Taking action to influence change
When I got involved with the QMA, it was to help change happen. It was clear to me in my daily practice that it was becoming increasingly difficult to do my work and meet the needs of my patients. Not for medical reasons, but because of the way the health care system was organized.
When I discovered the QMA, I found an association that would enable me to take action with my peers. I was impressed by the desire of its members to improve the organization of the health care system and to positively influence medical practices. The QMA looks at the failings in the system, examines the solutions and finds the means to implement them, by focusing on the leadership and professionalism of physicians.
What was once a desire not long ago is becoming a reality and taking on a new dimension. We now have the ability to influence medical practice. Holding the 5th international Preventing Overdiagnosis Conference in Québec City is a good example of this. By accepting the city’s candidacy, its organizers recognized the efforts made by the QMA since 2013 to increase awareness of this issue among the medical profession, policy-makers and the population, and the actions it has taken to improve medical practice in the field.
This international conference recognized the QMA’s leadership in the battle against overdiagnosis and overtreatment. We have even become a model for numerous countries that also want to take action in this regard. They saw how we tackled the issue as soon as Choosing Wisely Canada started and how we got involved to give it a French-language counterpart. They also noted our desire to push this issue locally with the Choosing Wisely Québec network. They understood the importance of introducing training to help physicians become aware of this issue and learn about the tools they can use to modify their everyday practice.
These solutions are now starting to show results, but they must be supported and communicated on a larger scale. By hosting the 5th edition of this conference, the QMA was able to generate exceptional media coverage, allowing the medical community, along with the general population, to learn more about the scope of this issue. The Minister of Health and Social Services, Gaétan Barrette, and the Official Opposition critic for health and access to care, Diane Lamarre, emphasized their intention to collaborate with us.
In particular, the Minister of Health and Social Services highlighted our ability to build solutions in the fight against overdiagnosis, and in the reorganization of the health care system. In his speech and when talking to the media, he recognized our leadership and committed to working with us.
To be a good leader, it is necessary to bring constructive solutions and that is what we are doing. I invite you once again to get involved with the QMA, because tomorrow you will be practising with the solutions that we will have succeeded in building together.
Dr. Hugo Viens, B.Sc., M.D., FRCSC