I see in this week's Crowsnest Promoter (not available on-line) that my family doctor Allan Garbutt has been selected to head-up the Alberta Medical Association. Quite an achievement, quite an honour, and quite deserving.
Allan's dry sense of humour will do him well in this new and responsible position. I just hope with his soon to be busy schedule that we get to see him again. :-)
By Joni MacFarlane - Editor
Local doctor appointed to prestigious position
A local doctor has been selected to take over the reins as one
of Alberta's most influential physicians.
Dr. Allan Garbutt, long an advocate for rural doctors across the province, was chosen as President of the Alberta Medical Association in late September.
The AMA represents about 95 per cent - or 6,000 - of Alberta's practicing physicians as well as residents and medical students.
Garbutt said his name was put forward to the nominating committee who met early this year to name people to various positions within the organization.
He said he had no idea he was being considered but when contacted to ask if he would' take over the presidency, he had "no hesitation" in saying yes.
"Somehow they wanted me," he laughed. "How else can I get my ideas to some-where they'll be effective."
The actual position of president doesn't take effect until September 2013. Until then, in this first year, Garbutt is in a learning mode as the President Elect. After his one-year term of President, Garbutt will act as a resource to AMA as Past President.
Garbutt said he is both "anxious and anticipatory" with several major challenges ahead.
The contract between Alberta's doctors and Alberta Health Services expired in March 31, 2011 and although there was a contract agreed to in principle, it was never officially ratified before the last provincial election. Garbutt said if there's still no contract in place by the time his presidency takes effect in September 2013, this will be his biggest challenge.
|Dr. Allan Garbutt was recently appointed to the position of President of the Alberta Medical Association. His first year will be spent in a learning mode as President Elect.|
The other large challenge, he said, is implementing the premiere's goal of putting in 140 family care clinics across the province.
"The challenge will be taking family care clinics from a very general idea to actual functional, up-and-running on-the-ground units," said Garbutt.
In addition to a heavy time commitment, he admitted there's a sharp learning curve between his current role and what's ahead for him.
"There's a lot of difference between looking after rural docs and a total budget of thousands of dollars and a government dealing with billions," he said.
He's confident however there will be a lot of support from the organization and doctors he knows.
Garbutt wanted to assure patients that although he will be travelling often during his year as President of AMA,he will continue to practice as much as he can.
"I'll owe my wife a huge debt when this is over," he laughed.
Health consists of having the same diseases as one's neighbors.