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Give Feedback on Proposed SOMB Rule Changes

October 24, 2016

Want to share your thoughts and comments on suggested SOMB rule changes? Our new online form enables members to quickly and easily provide feedback to the SOMB Working Group on the list of initiatives that are being considered. Click here to tell us what you think of items on the ‘ideas list’ or propose some of your own.

Upcoming planned website outages

October 19, 2016

The AMA website will be unavailable on Saturday, October 22, and Saturday, October 29, both from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to implement a system upgrade.

Ratified: AMA Amending Agreement

October 14, 2016

I am writing to let you know the results of the ratification vote by Alberta physicians on the package of amendments to the 2011-18 AMA Agreement. I am pleased to advise that the amendments were ratified, receiving a “Yes” vote from 74% of responding physicians. (Voter turnout was 29%, a bit lower than the average 38% for votes since 2003.)

Vote for your Representative Forum zonal/regional delegate

October 14, 2016

Voting for the 2016 Representative Forum delegate zonal/regional elections is now underway. Click here to learn more and vote.

Do I need a medical calculator?

September 30, 2016

Selecting a high-quality medical calculator is much like finding a high-quality medical website: one must examine the provider, the funding, the quality of the information and any privacy concerns.

Appreciating achievement

September 30, 2016

In my letter yesterday, I recounted the topics and discussions at the recent Representative Forum and annual general meeting. I thought you would also be interested to learn about some of the ceremonial moments of the event when we recognized the achievements of some outstanding Albertans.

PFSP Perspectives

September 30, 2016

Why is suicide more common among physicians than the general population? The statistics around physician suicide are undeniable. Each year in the United States, 300-400 physicians commit suicide. The rate in male and female physicians is 40% and 130% higher than in men and women in general, respectively.

First AMA President’s Letter:

September 29, 2016

This is my first opportunity to write to you since becoming president of the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) on Saturday, September 24, during the fall Representative Forum (RF) and annual general meeting. It is truly an honor to serve as your president, and I look forward to working for you in 2016-17.

Why bother with history of medicine?

September 29, 2016

The bigger topics of why medicine has evolved as it has, and how this has affected the way we practice today, must be explored by formal historians with careful research and analysis. As medical practitioners, both singly and in our groups, we can certainly do more to ensure that those who are making their history today are nominated for honors so that their names, too, can be remembered in the future.

Project profiles

September 29, 2016

Learn about two Emerging Leaders in Health Promotion Grant program projects: Teaching CPR at Community Sports Events and The Strengths of Our Community: A Photovoice Project by Youth in Maskwacis, Alberta.

Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association Quality Improvement Grant Fund Launch

September 28, 2016

Please RSVP as soon as possible. At this launch, the Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association (EZMSA) will share information about the grant, criteria and process. Medical Residents (with physicians as supervisors) can apply.

Voices for Indigenous Peoples

September 28, 2016

At the spring 2016 meeting of the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) Representative Forum (RF) in Edmonton, a session was held on health-related recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The RF was privileged to welcome two guests of national stature: Grand Chief Tony Alexis of the Treaty 6 First Nations and Justice (now Senator) Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The two speakers spoke to the RF and each, in their own way, issued a challenge to the profession. Their addresses have been transcribed for this article.

Support is growing for an Indigenous health revolution

September 27, 2016

The health disparities of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples continue to widen despite various attempts by the health system to effectively intervene. For more than two decades we have asked the question, “Why are Canada's Indigenous Peoples so sick?” Perhaps the more pressing question is, “Why are Canadians so healthy?”

Canadian Medical Association responds to a need for action on Indigenous health

September 24, 2016

With Dr. Linda Slocombe, it is a great privilege to serve as Alberta Medical Association representatives on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). That board addresses a wide variety of issues from across the country with deep implications for Canadians.

Thoughts at the end of the year

September 23, 2016

In closing my term as president, I have selected a couple of topics that have had particular relevance this year.

New resource: PFSP relationship e-book

September 23, 2016

The new PFSP e-book – The Well-Being of Medical Relationships: Striking a Balance with Your Spouse, Colleagues & Self – by Sara Taylor, BSc, MD, CCFP – is available online (at no charge), for reading and downloading.

Integrated care: What you told me

September 21, 2016

I am very excited about some of the proposals in the tentative Amending Agreement relating to the new Integrated Care Consultation Agreement and the existing Primary Medical Care/Primary Care Networks (PCNs) Consultation Agreement.

It's time to renew your AMA membership

September 14, 2016

It’s time to renew your AMA/CMA membership. Our online renewal process makes renewal quick and easy. Click for more information and to renew.

Learn more about the Tentative Amending Agreement and vote

September 13, 2016

Learn more about the Tentative Amending Agreement, see the proposed package of amendments, and find informational resources including a general backgrounder, FAQs, an informational video and consolidated agreements for clarity. Voting opens Thursday, September 15, and closes Thursday, October 13, at 4:30pm.

A ratification vote will be held

September 9, 2016

Last night the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) Representative Forum (RF) met in Edmonton and Calgary. The sites were linked by videoconference and delegates who were unable to attend in person joined by webcast.

Tentative Amending Agreement Next Steps

September 2, 2016

My President’s Letter on Tuesday, August 30 advised that the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) had reached agreement with government on a tentative package of amendments to the ongoing 2011-18 AMA Agreement. Here is what happens next.

