Let's engage in dialogue

Hugo viensFor a physician, taking care of patients is something obvious right from the beginning of training. However, after working as a clinician and manager for about 10 years, I realized that I could contribute more to my profession. My experience and understanding of the processes allow me to make a positive impact on my environment. And when I work to improve on aspects that lead to the issues that cause frustration in my practice or on things I have no control over as a clinician, my patients benefit.

I regularly encounter colleagues, who, like me not long ago, and without really understanding why, find it difficult that they have to accept the status quo in the health care system. For me, rather than tolerating the situation and trying to adapt, I realized that it was much more rewarding to attempt to find solutions to the problems that were creating frustration. With the QMA, I have been able to find a way that enables me to act. The association’s position statements and the concrete means of action it proposes give me a way to contribute to disseminating innovative professional practices and organization methods. In 2013, this was music to my ears… Four years later, I am more convinced than ever that we need to work together to help advance professionalism.

It is in fact a key aspect to use for improving the health care system. Being professionals leads us back to the skills we acquired during our medical training, and also to our collective commitment to society. If physicians do not participate in managing institutions and defining the clinical needs of the population and the health services required, others will do it for us and not necessarily for the benefit of our patients. 

Together, we can determine the actions needed in our environments to improve the organization of the health care system, refocus our care on our patients’ needs and rediscover the pleasure of practicing relevant, effective medicine. 

It is now time to take action. The QMA needs you. In order to get out to meet with you, listen to what you have to say about what you are going through in your environments and try to come up with concrete solutions, the QMA is organizing a Tour on Professionalism. Already over 20 sessions have been planned in several Québec regions. Some of these meetings have already happened, while others will take place in the coming weeks and months. The idea is to present a report in the spring with the findings resulting from this consultation.

As QMA president, I will lead some of these sessions. My colleagues on the Board of Directors will also do the same. We want to engage in a constructive discussion with you. At our meetings, we first look at the careful thought that the QMA has given to professionalism since 2013. We then discuss potential solutions that can be implemented. 

How would you like to practice your medical professionalism on a daily basis? 

What leadership should physicians develop?  

How can we promote clinical governance in the health care system?

How should the medical profession redefine its organization?

I look forward to hearing your views and discussing the issues with you. I hope many of you will join us at the upcoming sessions for this stimulating reflection on the future of our profession.


Dr. Hugo Viens, B.Sc., M.D., FRCSC