Paxlovid prescribing: Calgary Zone primary care update

May 30, 2022

On Monday, May 30, the Calgary Zone will host a webinar on prescribing Paxlovid™ in primary care, and it’s open to all zones. Hosted by Dr. Rick Ward and Dr. Christine Luelo, it will feature a panel of physicians who have been prescribing Paxlovid™ to patients.

Privacy and Security Tools for Medical Clinics

May 31, 2022

The Alberta Medical Association has new privacy and security tools available for community-based medical clinics. Come hear more about the resources available for your clinic.

“You Gut This: Managing GI and Liver Issues with Confidence in the Medical Home” series

February 3, March 3, April 7, May 5 & June 2, 2022

Join a journey through the GI tract as specialists from around Alberta discuss approaches to common digestive health conditions and review how pathways can support effective management in the Patient Medical Home.

Equity in Medicine Conference

June 2, 2022

Over the recent past, awareness of inequities that exist within our society and health care system has grown exponentially. Many are engaged in ways to increase their knowledge, but how do we action change? Members of the Equity in Medicine leadership team will present on the multiple actions necessary to advance equity, diversity and inclusion in our health care environments. A panel discussion with Q+A will follow the speakers’ mini-presentations.

Coaching in Healthcare

Starting April 7 - weekly virtual sessions for nine weeks through to June 2, 2022

The Coaching in Healthcare (CiHC) program is an online coaching skills program that is designed specifically for physicians and healthcare teams. CiHC is rooted in the neuroscience of coaching, and why coaching works from a neurocognitive and psychological perspective. Learn the specific communication skills and approaches that best support peers and learners to enhance and refine practice.

46th Annual Pearls for Family Practice

June 3, 2022

This program provides an update and review focused on practical, evidence-informed pearls pertinent for practice in primary care. Topics covered include a wide variety of the diagnoses typically seen in both urban and rural settings.

Alberta Digestive Disease Summit 2022

June 3-5, 2022

Join 200 other clinicians, scientists, researchers and industry leaders to review the latest in ground-breaking research and treatments, discuss local and international developments and collaborate with their colleagues and peers at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise from June 3-5, 2022.

Hope and Healing after Trauma - Reflections for Physicians by General Roméo Dallaire

June 7, 2022

Please note that the session will not be recorded. Alberta’s physicians at every career stage are suffering with occupational stress injury that has physical, ethical and moral dimensions, in an environment of extenuating and difficult circumstances. This live virtual 90-minute keynote session with General Roméo Dallaire will offer physicians in any career stage, hope, connection, and inspiration for healing.

Preventing Overdiagnosis Conference

June 9 - 12, 2022

Advancing the research agenda in overdiagnosis by offering a platform for professionals from across health care spectrum and members of the public to discuss the driving factors of overdiagnosis, its consequences, and strategies for preventing or mitigating those consequences.

Improving the Work Environment for Seniors' Services Workers

June 15, 2022

The Work Environment requires major transformation in the seniors’ services sector. Research demonstrates that an improved work environment significantly improves quality of care. This webinar seeks to create public awareness of these seniors’ services workforce issues and research findings.

Foundation Course In Occupational Medicine Part A

August 30, 2022 - May 30, 2023

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. It is designed to help community-based family physicians manage patients with work-related ill-health issues in their office.

Social Media 101

May 24, August 23, September 15, 2022

Please note this session will not be recorded. In this beginner session, members will walk away feeling more comfortable and confident in navigating social media platforms and understanding how to create strategic and engaging content for advocacy efforts, amplifying positive messages, mitigating criticism and more.

Social Media 201

June 22, September 19, 2022

In this intermediate session, members who are already using social media are invited to learn tactics and tools to help make your social media life easier—more efficient and effective. Get ideas for creating content, managing engagement and building community, tips, tricks and tools to use social media more strategically and seamlessly. Social Media 101 is recommended as a prerequisite for this session.

