Executive Director's Report

Michael A. Gormley, Executive Director of the AMA

Download the Reports to the AGM (PDF, 76 pages).

It has been an unprecedented year. I appreciate that this first sentence could, in other years, appear somewhat tired and perhaps hyperbolic. A reading of this Annual Report, however, would be adequate in dispelling that view.

Underlying this year’s challenges lie two key events. The first was the COVID pandemic. The second was the government’s unilateral decisions to fundamentally disrupt the basic underpinnings of its relationship with physicians. These two events are not completely separate: physicians deserved greater support in the early months of COVID.

Despite the many challenges of this year, there were also positives and I want to ensure that these are also recognized.

First, the outstanding work of physicians and their health colleagues in fighting COVID needs to be celebrated. It’s during these times of crisis that one learns who can be counted on and health professionals certainly demonstrated their commitment to the health and well being of Albertans.

Second, physician leadership shone throughout the year. Within the AMA this includes the Board, Representative Forum, sections, committees and the Joint Task Force, but also those physicians who spoke out and took action in social media and directly within their communities. Combined with efforts from the zone medical staff associations and groups that have sprung up, such as Alberta Doctors for Patients and others, the harm being done to our health care is being laid out clearly. Public opinion surveys done by the AMA and others show that the messages are being heard.

Third, the work and support of the Canadian Medical Association is greatly appreciated. Provincial medical associations across Canada have also lent their voices expressing concerns about the situation we face in Alberta.

Fourth, AMA staff have been directly impacted by this year’s challenges. Their willingness to pitch in, participate in difficult conversations and then adapt in the best overall interest of the AMA membership has been an inspiration for me.

It's certainly possible that next twelve months will have a lot in common with this last twelve: COVID is not going away anytime soon; government is still relatively early in its mandate. The commitment of physicians to their patients and their profession, however, is both of greater duration and endurance. Our plans going into 2021-22 need to reflect and build on this, remaining flexible in responding to challenges while also promoting value for patients wherever we can. Ultimately, this will carry the day.

- Michael A. Gormley, Executive Director
Alberta Medical Association

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