Events

Incident Analysis and Proactive Risk Assessment

July 16 & 17, 2020

This interactive, hands-on workshop provides health care practitioners with background theory and hands-on practice in both incident analysis (root cause analysis) and proactive risk assessment using failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA).

COVID Kids Webinar Series

July 16, 23 & 30, 2020

The Office of Lifelong Learning at the University of Alberta presents a free, three-part webinar series on the effects of COVID-19 in children.

2020 Diabetes and Endocrine Update

September 12, 2020

This one-day course will provide physicians and healthcare professionals with the latest in Diabetes as well as an approach to common Endocrine problems.

4th Annual Radiology Update Navigating Imaging for the Family Physician

September 19, 2020

MIC Medical Imaging invites family physicians to a one-day session that provides attendees with an opportunity to: learn more about the latest advances in radiology; interact with MIC’s radiologists during the “Ask Us Anything” sessions; attend an informative session on nuclear medicine imaging; and participate in highly rated, small group, live ultrasound demonstrations.

Practical Evidence for Informed Practice Conference (PEIP)

October 23-24, 2020

Save the date. The PEIP Conference highlights clinically relevant primary care topics that combine evidence, experience, and patient values that is free of industry bias.

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News and Latest UpdatesRSS

Looming physician exodus from Alberta caused by failed provincial funding framework

July 10, 2020

According to a newly released survey of physicians by the Alberta Medical Association (AMA), almost 9-in-10 physicians (87%) will be making changes to their medical practices as a result of the funding framework Health Minister Tyler Shandro imposed on physicians. Of this group, an alarming 49% have made plans or are considering looking for work in another province (this represents 42% of all Alberta doctors). One third (34%) of physicians who will be changing their practices say they may leave the profession or retire early, with other alternatives being mulled including changing how they offer services/withdrawing services from AHS facilities (48%), reducing their hours (43%) and laying off staff (34%).

Your Practice, Your Plans: Your Results

July 9, 2020

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: Thank you to everyone who participated in our recent member survey “Your Practice, Your Plans: Tell Us How You’re Doing.” We had a very good response given the short timeline.

Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant

July 9, 2020

As part of its provincial relaunch strategy the Alberta government has made a available a small grant (maximum $5,000) for small to medium businesses, which also applies to physician corporations. To qualify the applicant needs to enter revenue information from certain months in 2019 and 2020 to show a 50% decrease (e.g., compare March 2019 to March 2020, or compare May 2019 to May 2020). Learn more about the grant and view the AMA’s Program Brief and Application Support Guide for Physicians.

Medical Liability Reimbursement Application Process

July 8, 2020

Please see July 6, 2020 Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan Bulletin for update on the Medical Liability Reimbursement application process.

No consultation with AMA on Bill 30 development

July 8, 2020

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: I have received a number of emails regarding Bill 30 and my President’s Letter from yesterday. Thank you for that feedback. It is unacceptable that the Alberta Medical Association was not consulted on the development of these significant reforms to our health care system. These impending legislative changes will have consequences for the profession and how we practice, as well as our freedom to advocate for our patient’s needs. The patient-physician relationship is at risk.

July-August 2020 Alberta Doctors' Digest now online

July 8, 2020

Highlights in this issue: Cyber security now; Award-winning physician is at home in rural Alberta; Shine A Light - Dr. Joni McNeely; Dr. Gadget - Virtual care built by and for Alberta docs; Health Law Update - Resuming practice and providing a safe workplace; Student Spotlight - Students helping physicians during COVID-19; Insurance Insights - Your AMA life insurance plans just got better; and a lot more!

The Road; Bill 30

July 7, 2020

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: Yesterday, Bill 30, the Health Statutes Amendment Act, was introduced in the legislature. Many of you have already contacted the Alberta Medical Association with concerns. The AMA was not consulted about Bill 30. Much like Bill 21, this bill introduces elements of health care reform with no transparency or consultation with important stakeholders, including the AMA. We will be evaluating the implications.

There is no room for systemic racism

July 3, 2020

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: The world-wide outcry against systemic racism has resounded broadly. Canada and Alberta have been no exceptions. Within our profession, there has been commentary from the Canadian Medical Association and by the provincial associations.

