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By Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti, CPSA Council President
Compassionate leadership essentially asks, “Are you who you want to be?” This begs the question, “Are you practising medicine in a way that’s aligned with who you want to be?”
We know genuine compassionate care, provided by a care provider who is displaying compassionate leadership, results in better patient outcomes. As a Council, we’re often asking ourselves how CPSA as a regulator, physicians, physician assistants and osteopaths can exert our influence on patients and the systems we work in to improve patient outcomes.
If we as healthcare professionals really wanted to serve the best interests of our patients, we would strive to address and eliminate common barriers to health before medical issues actually arise. That said, this approach is counter to our current model.
In 1991, I co-wrote an article entitled “Why are there so many injuries? Why aren’t we stopping them?” Thirty years later, injuries are still the leading cause of death for Canadians under the age of 45. Injuries kill more children than all childhood diseases combined. In addition, three current risk factors (smoking, poor nutrition and lack of exercise) contribute to four major types of disease (cardiovascular illnesses, chronic respiratory illnesses, certain cancers and diabetes) that combined account for over 50 per cent of our disease burden.
Now more than ever, when our system is taxed by the COVID-19 pandemic, how can we better support our patients in preventing disease, rather than just treating disease when it becomes an issue? At this time, we need a radical new way of thinking about change.
As CPSA’s Council, we can start supporting this change by embracing an inspiring vision that sets clearly focused measurable objectives, meaningfully engages CPSA team and Council members by supporting a team approach to problem solving, and constantly emphasizes values-based leadership.
CPSA is more than ready to meet the challenges before us. We are changing for the better every day and we are encouraging you to adapt and evolve as well. Reach out and let us know how we can help you become who you want to be and how your acts of compassionate leadership can promote better health outcomes for patients.
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