available! Highlights include: Meet your new president and president-elect for 2021-22; Dr. Sarah Hall gets our Physician Wellness #GOAT; Health Law Update - A referral from Dr. Google; Dr. Gadget on Automating the mundane; Advocating for the homeless; The easiest way to help your patients get more active; and a lot more!

Update on government negotiations

November 15, 2021

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: The Board of Directors last met October 28-29. The ongoing discussions with government toward seeking a new agreement were a major focus of the meeting. Over the past year we have invited physician leaders to join us for these sessions to enrich the Board’s discussions. Once again, we were very appreciative of the time and engagement of these representatives .

Zonal/Regional RF Delegate - Elections

November 15, 2021

Voting is now open for the election of zonal/regional delegates to RF. Voting closes at 4pm on Tuesday, December 14, and ballots will be counted on December 14 in the presence of scrutineers. AMA member login required.

Help shape a new direction in physician health and wellness

November 8, 2021

Practicing physicians, resident physicians and medical students are invited to take the Canadian Medical Association's 2021 National Physician Health Survey. Responses are due November 15.

Physicians on care deficit and a response from AHS

October 29, 2021

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: During Dr. Paul Boucher’s term as president, he wrote to you several times regarding the COVID-19 care deficit. He shared with you what Albertans have told the AMA about their experiences. It’s time to hear from some physician voices, also.

Alberta COVID-19 Immunization Program Update

October 21, 2021

An update from Alberta Health regarding the COVID-19 Immunization Program, including: co-administration of COVID-19 vaccines and others; and third dose of COVID-19 vaccine for high-risk groups.

Latest news on stipends

October 21, 2021

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: For many months now we have been working to support members with respect to Alberta Health Services stipend payments. As members know, Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services have said they will be ending stipend contracts with over 120 groups of physicians on December 31. So far, there has been little productive discussion on developing agreeable, viable alternatives.

Join CMA Appointments Committee as Member-at-Large

October 18, 2021

The Canadian Medical Association is currently seeking applications to fill an immediate vacancy for a member-at-large position on the CMA Appointments Committee. The role of the Appointments Committee is to bring recommendations to the CMA Board to fill certain vacancies on CMA committees/groups and nominees to several outside organizations/bodies.

Help improve collaboration between family physicians and pharmacists

October 18, 2021

Are you interested in improving collaboration between family physicians and pharmacists in coordinating chronic opioid therapy in Alberta? Enhancing Alberta Primary Care Research Networks is conducting a qualitative research study seeking to understand the thinking and decision-making processes involved when family physicians and pharmacists manage chronic opioid therapy for those with chronic pain and/or substance use disorders.

Call for Applications: Health Issues Council

October 15, 2021

Are you interested in advocating on behalf of Albertans as new health issues arise? AMA's Health Issues Council is recruiting one member for a one year* + one three-year term, renewable once.

AMA calls for stronger measures to combat COVID-19, including mandatory vaccinations for public gatherings, schools and workplaces

October 7, 2021

On September 27 the Alberta Medical Association formally called on Premier Kenney and Health Minister Copping to institute timely, effective public health measures – commonly referred to as a "fire-breaker" – to aggressively control COVID-19 cases to protect our health care system and keep Albertans safe.

A call for stronger measures to combat COVID-19

October 7, 2021

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: At the Fall Representative Forum, we received clear direction from RF delegates that the AMA needed to strongly – and publicly – advocate for a stronger response to the COVID-19 crisis Alberta is facing. In response to the most urgent motion passed at RF, we issued a media release on September 27 calling on government to institute a "fire-breaker," to aggressively control COVID-19 cases.

Students and residents: Get funding for health promotion!

October 6, 2021

Students and resident physicians: Apply by Friday, October 29 for funding for your great health promotion initiative! Grant amounts are flexible (minimum of $500 per grant) and there is a budget of up to $20,000 available to distribute among deserving projects for 2021-22.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 5, 2021

The AHS Alberta Breast Cancer Screening Program is using this opportunity to share information with physicians about breast cancer screening in the province.