Healthy Work Environments. Is Alberta on track?

June 30, 2020

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: As physicians, we take the privilege of practicing medicine and our responsibility to our patients seriously. We also understand our ethical responsibility to speak up if situations arise that endanger quality care or access for our patients. We are not only stewards of health care, but function as part of an early warning system to protect the public. This is our social contract. It exists with our patients, both individually and collectively.

Who won the 2020 AMA student sponsorships?

June 22, 2020

The Committee on Student Affairs recently met to review sponsorship applications. The Committee chose the following projects/events to receive funding. An email from the AMA to all organizers will be sent out shortly with more information.

PPE in the community: Just the facts

June 20, 2020

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: My May 27 President's Letter addressed issues arising from government’s announcement that community physicians would no longer be provided with personal protective equipment. Since then this has been discussed extensively at the Pandemic Community Supports Working Group. Matters continue to develop, while communication to physicians about PPE has been coming from several directions. I thought it would be helpful to summarize what we know.

Good news regarding WCB and support for member wellness

June 18, 2020

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: Voting closed Tuesday, June 16 for the tentative Alberta Medical Association-Workers’ Compensation Board agreement. Voting opened May 28. The proposed four-year agreement carried the endorsement of the Board of Directors and I am pleased to report that the vote was overwhelmingly positive, with 98% of voting physicians in favor of the agreement.

Further update: Resumption of cancer screening services

June 16, 2020

A message from Alberta Health Services: Effective June 15, FIT testing has resumed in Alberta and is recommended for persons aged 50-74. Physicians should avoid ordering FIT testing on patients who do not fall within the target age range.

Your AMA Section: Two Question Survey

June 12, 2020

NOTE: This survey has now closed. Thank you to all who responded. The two-question survey was conducted on behalf of the Representative Forum Governance Oversight Group; it supports GOG's goal to increase the effectiveness of the AMA's governance structure and promote excellence among sections. All responses are anonymous and only aggregate data will be provided to section executives and shared with GOG.

WCB agreement: Exercise your right!

June 12, 2020

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: June 16 update - ratification vote now closed. | The vote for the tentative WCB-AMA Agreement closes on Tuesday, June 16 at 4 p.m. and it is important that you vote now.

Annual Achievement Awards paused until 2021

June 9, 2020

The AMA recognizes the strong focus on COVID-19 preparations and management during the past six months. This focus has understandably disrupted many other things including nominations for our annual Achievement Awards. The Board has consequently decided to close nominations immediately and will instead announce a special recognition for 2020. The annual Achievement Awards program will return in 2021.

AMA response to Bill 19, the Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Amendment Act

June 5, 2020

Read the Alberta Medical Association's official response to government’s recent announcement about their Tobacco and smoking reduction review.

What the AMA offered: Real savings, real solutions

June 4, 2020

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: Government claims that during negotiations, the Alberta Medical Association did not offer concrete proposals to deal with the province’s fiscal challenges. I thought members would be interested to learn more about what the AMA put forward.

Influenza Immunization Program Update

June 1, 2020

The Influenza immunization Program for 2019-2020 is over. As of May 2, 2020: 1,438,866 doses of influenza vaccine were administered in Alberta. This equates to a provincial coverage rate of 32.9%, an increase of 2.8% over the 2018-2019 season.

Tentative AMA-WCB agreement reached, ratification vote now open

May 28, 2020

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: June 16 update - ratification vote now closed. | One of the core functions of the Alberta Medical Association is the negotiation of compensation agreements on behalf of Alberta physicians. While the spotlight these days has been on our ongoing struggle to reach a master agreement with government, at any given time we are negotiating a number of different contractual arrangements for subsets of the membership. One of the most significant of these is our negotiations with the Workers' Compensation Board. This is an agreement for physician services provided to employees covered by the WCB. Negotiations for a new agreement between AMA and WCB commenced on June 14, 2019 and the parties reached an agreement, in principle, on March 27, 2020. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on April 6, 2020.

Community access to PPE: physician concerns, principles

May 27, 2020

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: The AMA sits on the Pandemic Community Supports Working Group, which is chaired by Alberta Health and also including Alberta Health Services and the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta. This working group has been a successful space for advancing solutions to pandemic issues, from establishing virtual care codes, to streamlining and clarifying communication issues and more. Access to personal protective equipment has been a constant agenda item.

