Executive Director's Report

Michael A. Gormley, Executive Director of the AMA

Download the Reports to the AGM (PDF, 84 pages)

An unprecedented year that began with the AMA’s first ever virtual Annual General Meeting and will end with its second.

I suspect we have seen the last of the wholly in-person annual meeting: The 2020 AGM was also the best attended. As difficult as it has been, there have been positive outcomes from this COVID year. One of these was learning to make better use of webinars and other technologies to better reach out to and hear from more members on terms more friendly to their already stretched schedules.

There were other positives.

We were reminded of the dedication and commitment of physicians and all health professionals – these truly have been the heroes of the global pandemic.

Despite efforts on the part of some to undermine the AMA, physicians stood by their association. They participated directly by joining, sending in their views through thousands of emails, attendance at meetings, voting, and working directly in our many committees.

The failed Tentative Agreement Package itself, while a challenge in some respects, was also a demonstration of what a member organization is all about. Our disagreement with government – and our lawsuit – is ultimately about physicians having a real say in matters of their compensation. The staff, committees, Board and so on all do their best, but in the AMA it is the members who count.

AMA staff continued in their efforts to serve the profession, despite trying circumstances and forced innovation. I have greatly appreciated their support and advice.

There also many challenges.

The stress from COVID alone has made for a difficult year for many physicians. This burden, unfortunately, was often added to by a lack of support from the province and in expecting them to take on the challenges of virtual care without an adequate fee schedule.

The lack of broad physician input into the system is causing harm. Physician expertise is needed to guide health policy and support decision makers.

The lack of an agreement between the profession and government continues to strain the relationship. Ultimately this will harm patient care.

I could go on listing the many lessons – positive and negative – of the last year.  Many are highlighted in this report. Some things, however, remain the same. Physician leadership in Alberta – across the membership – is outstanding.  AMA staff work hard and do their best to serve members. There is a lot to be thankful for.

- Michael A. Gormley, Executive Director
Alberta Medical Association

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