Here are the candidates who have put their names forward to be part of the EMA executive for 2014-15. If you are running for a position and your statement is not included send it to Andrew or Tarek and we'll add it.
Scott Anderson: I decided to run for chair as I think we are at a critical time. We have been and continue to be essentially directionless with respect to our business. There are a lot of things that have contributed to this and morale is low these days. The introduction of a new chief brings a unique opportunity to redefine ourselves, acquire a direction that we all agree upon (a vision) and take steps to get there. The new chief allows us a unique opportunity to work with that individual to achieve goals that we have in common such as excellence in patient care, reduced wait times, fairness and equity among our members and a renewed sense of pride in what it means to be an LHSC ER doc. In my opinion that has eroded over the last few years and is somewhat non existent right now and I believe there are members amongst us who have no idea what I am talking about.
I am uniquely qualified to see this through and make changes that are in the best interest of the business group, each other and most importantly the patients. I am concerned that of late that we are no longer a group with a common vision and goal but rather a bunch of individuals who are voting on issues in the way in which it suits them best personally. Let me assure you that I do have a "personal" agenda with respect to the job of chair. Some of you will not like the decisions I make as chair but be assured it isn't possible to make everyone happy. My voting record shows I have not voted on issues in the way in which suits me best personally but rather what I think is best for the partnership on the whole and patient care. I have become frustrated as I know that we can be so much better than what we are; the group and individuals need some guidance to get there. I want all of you to feel the amazing sense of pride that comes with a job well done, the respect of your colleagues both in and out of the ER and most importantly a greater sense of self respect that I think if we are honest has been truly lacking.These things will not come to us if we maintain the current "fix it for me attitude" but rather we need to do a lot of work to get there but trust me if you're willing to do the work and take a little guidance we will all be so much better off for it. Its time for a little group and personal self reflection and let's take this possibly final chance to become awesome together otherwise in the near future we risk further splintering and may never this chance again.
Wanda Millard: I’ve heard it said that getting physicians to agree on anything is like herding cats – next to impossible, certainly it sometimes seems like that with our group. I’d like to suggest we are more alike than different; we all enjoy coming to work most days, we all want to do a good job for our patients, learners and colleagues, we all want our working environment to be the best it can be both for efficiency and physician wellness, we all have interests other than emergency medicine, and we all value our time away from medicine with our families and friends. As with any other facet of life, it is more common to focus on the things that are wrong or broken while taking the things that are working for granted.
I am sincerely looking forward to our EMA retreat as an opportunity for all of us to express our idea for change and improvement within our business group. Our past chairs have led us to a very good place and now it is time to look carefully at what we value both for ourselves and for our group, and craft a revision of our values and business plan to move forward. I do not have a personal agenda, I am running for chair because I truly like my job and my colleagues and I want to give back to our group with my time and energy. Once we set a course for the future, I will work on our behalf to make sure we achieve our goals. I would like to get us into a position were we are proactive much more often than reactive and where every member believes they have a voice. Am I naïve, maybe but I am highly motivated and I won’t stop trying to improve the business of practicing emergency medicine in London, Ontario.
Munsif Bhimani: As Chair of EMA, my vision will include a 7 pronged strategy to continue the great work done already by my mentors Dr Gibson, Dr Dreyer and previously Dr Yake whose efforts do not go unrecognized as we move on to a new phase of leadership...
The 7 pronged approach is ... (accompanied with a smiley to make it all positive for us all)
1-Focusing on the business aspects of the partnership primarily and initially and aligning all partners to the business aspect of their practice which would include incentivizing shifts to member's advantage, optimizing earnings through ongoing and regular billing audits and advise, encouraging throughput in the Department and helping those who need to improve flow with positive strategies to achieve this :)
2-Enhancing the voice of EMA to the hospital and the Division in matters concerning physicians well being and work-life balance. Looking at shifts that minimize fatigue and restructuring things to make this happen :)
3-Encouraging better collegiality between partners and looking closely at incidents involving intimidation or inappropriate commentary esp at handover. Minimizing long post-shift stays by EMA members and introducing a hard handover policy. In conjunction with the Toyota project aim to improve handover efficiency :)
4-Working closely with Toyota to ensure physician incentives/incomes are kept stable or improved while working equally to enhance the success of the project which is to EMAs advantage by making the workplace tolerable :)
5-Looking at options for self-scheduling to get more shifts out of people if they were allowed a degree of self-scheduling. This is a priority to take on with the new scheduler :)
6-Hiring or engaging business leaders to review the business of EMA :)
7-Organizing conferences and retreats regularly to focus on stress, work-life balance and physician fatigue and inviting speakers to address the EMA aspect of physician health (not just clinical expertise)....:)
Hope we all make the right choice to turn the table around on inefficiency and negativity in the group. We have all chosen to stay at LHSC and we can do so with more exuberance and less acrimony if we focus on the 7 pronged smileys
Karalyn Church: I am officially running for the position of scheduler. I find myself unable to turn away from the challenge of improving our current process. As our group has expanded in both individual members as well as overall shift numbers, this role has become more complex. However this should not preclude fair, accurate and most importantly timely management of the schedule. I would like to merge the task of scheduler with manpower calculations (currently expertly managed by Drew Thompson) in order to minimize errors and allow for open and regular communication of periods of anticipated shift deficit and shift surplus with all partners.