Media Relations 101

June 8, July 14, October 5, 2022

Please note session will not be recorded. In this beginner session, members will walk away feeling more comfortable and confident in navigating social media platforms and understanding how to create strategic and engaging content for advocacy efforts, amplifying positive messages, mitigating criticism and more.

Media Relations 201

June 21, October 20, 2022

Hosted by the AMA's Shan Rupnarain, AED Public Affairs, with our media training partner Grant Ainsley, this is a three-hour session for those who anticipate doing a lot of media. It will involve working up messages, doing mock interviews, receiving feedback (and trying again if there's time). Space is limited for this session

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News and Latest UpdatesRSS

AMA continues to advocate for physician and patient interests in Connect Care rollout

May 26, 2022

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: The biggest Connect Care launch to date (Wave 4) is happening on May 28, at sites in both the Edmonton and Calgary zones. Connect Care is the clinical information system that will house all AHS medical records, prescriptions and care history at AHS facilities. While impact to physicians practicing in AHS facilities is to be expected, it’s important to remember that these systemic changes will also impact the flow of information to community physicians, and there is a risk of adverse outcomes to patients if this flow is interrupted.

AMA PFSP presents virtual keynote session featuring General Roméo Dallaire

May 24, 2022

On the evening of June 7, PFSP is inviting all physicians and their friends, colleagues or family members to a virtual keynote session, Hope and Healing after Trauma: Reflections for Physicians, featuring the remarkable General Roméo Dallaire.

AMA holiday office hours

May 20, 2022

Please note the AMA phone lines will be closed Monday, May 23. Regular business hours will resume Tuesday, May 24. All physical AMA locations continue to be closed.

Emergency Departments under strain; something for patients

May 20, 2022

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: I wrote to you a few days ago to report on the May 13-14 Representative Forum, talk about our advocacy with patients and system partners and highlight that the next paper in our Care Deficit Assessment Series is coming out. Today I am releasing that paper.

Celebrating Alberta’s family physicians on World Family Doctor Day

May 19, 2022

The Alberta College of Family Physicians and Alberta Medical Association are proud to celebrate Family Doctor Day, which occurs annually on May 19. First declared by WONCA (World Organization of Family Doctors) in 2010, World Family Doctor Day recognizes the outstanding contributions of family doctors in health care systems around the world.

Report from RF: Urgent care needed for system

May 17, 2022

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: The Representative Forum met Friday and Saturday (May 13-14) and received updates, deliberated and provided direction regarding government discussions and the Income Equity Initiative.

Heading into Spring RF; advocacy for care of the elderly

May 12, 2022

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: The Spring Representative Forum, Part Two will take place at the end of this week (May 13-14).

Alberta Doctors' Digest

May 11, 2022

The May-June 2022 issue of Alberta Doctors' Digest is now available! Highlights include: Supporting seniors and their caregivers; Understanding the care deficit and its impact on Albertans; Socioeconomic determinants of health podcast episode - Geriatrics; PFSP Perspectives - Humanity and poetry in medicine; In a different vein - Putin and his siloviki; and a lot more!

MD Financial Management and Scotiabank support the Alberta Medical Association

May 10, 2022

The Alberta Medical Association has joined seven other provincial and territorial medical associations, now representing more than 44,000 physicians, in choosing to enter an exclusive five-year partnership agreement with MD Financial Management and Scotiabank.

AMA committees now accepting applications

May 4, 2022

The leadership of the AMA comes directly from the talent and passion of our members who are the volunteer workforce that drive so much of what we do. The AMA is currently recruiting to fill positions on the following committees: AMA Compensation Committee; Committee on Bylaws; Fees Advisory Committee; and Health Issues Council. The AMA is committed to diversity and inclusion in its committee appointment process. Apply by May 31!

15 student-run initiatives awarded funding from sponsorship program

May 3, 2022

The Committee on Student Affairs recently met to review sponsorship applications and chose 19 student-run projects/events to receive funding. An email from the AMA to all organizers will be sent out with more information. The sponsorship program provides support of student-run initiatives targeted at career advancement of medical students. The AMA allocates a budget annually for support of this sponsorship and all Alberta-based medical students are eligible to apply.

