Message from the President
I hope this message finds you all well. For those who don't know me, I am a family and emergency room physician and I have been practicing in rural Manitoba for over 17 years. Over the past eight years, I have played many different roles for CPSM, but for the past six months, I have had the honour of taking the position of CPSM President.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, our profession has faced many challenges. After the pandemic eased off, we faced obstacles such as physician burnout and physician shortage, especially among family doctors and other allied healthcare workers. The result was another layer of strain on the healthcare system all over Canada.
After much discussion and reflecting on different possible solutions, we feel that the long-term fix to the physicians' shortage will start by increasing the number of Canadian medical school graduates every year (this has started to happen all over Canada, including Manitoba). However, it will take at least seven to eight years to help with the current shortage. The short-term solution is adding International Medical Graduates (IMG) to the practicing physicians' cohort in family medicine and different specialties to improve the care of Manitobans.
On December 13, 2023, Council discussed forming an IMG working group that will be composed of practicing IMG physicians, CPSM staff, stakeholders from the University of Manitoba, Manitoba Health, and Doctors of Manitoba. The working group will facilitate the orientation of non-practicing IMG to our system to promote their registration. Also, a new CPSM Board of Assessors for registration will thoroughly evaluate the credentials and the training of the IMG physicians' applicants to help recruit more physicians to the province.
On December 13th, 2023, Council decided on important succession plans including:
First: The appointment of Dr. Ainslie Mihalchuk, the current Assistant Registrar of the Quality Department of the College, to the Deputy Registrar position effective January 1st, 2024. Dr. Mihalchuk has served CPSM for the last four years and has made tremendous changes and outstanding progress in the Quality Department. The quality of care is a strategic organizational priority, and is the new face of the CPSM.
Second: Dr. Anna Ziomek, the current CPSM Registrar, has decided to retire from her position after the end of her second five-year term as the Registrar in December 2024. The Council greatly appreciates the outstanding legacy that Dr. Ziomek has created over the last 25 years serving CPSM. She hired highly skilled employees in different departments, significantly changing operations and advocated for the challenges facing the profession. She will be missed. Dr. Ziomek will be supporting and helping Dr. Mihalchuk to assume her new role as the Registrar of the CPSM, effective January 1st, 2025.
Third: Dr. Karen Bullock-Pries, the current Assistant Registrar of the Complaints and the Investigation Department, will retire in June 2024. The council greatly recognizes the outstanding performance of Dr. Bullock-Pries in fulfilling this critical role over the last several years. Senior management will work on hiring a replacement to fill this position.
CPSM will continue working on the previously approved strategic organizational priorities, including the recommended actions of the Truth and Reconciliation Advisory Circle.
Both the Standard of Practice - Prescribing Requirements and the Practice Direction - Electronic Transmission of Prescriptions are currently under the final revision of Council for implementation in the spring of 2024. Finally, the current Collaborative Care Standard of Practice will be entirely revised to improve the care of our patients.
I wish everyone Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.
Nader Shenouda, MD, MPH, CCFP, FCFP
CPSM Council President