It’s that time of year again: Council elections are coming up and we are getting ready to put out the call for nominations. If you haven’t yet considered running, I hope you will. I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight the important role Council plays and the value of participating as an elected member.
Serving on College Council is much different than being elected to a position with the Alberta Medical Association (AMA). The College and the AMA have an excellent working relationship and we share many goals with respect to enhancing the quality of health care that all Albertans deserve, but we have fundamentally different roles.
While physicians on Council bring their professional perspective to decisions and Council as a whole holds the Registrar and College staff to account in our day-to-day operations, Council’s primary and most important role is protecting Albertans and there is an expectation that we build and maintain the trust of the people we are privileged to serve.
Being on Council means learning more about the public-focused role of the College and the work that’s being done behind the scenes. It means gaining a better appreciation for medical regulation in Alberta while lending your voice and unique insights to decisions that have real impacts, on Albertans and our profession. It’s also an opportunity to grow as a leader in the medical community and gain knowledge that will allow you to influence many other aspects of the health care system.
We used to talk about “self-regulation” but recently, terminology related to professional regulation has shifted. As my colleague from Nova Scotia recently reminded me, humans are not very good at self-regulation as we have a tendency to miss our own vulnerabilities. That’s why we are now saying “profession-led regulation”, which I think is a much better way of capturing what we do and even more specifically, what physicians are elected to do on Council.
Council is just one of many leadership opportunities at the College. We are also currently looking for physicians to sit on Complaint Review Committees and Hearing Tribunals and other working groups and subcommittees are often recruiting. You can learn more about College committees on our website and please keep an eye on The Messenger for future opportunities.
If the timing isn’t right for you to run for Council this year, I urge you to commit to voting in October. Your voice matters—use it to make a difference.
Looking forward to your comments,