Women's Health in the Care Deficit - Issue 2 in our series

May 2, 2022

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: Today I am releasing a new topic in the AMA’s Care Deficit Assessment Series Issue Papers.

Happy National Physicians Day!

May 1, 2022

May 1 is Canada’s day to celebrate the contributions of physicians to their patients, communities and the profession. We are grateful for the hard work, passion and dedication put forward by Alberta's physicians, resident physicians and medical students. We are celebrating National Physicians Day by shining a spotlight on specialties. Learn more.

Medical student testimonies - TD Insurance Meloche Monnex/AMA Medical Student Bursary

April 26, 2022

The TD Insurance Meloche Monnex/AMA Medical Student Bursary helps to reduce financial pressure from escalating medical school tuition fees. The boost this bursary provides helps qualified students afford to attend medical school. Four of this year's recipients, University of Calgary medical students Bree Kullman and Tina Nash as well as University of Alberta medical students Marc Beaudin and Aaron Chung, want to express their gratitude.

AMA President-Elect 2022-23 acclamation

April 22, 2022

Dr. Paul Parks has been acclaimed to the position of Alberta Medical Association President-Elect for 2022-23. Dr. Parks will assume the President-Elect role at the close of the 117th AMA Fall AGM. Member login required to view Dr. Park’s CV.

Information on Paxlovid™ in pharmacies

April 20, 2022

Not all pharmacies in Alberta are handling Paxlovid™. Prescribers are responsible for confirming that the pharmacy to which they are sending a Paxlovid prescription is dispensing it and has it in stock. If a pharmacy receives a prescription for Paxlovid and is unable to fill it, they are responsible for identifying another dispensary that can fill the prescription. How can you verify which pharmacies in your community are dispensing Paxlovid™? Learn more.

#NationalPhysiciansDay: Help us celebrate Alberta physicians

April 19, 2022

This year for #NationalPhysiciansDay we want to use the AMA's social media accounts to educate the public about specialties and celebrate how physicians contribute to patient health. If you're interested in participating, please send us answers to a short questionnaire by April 25. We'll use the aggregate responses to inform our social media posts around this topic.

Keep yourself informed on negotiations

April 12, 2022

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: On Tuesday, April 5 we held a webinar to update members on the status of negotiations with Alberta Health for a new agreement. As promised, the presentation portion of the webinar was recorded (member login required) for those unable to attend.

Are there no great Alberta physicians out there? We don’t believe it.

April 11, 2022

When you got up this morning, we bet that your first thought was not: “I should nominate someone for an award today.” We know you’re busy and tired and with COVID disruption it can be hard to make time for things that aren’t on fire.

Joint AMA-AH statement:

April 1, 2022

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: Update on physician negotiations — joint statement from Minister of Health Jason Copping and Alberta Medical Association president Dr. Michelle Warren

Providing care to Ukrainian evacuees and a negotiations webinar

March 30, 2022

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: As Alberta welcomes displaced Ukrainians – with hundreds more expected to arrive in the coming weeks – I know as physicians we will do everything we can to enable their access to care until they can safely return home or permanently relocate to Canada.

Stipend changes paused during AMA-AH negotiations

March 27, 2022

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: The AMA has continued to raise stipends, AHS overhead charges and other issues with Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services with the goal of bringing all aspects of compensation to the broader negotiations table so they can be dealt with through a comprehensive physician compensation framework. To do this, however, both parties needed to agree to not make any changes to the status quo while negotiations are occurring.

Enhanced virtual care codes improve access to mental health care

March 25, 2022

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: I am pleased to inform you that today the AMA and Alberta Health are jointly announcing changes to virtual care billing codes that will allow psychiatrists to provide additional virtual care.

A new phase of advocacy

March 24, 2022

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: As promised, a new phase of AMA advocacy is beginning to help Albertans better understand what is happening in health care in Alberta. We are also hoping to identify ideas – with partners and stakeholders – for resolution, innovation and solutions.