AHS Immunization of Workers for COVID-19 Policy

October 5, 2021

A message from Alberta Health Services: The Immunization of Workers for COVID-19 Policy requires all employees, medical and midwifery staff, students, volunteers and contracted health care providers to be fully immunized for COVID-19 by October 31, 2021. Staff have until October 16 to complete their Got My COVID-19 Immunization Form. Learn more.

Forging ahead: Inaugural thoughts from the new AMA president

October 1, 2021

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: In this letter: thanks to outgoing president, Dr. Paul Boucher; strong AMA stance on COVID-19; and discussions with government.

Outgoing thoughts on a complex year

September 29, 2021

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: This President’s Letter is my last as AMA president and marks the official end of a term that was as unpredictable as it was eventful.

Open letter to the unvaccinated from the AMA Section of General Psychiatry

September 29, 2021

Can We Talk? About this “Pandemic of the Unvaccinated”? I am very familiar with being dismissed. Let’s start the conversation there. I’m the youngest of five kids. I did an arts degree at University – worse yet, it was in philosophy. I’m ok with having a conversation where you’re 90% sure that at the end, you’re going to dismiss me. Let’s start there, unvaccinated person, but just know that I am not here to dismiss you. I know what that’s like.

Open Letter to Albertans from the AMA’s Sections of Family and Rural Medicine

September 29, 2021

As your family physicians, we believe it is time to have a conversation about how dangerous our current health care environment has become. Alberta’s health care system has reached its breaking point and Albertans are at significant risk, not only of being impacted by COVID, but also from the increasing lack of available health care resources. Without immediate action, it is only a matter of time until someone you know, and love will be affected directly or indirectly by COVID.

Open letter to Albertans from AMA Section of Emergency Medicine

September 29, 2021

On behalf of the approximately 450 emergency physicians across the province, we feel compelled to add our voice to the increasing calls and pleas for an immediate firebreak to reduce the spread of COVID-19 across our province.

Media Release: Alberta must act now: AMA calls for COVID-19 “fire-breaker” measures

September 27, 2021

The Alberta Medical Association is calling on Premier Kenney and Health Minister Copping to institute timely, effective public health measures – commonly referred to as a "fire-breaker" – to aggressively control COVID-19 cases in order to protect our health care system and keep Albertans safe. Coming out of their Representative Forum meeting this past weekend, Alberta’s physicians are formally calling on the government to put significant and immediate measures in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19 that has become so rampant in the province.

Alberta must act now: AMA calls for COVID-19 "fire-breaker" measures

September 27, 2021

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: As you are aware, the 2021 Fall Representative Forum was held this past weekend and, unsurprisingly, COVID-19 and the current crisis we are facing in Alberta was a topic of major discussion. Delegates passed several related motions (I will update members on the details of these later), but I wanted to share with you the most urgent motion on which we have already taken action.

Influenza Immunization Program Update

September 24, 2021

This year, community physicians (primary care clinics and family physicians) participating in the influenza immunization program will receive vaccine from the wholesale distributor, Accuristix in collaboration with Alberta Health (AH), and order through the Alberta Vaccine Inventory (AVI) system. This process is similar to the one used for ordering COVID-19. Alberta Health has provided information for interested clinics on how to join and the new requirements for participating. Other community providers, including continuing care centers, OHS and corrections facilities must fill out the Influenza Vaccine Provider Registration Form.

Drop the Pre Op: reducing unnecessary preoperative chest X-rays

September 23, 2021

Choosing Wisely Canada suggests that routine preoperative x-rays should not be performed on patients undergoing low-risk surgical procedures because the risks outweigh the benefits. In support of AHS’ commitment to providing the most appropriate care for Albertans, Diagnostic Imaging and the Surgery Strategic Clinical Network have a goal to reduce the number of chest x-rays performed as part of routine surgical practices.