Special AMA member pricing for medical grade refrigerators

September 2, 2016

As of September 30, 2016, publicly funded vaccines will be distributed only to providers with compliant fridges. The AMA has partnered with AHS to obtain special AMA member physician pricing for medical grade refrigerators that meet the requirements of the Alberta Government and Alberta Health Services’ Vaccine Cold Chain policy.

Call for applications: Three AMA committees requiring member representatives

September 1, 2016

The AMA is seeking representatives for the Committee on Financial Audit, the bilateral AMA/Alberta Health Allocation Working Group and the Committee on Uninsured Services. Click to learn more about the committees and representative requirements.

Government discussions concluded – Tentative amendments to AMA Agreement reached

August 30, 2016

I have written to you previously about the issues of stewardship and professionalism and their linkage to the ongoing discussions with government. Our current negotiations began in February under a Memorandum of Agreement that laid out the terms and objectives.

Physician EFTs completed Monday, August 8

August 5, 2016

Friday, August 5, was a scheduled date for payments to be made from Alberta Health to physicians via electronic fund transfer (EFT). Alberta Health advised the AMA the morning of August 5 that one financial institution was temporarily unable to process EFTs. Affected physicians (about 700) will receive notification of payment but the funds were not transferred Friday, August 5. The bank identified the source of the problem and the solution, and AH staff have been informed that the EFTs were to be transferred by Monday, August 8. Questions or further issues can be directed to the AH Claims Branch Help Desk: 780.422.1522.

Integrated care: what it really means

August 3, 2016

Last week I wrote to you about our ongoing discussions with government around stewardship of the health care system. I have written several times this year on the subject of stewardship, but in the context of negotiations, members might ask: Why does it matter? Why should we try? What will we achieve?

Update on government discussions

July 28, 2016

Discussions with government have been underway since the new year. As I have mentioned in previous President’s Letters, we have been working under a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for good faith negotiations “to explore issues of common interest during the term of the AMA Agreement, with the aim of managing the rate of growth with respect to the physician services budget, improving the effective provision of health care to Albertans and jointly ensuring the sustainability of the health care system.” The 2011-18 agreement remains in place; any proposed changes as a result of these negotiations would be subject to a ratification vote by physicians.

How is the nature of our care affected by the mode of communication we use?

July 27, 2016

A friend and colleague told me recently he received a text from his family doctor confirming his suspected cancer diagnosis. My friend said he was OK receiving that news by text. It was immediate and direct...

Helping Edmonton seniors to become more health savvy

July 26, 2016

While the public health agency of Canada has identified seniors’ health as a health promotion priority, Dr. Aditi Amin, internal medicine resident at the University of Alberta, doesn’t need official recognition of this significantly underserved health care demographic to know the seriousness of the matter. She sees evidence of it every day in the course of her residency.

Changes to Constitution and Notice of Elections

July 26, 2016

There are proposed changes to the AMA Constitution and Bylaws and elections that will be held at the 2016 annual general meeting at the Hyatt Regency, Calgary on Saturday, September 24. Members, please log in to view the amendments and election information.

Data rich or data poor?

July 25, 2016

Over the last 15 years, I have noted that more and more of my patients have gone beyond their friends, neighbors, relatives and Oprah Winfrey, to unknown sources on the Internet in an attempt to understand their symptoms prior to their consultation.

Alberta Medical Students’ Conference and Retreat

July 23, 2016

On the weekend of January 29-31, over 300 medical students from the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta came together in Banff for the 12th annual Alberta Medical Students’ Conference and Retreat (AMSCAR).

AMA President-Elect 2016-17 Election

July 8, 2016

Dr. Neil D.J. Cooper has been elected to the position of Alberta Medical Association President-Elect for 2016-17. Dr. Cooper will assume the President-Elect role on September 24, at the close of the Fall 2016 Representative Forum meeting.

About the PCN review report

July 5, 2016

As you may have seen in media reports, yesterday government released a review of primary care networks (PCNs). The report is a review of some elements of PCN operations in a sample of PCNs. As might be expected, the review identified some things that need to be addressed. As always, we are open to ways to improve what we do as physicians and we will work with government to deal with these issues. At the same time, I would like to see this event as an opportunity to move forward and build the primary care system that patients want and deserve. I will say more about this at the conclusion of my letter.

Good: You’re communicating.

July 5, 2016

For Alberta’s physicians, secure messaging has arrived. And while you have some choice as to your preferred system, only one has been designed specifically with the needs of AMA members in mind, and that’s AMA dr2dr Secure Messaging.

Residents' Page - Alberta Doctors' Digest

July 4, 2016

Read the latest "Residents' Page" contribution to the Alberta Doctors' Digest: "Helping Edmonton seniors to become more health savvy - Resident Physician Wellness Week".

Are you conducting a risky business?

July 4, 2016

E-communications have become ubiquitous in our busy lives and while you know that emailing, texting and faxing are not secure channels over which to exchange confidential information, you continue to use it, thinking (hoping) that you’ll never experience a security breach. Despite having set gold standards for yourself and your clinic staff, when undertaken in the context of a maxed-out-busy work environment, e-communications (such as texts and email exchanges) are fraught with the potential to be compromised.

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.