The RF: Negotiations, a webinar and income equity

March 18, 2022

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: The Virtual Spring Representative Forum Part One was held March 11. The Spring RF Part Two will be held May 13-14 in person, COVID-state permitting. In this letter I want to share the March 11 highlights.

Scholarship helps physicians meet Alberta's changing medical needs

March 16, 2022

The deadline for applications is March 31, 2022. Could you use an extra $7,500 for additional training in a clinical area of recognized need in Alberta? Every May we award four physicians with a $7,500 scholarship! The TD Insurance Meloche Monnex/Alberta Medical Association Scholarship was established to help physicians meet Alberta's changing medical needs.

Presidential ghosts in your inbox?

March 15, 2022

Are you seeing the names of AMA past-presidents in the “From” field in your email whenever AMA President Dr. Vesta Michelle Warren sends out her President's Letters? The problem may be haunting your personal address book, which might still be connecting the email address with a past president’s name. Learn more.

Now accepting applications for the 2022 Tarrant Scholarship!

March 15, 2022

The Section of Rural Medicine is now accepting applications for the 2022 Tarrant Scholarship, named in honor of the late Dr. Michael Tarrant, a dedicated family physician and champion of rural medicine undergraduate education. Apply for the Tarrant Scholarship before June 1!

Move AHS overhead charges to the table

March 2, 2022

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: I am writing to share my concerns and AMA’s response regarding a letter that was sent yesterday to physicians from Alberta Health Services. AHS is providing notice that on July 1, 2022, it will implement a framework “for assessing and recovering physician overhead costs that will be a consistent approach for AHS physician overhead across all zones, and in all facilities; urban, regional and rural. Note: Timelines are subject to pandemic response.”

Alberta budget; Engaging on negotiations, income equity and advocacy

February 25, 2022

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: Yesterday, government released its 2022-23 budget which featured substantial investment in health care. It is good to see government paying attention to health care in a concrete fashion. I also appreciate references made in budget documents to interest-based negotiations with physicians, and our common interests such as quality of care, health care sustainability and stability of physician practices.

Enhanced virtual care codes news, negotiations update

February 16, 2022

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: Yesterday, Alberta Health released a bulletin informing physicians that effective February 15, 2022, all eligible claims for enhanced virtual care codes can now be submitted to AH’s claims system.

Enhanced Virtual Care Codes – Claims System Update

February 16, 2022

Alberta Health has announced the claims system is now ready to accept claims for HSCs 03.03CV, 03.03FV and 03.08CV with a complex modifier.

Doctor's letter to facilitate travel rarely needed or warranted

February 10, 2022

Many physicians have had patients asking for letters/notes for the purpose of travelling internationally. Doctors are not obligated to help patients with their travel arrangements, but can do so at their discretion. We've provided a letter template to support clinics receiving these requests.

About restriction changes and negotiations begin

February 10, 2022

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: As I was writing this letter, the province’s changes to public health restrictions were announced. I did several media interviews on this announcement.

Advocating to heal our health system and JPAC on the job

February 3, 2022

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: In our last survey we asked members what they want from the AMA. They expect representation and negotiations, but also want advocacy to explain the state of health care to Albertans.

Discussions with government enter a new phase

January 20, 2022

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: Discussions between the AMA and government are entering a new stage. There is a joint statement that will be issued today.

Virtual Care Code Changes – Recognition of Patient Management Time

January 18, 2022

As a follow-up to our December 30, 2021 and January 7, 2022 President's Letters, we have put together this Billing Tip on the virtual care code changes to assist with billing.

Physicians needed for Health Issues Council

January 18, 2022

The deadline to apply extended to February 13. There are two openings on the AMA’s flagship Health Issues Council. This important committee provides advice, options and analysis to the Board in assessing how the association should respond to new and evolving health issues facing the profession and the public. If you have a passion for health issues advocacy, this is an excellent opportunity to explore new issues and develop your skills.