Ministry of Transportation Medical Review Committee

September 23, 2021

The AMA is recruiting a Reviewing Officer for the Ministry of Transportation Medical Review committee. The Reviewing Officer plays a role in improving traffic safety on Alberta's roadways by the application of medical fitness standards for drivers wishing to obtain or maintain an Alberta Driver's License.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 23, 2021

On September 30, our offices will be closed as we commemorate National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. In honor of survivors, their families and communities, we hope you join us in reflecting on the history and legacy of residential schools in Canada, and what you can do to achieve mutually respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

Harm reduction; we can't afford to wait

September 22, 2021

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: In the midst of the chaos of the fourth wave of COVID-19, we must not forget the vulnerable and disadvantaged. There are many individuals in need, but I refer today to those trapped in the opioid crisis.

Update on Negotiations

September 15, 2021

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: As reported in my Presidents Letters over the summer, government requested that the Alberta Medical Association submit a proposal for possible changes that would make the rejected Tentative Agreement Package (TAP) acceptable to physicians.

Wave Four: More measures needed and other issues

September 14, 2021

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: We are hearing more every day about the implications of the fourth wave of the pandemic and I wanted to update you.

Contribute to the Tarrant Scholarship

September 9, 2021

Over the years, the Section of Rural Medicine has partnered with AMA and the Canadian Medical Foundation to enable members to contribute, on a charitable basis, to the Tarrant Scholarship program. The program accounts for approximately 30% of the Section of Rural Medicine’s budget, but would not be sustainable without the help of donations from our medical colleagues. If you are interested in supporting the continuation of this important scholarship, donations can be made by completing the 'Donations' section of the AMA online membership renewal.

Knee MRI for osteoarthritis? Read this before ordering

September 9, 2021

AHS Diagnostic Imaging is working with physicians to increase the appropriateness of referrals for the investigation of knee osteoarthritis. The collaborative efforts will ensure that MRI exams on the wait list are necessary and beneficial. Beginning October 4, in the Edmonton Zone, Diagnostic Imaging will be declining MRI knee requests for patients 55 years of age and older, that do not align with Choosing Wisely recommendations. Implementation in South and Central Zones and North Zone to follow later.

Special RF information session; COVID-19

September 8, 2021

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: In this letter: a special Representative Forum this week; looking out for each other in the fourth wave.

News: Discussions with government; vaccination policy

August 24, 2021

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: I am writing to let you know about two decisions reached at a special meeting of the Board of Directors held on August 19.

Care Deficit: Broad thinking will be required

August 20, 2021

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: I have previously shared with you some research from our online community regarding the impact that the COVID pandemic has had on their health and well being.

Important – conversion of AMA HBTF to an Employee Life and Health Trust

August 19, 2021

Federal legislation passed in 2021 requires us to convert AMA HBTF (a Health and Welfare Trust) to an Employee Life and Health Trust (an ELHT), effective January 1, 2022. The most significant impact this legislation has on members participating in AMA HBTF is the rules pertaining to Key Employees of professional corporations. Key Employees are shareholders and highly compensated employees of the corporation (i.e., the physician). Learn more.

Registration for CMA AGM closes TONIGHT

August 16, 2021

Today is the last day to register (by 6 p.m. Alberta time) for the Canadian Medical Association Annual General Meeting to be held online on Sunday, August 22. Important issues will be discussed and voted upon such as substantive bylaws changes concerning governance and promotion of equity, diversity and inclusion. In preparation for the CMA AGM, members may wish to familiarize themselves with the CMA's Report to Members for the154th CMA Annual General Meeting, and Promoting equity and diversity: Overview of proposed CMA governance changes for 2021.

The AMA advances patient-centered, quality care by advocating for and supporting physician leadership and wellness.