This marks the last Medical Matters of 2020. With that being said, I would like to recognize and thank the entire medical profession. As we rolled into 2020, I suspect everyone expected some degree of challenge with a struggling Alberta economy and the early stages of negotiations with government. However, I doubt anyone would have predicted what would unfold. Not only has there been some significant stress between the profession and the government, we have seen a pandemic that has infected close to 70 million people worldwide and killed over 1.5 million. We have seen racism and discrimination brought to a boiling point for society and the medical profession and we have seen thousands of Albertans lose their jobs and struggle to make ends meet.
Whenever we see such dramatic societal changes, the medical profession not only bears the weight of the stress personally, like every other Albertan, but we also carry the weight of our patients’ experiences, as well. Whether you’re a rural family physician, an urban ER physician, a pathologist, a surgeon, an internist providing care on COVID wards or a physician leader trying to shape solutions to complex problems, (with no easy solutions), you have been connected with Albertans struggling to manage the stressors of 2020. This has, without doubt, been a year like no other and everyone at CPSA thanks you for your commitment and professionalism.
I realize the challenges that exist today seem to make every day as a physician just that much harder, but over this past year I’ve seen an incredible resilience and strength in the profession. I’ve seen physicians selflessly commit themselves to their patients and support each other through incredibly trying times. This foundational strength is what will carry the profession forward. The challenge will be recognizing that we can’t do this as thousands of independent physicians working autonomously; we need to come together and support each other. We need to look out for each other’s health and wellbeing and we need to support the profession so we continue to provide the highest possible care Albertans deserve.
I realize this won’t be a normal holiday season with our COVID cases climbing and family gatherings looking dramatically different from past years, but my hope is that everyone finds a way to enjoy this holiday season and look forward to a new and improved 2021.
Thank you for everything you do every day to look after those in need, and each other.
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