Enhanced virtual care code bulletin now posted

January 12, 2022

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: The Alberta Health Bulletin for enhanced virtual care codes has now been published.

Update - Alberta Health bulletin on virtual care code changes

January 7, 2022

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: I have heard from many physicians since the announcement of changes to virtual code priority items (time for indirect care and complex modifiers). Like me, they were happy to hear the news that these codes will be available, but urgently needing the details in an accompanying Alberta Health Bulletin.

Ministry of Transportation Medical Review Committee

January 5, 2022

Are you looking for an exciting opportunity to use your expertise to help determine whether Albertans with medical conditions are able to drive? The AMA is recruiting two Edmonton-area physicians for the Alberta Ministry of Transportation Medical Review Committee. The Medical Review Committee plays an important 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 licence.

Priority virtual care codes to increase

December 30, 2021

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: I am pleased to tell you about some changes to virtual care fee codes that are coming into effect January 1, 2022. They will be announced today in a joint news release from government and the Alberta Medical Association. As I’ve mentioned in past letters, a working group involving Alberta Health, Alberta Health Services, the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta and the AMA has been looking at both short- and long-term considerations around virtual care. Among other issues, the AMA has been advocating for changes to the virtual care fee schedule to make the provision of virtual care more financially sustainable.

Update re AHS clinical stipend extension contracts

December 24, 2021

In case you missed it, Dr. Michelle Warren shared an update regarding AHS clinical stipend extension contracts with all members on December 24, 2021. Member login required.

Member survey results and an urgent Omicron meeting

December 22, 2021

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: As 2021 ends, it seemed a good time to provide feedback on what we heard through our August member survey when we asked: What can the AMA do for you?

Zonal/Regional RF delegates - election results

December 17, 2021

Ballots for the election of zonal/regional delegates to the AMA Representative Forum were tallied on December 14, 2021. Elections took place in Region 4 and the Edmonton Zone. Acclamations were in Calgary Zone and Regions 1, 2, 8 and 9. Who are the new zonal/regional delegates? Member login required to view.

What are your perspectives on ordering imaging for uncomplicated low back pain?

December 15, 2021

University of Calgary researchers are looking to interview Alberta family physicians to better understand clinical perspectives related to the use of imaging in uncomplicated low back pain. The purpose of this research is to gain a better understanding of factors that influence imaging ordering practices. Research findings will help design better interventions used to optimize recommendations in practice. Your participation would involve a 45-minute recorded phone interview, at a time and date convenient for you. You will be offered an honorarium for your time.

Membership renewal 2021-22: Stand With Us!

December 15, 2021

This is a tumultuous time in health care in Alberta, and last year we asked AMA members to Stand With Us to ensure the continued strength of the profession. This year, that ask remains the same. The AMA is advocating tirelessly for physicians, our patients and our practices. To do that effectively, and to ensure that physicians’ voices are heard, we need all of our members to renew their memberships for 2021-22.

The care deficit: Preparing to seek solutions

December 15, 2021

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: In recent months we have opened a dialogue with Albertans about the COVID-19 care deficit, its effects and possible solutions. We’ve all seen the increasingly frequent news reports about the care deficit and the public has weighed in through to help us understand the ways in which they've been affected. We have shared how physicians are feeling in terms of dealing with the care deficit in our patient populations.

Stipends delay allows time for a comprehensive approach

December 10, 2021

PRESIDENT'S LETTER: Physicians working in Alberta Health Services facilities, particularly those involved with programs that are remunerated by AHS stipend arrangements, will probably have seen a December 8 email from Dr. Francois Belanger, AHS Vice President, Quality and Chief Medical Officer. His email confirmed that an extension has been granted to many AHS clinical stipend programs so that they will not be ending December 31.

More course dates available for physician leadership development

December 9, 2021

Are you a current or emerging physician leader? Having received additional funding from the Canadian Medical Association, the Physician Leadership and Professional Development (PLPD) Initiative is pleased to offer additional dates for virtual PLI courses. Maximum 30 participants per course.

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.

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.

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.

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 .

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.

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