Facts worth repeating, myths worth busting

May 22, 2020

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: In the ongoing impasse with the Alberta Medical Association, government continues to promote its own messaging, some of it misleading. The MacKinnon report alleges that Alberta doctors are paid far more than provincial counterparts (“as much as $100,000 a year” or “35%”). Other examples include claims that the AMA failed to bring forward any proposals during negotiations, and government MLAs have said that our negotiation strategy failed to include the interests of rural physicians.

Medical students say, "Thanks!"

May 20, 2020

The TD Insurance Meloche Monnex / AMA Medical Student Bursaries help to reduce financial pressure from escalating medical school tuition fees. This is so that every qualified student can afford to attend medical school. Since 2001 the program has awarded $1,845,000. This year we were fortunate to administer $1,500 bursaries to each of 90 well-deserving medical students, and they want to express their gratitude to you!

We Asked, You Answered

May 19, 2020

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: Thank you for the fantastic response to our member’s survey April 14-24! Almost 4,500 members (32%) responded, giving a clear picture of what is important to you and providing a foundation for our advocacy and planning. Your thoughtful responses are greatly appreciated. There were over 550 pages of verbatim comments. Clearly, there is much that the membership wants to share. We will continue to seek out ways to actively hear from you.

Screening mammography to resume at community Diagnostic Imaging clinics May 19

May 19, 2020

The Alberta Society of Radiologists / Section of Diagnostic Imaging would like to advise colleagues that screening mammography will resume at community Diagnostic Imaging clinics on May 19. This is in order to allow planning time to address a possible return of those patients wanting related consultations and requisitions.

Exercise your right of representation

May 15, 2020

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: In the absence of an agreement, through our members the AMA continues to assert our representative role to effectively support you with respect to the Schedule of Medical Benefits, Alberta Health Services payments, clinical alternative relationship plans (ARPs) and all matters relating to physician compensation. Thank you for so actively supporting our profession to speak with one voice!

We are the AMA

May 8, 2020

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: On May 5, I released a letter to the Minister. It was jointly signed by physician leaders as a declaration of unity within the profession and support for the Alberta Medical Association as the representative of physicians.

Call for applications: Committee on Achievement Awards

May 7, 2020

The AMA is currently recruiting to fill vacancies on the Committee on Achievement Awards. This committee reviews nominations and recommends recipients for several of AMA’s prestigious awards. The deadline to apply is June 8, 2020.

National Physicians' Day

May 1, 2020

We are grateful for everything that doctors do every day — never more so than in the current global health crisis. As we thank our physicians, we also recognize and thank every other health or essential service provider — our extended team and family. And last but not least, thank you to our patients and the brave citizens of Alberta. It takes a province to beat a pandemic. We will get there together.

Optimizing Clinic & PCN Team Supports to Enhance Patient Care using Panel Management Processes

May 1, 2020

Webinar recording and slides deck now available. This webinar will be led by primary care physicians and Primary Care Network leader/s who will share their experience and tips on how they: manage their panel of patients; manage their panel of patients with support from PCN resources; enhance care for patients at risk using a PCN and Zonal panel management approach; highlight the Panel Management Tool Kit.

Your representation matters

April 30, 2020

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: The Alberta Medical Association plans to protect your rights and to ensure your voice is heard. The following is information pertinent to that goal. The role of the AMA as the representative of Alberta physicians is a crucial piece of a well-functioning health care system that puts Patients First®. For a long time, representation rights came through our agreements with government. In 2018, legislation was enacted to enshrine the basic right to representation for physicians, though how this was effectively realized – such as access to dispute resolution and processes for negotiation – was specified within the AMA Agreement.

Scotiabank, CMA and MD Financial Management commit further support to physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic

April 29, 2020

Scotiabank, in partnership with the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and MD Financial Management Inc. (MD), has committed $4.6 million to further support physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

AMA President-Elect 2020-21 acclamation

April 28, 2020

Dr. Vesta Michelle Warren has been acclaimed to the position of Alberta Medical Association President-Elect for 2020-21. Dr. Warren will assume the President-Elect role on September 26, at the close of the Fall 2020 Representative Forum meeting.