I would also like to investigate methods to schedule new-comers to the departments, methods to safely re-integrate partners who have been away from practice for periods of sabbatical, medical or parental leave and methods to share basic shift preferences so that partners can more easily target individuals who may be interested in specific trades.
Lisa Sheppard: I would also like to take advantage of the opportunity to briefly explain my reasons for running for Scheduler.
I have the time to commit to serve on the Executive and to the business of scheduling. I think that my affinity for attention to detail would be an asset in this position I have done group scheduling in the past for several years, although admittedly not on this scale. However, the principles remain the same: timeliness, transparency and fairness with a willingness to consider and develop new ideas.
So everyone please vote - for whomever you decide - but do vote. The EMA is an essential forum for positive action in these rapidly changing times.
Rob Sedran: In my second year as Exec Member at Large I will work to:
1) Add value to those who choose to take on a 1.0 FTE as this is good for the business of the group.
2) Strategies to improve and standardize billing across the group.
3) Help to add metrics to make all members more accountable with respect to efficiency of practice, patients seen per hour, etc.
Kelly Regan: I feel the EMA 's role is to maximize earnings, professional satisfaction and opportunities for its members.
Our job is to liaise with the new chair /chief and our members to develop more explicit accountabilities financially, clinically, and academically. Additionally we need to address job satisfaction and retention, scheduling (oversight) , pregnancy and medical leave considerations, sabatical and billing assistance.
Communication with members in both directions is crucial. My assumption is that the group has trust in the EMAE to make many smaller decisions on their behalf, with the principles of equity and "partnership" at the core, and issues, as outlined in our partnership agreement coming to the group for a vote.
Amit Shah: Colleagues, I think we would all agree our business group exists to improve the value of the partnership. Value derives not just from the monetary return we have, but also from quality work environment, the opportunity to practice EM in an enjoyable and efficient setting, collegiality, and the ability to accomplish teaching and research objectives.
I hope to join the executive committee to continue the work to add value to our partnership. I see a few key areas :
1. The greatest impediment to our job satisfaction, recruitment, and ability to be effective teachers and researchers is the patient flow through our departments. I see the work on Toyota as our best opportunity to dramatically alter the situation we are in. I am very optimistic that this is the correct process by which we can go from provincial laggards to provincial leaders. A lot of work needs to be done to implement this work and ensure the rest of the hospital does the work necessary to allow Toyota to function in the ED. Empowering and facilitating this work will be a key component of our executive. This makes sense for the business group: better flow means better patient care, working conditions, patient flow, teaching, job satisfaction, recruitment and revenue. It is the driver for achieving what we value as a group. We have a new Chief to be selected soon. We should work to align our business objectives with the Divisonal objectives, so we are working together to devote our energies to the same key goals.
. I believe we can further optimize our matching of scheduled hours to patient registration rates, and in doing so tackle some of our flow issues and improve our number of sociable working hours.
3. I have sat on our billing committee and mentored members in shadow billing. I think we have some way to go in optimizing our billings and therefore our group revenue. We should look creatively at this as there is a lot of opportunity there to increase revenue for the group without changing anything that we do.
We have a phenomenal group. The work of the executive should empower the group and bring it together. I hope the next few years are transformative and exciting for us at LHSC - it depends our engagement and leadership, and we all have a part in that.
I wanted to take a moment to thank those who have given their time and energies to the Exec to date. It is appreciated.
Matt Davis: It’s time to define what the EMAs business truly is and we can all be a part of this destiny. We need to develop a mission and values that govern our business. I am a believer in setting benchmarks for both billing and volume and ensure all partners are held accountable to these agreed upon benchmarks. It’s time to get rid of the waste and maximize efficiency. The culture of what’s "best for our business” needs to be instilled. If we don’t buy into this, then the EMA business group serves no purpose. We are at a turning point and it is time for the EMA to evolve into a partnership with an agreed upon direction. I eager to work with the executive and the EMA members to take us there.