Meeting Patients' Needs: A Stepwise Approach to Delivering Care for Primary and Specialty Care Clinics

April 27, 2020

The April 24 webinar recording and slide deck are now available. The session was led by primary care and community specialists who shared their experience and tips on how they: organized their clinic space to keep patients and staff safe; optimized the clinic team for all aspects of care delivery; identified what work can be done today to meet the patient's needs and protect your capacity for tomorrow; assessed and delivered appointment options for patient care - virtual or in-person; and managed patients discharged from the hospital.

MLR: Setting the Record Straight

April 27, 2020

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: The April 24 President’s Letter, in response to the government’s provincial announcement about rural care, resulted in a strong and positive response about the importance of unity in our profession. Similarly, the voice for unity was eloquently proclaimed by communiques from the Section of Family Medicine, the Section of Rural Medicine and the Rural Sustainability Group.

Alberta Medical Association Response to Provincial Announcement on Support for Rural Health Care

April 24, 2020

After weeks of public advocacy by rural physicians and the Alberta Medical Association, Health Minister Tyler Shandro today announced major support dedicated to rural medicine. We thank rural physicians for all their efforts and also the many Albertans who expressed their own concerns.

AMA Response to Provincial Announcement on Support for Rural Health Care

April 24, 2020

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: In response to an announcement today by the Minister of Health regarding rural care, I have released a written response. Section of Rural Medicine President Dr. Ed Aasman, has also sent a letter to his section members.

Myth Busters

April 21, 2020

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: Recently government MLAs have been in touch with members to discuss the current situation between doctors and physicians. Dialogue like this is very helpful in creating common understanding of the issues facing physicians and Albertans at this time. Hopefully this will result in progress toward broader engagement with physicians through our representative body (the AMA), leading to a negotiated agreement, which includes independent arbitration.

Embattled

April 17, 2020

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: The level of disruption in our lives and the “new normal,” doesn’t feel normal at all. We are more familiar than we ever wanted to be with things like PPE, doubling times, burnout rates, the impact of testing and isolation and the emerging data on flattening the curve.

Junior high school students say "Thanks!" to Alberta's health care workers

April 17, 2020

The grade 7 and 8 students of Edmonton's Svend Hansen Junior High shared 60 thank-you cards with us, made to show appreciation for the efforts of community health care workers, especially during this difficult time. Thank you for this kind gesture, Svend Hansen students!

Billing Corner

April 17, 2020

We have updated the March Billing Corner with new billing information learned over the past couple of weeks. Additionally, we have split the Billing Corner documents into two, one just for Virtual Care and the other just for March 31 changes. Please read the documents and share with your billing staff.

Our charter challenge for due process and fair negotiations

April 9, 2020

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: If you told me a year ago that I would serve the Minister of Health with a Statement of Claim for a constitutional challenge, in the midst of the worst public health crisis in a century, I would have been incredulous. Yet, that is what happened this morning.

Top of Mind: Government Relations and Supporting Members and Albertans in COVID-19

April 7, 2020

PRSIDENT'S LETTER: This is a very stressful time as we enter the COVID-19 surge environment. Our normal life and work patterns are disrupted and anxiety-laden. We enter this time without the confidence that we are valued by our government, having endured their inequitable treatment as they now call on us to serve. But we do not serve a government, we serve Albertans. And serve we will as we march into battle to support Albertans, facing the biggest challenge of our lifetime.

Supporting each other through the storm

April 3, 2020

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: We find ourselves in the midst of a perfect storm. Physicians are working hard in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are preparing to give the all-out effort required to save lives and will be there when it counts. Albertans can rely on that. This is despite the fact that for months, we’ve notified the Provincial Government that their planned changes in health funding would be damaging and destabilizing to medical practices across the province.

Is it therapeutic failure or is she forgetting to take her pills?

March 2, 2020

Mrs. Home is 75-year-old. She lives alone in a seniors’ independent living apartment and has had three emergency room visits in the last six months for hyperglycemia and poor blood pressure control. She currently takes 11 different medications and admits to forgetting to take her pills sometimes. How would you approach helping her with medication adherence?

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