From Pandemic to Protests: The Year 2020

Registrar/CEO Dr. Nancy Whitmore

It’s hard to believe 2020 is finally coming to a close. I think we can all agree that this will be a year we will never forget. We have faced a pandemic for the first time in our lives and the emotional and physical hardships on front-line workers, patients and the people in Ontario in general is profound.

The pandemic also forced us to implement virtual care — something that was needed but there was no movement on for many years. Virtual care is here to stay. When used properly and in conjunction with the necessary in-person visits, virtual care is an effective tool for providing quality patient care in a safe and timely manner.

This year also brought the issue of racial discrimination and inequality back to the forefront of our minds after the racialized killing of George Floyd back in May. There was a much needed and significant uprising around the world, and organizations were reminded of the work they needed to do to address this ongoing issue. The CPSO is committed to standing up against discrimination and has begun to examine more deeply how we, as an organization, can address BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) and LGBTQ++ discrimination both internally, and as a regulator. We have committed to educating you about discrimination and racism, and how it may be affecting the care you deliver. In our previous issue of Dialogue, we addressed anti-racism and discrimination facing the black population.

In this issue, we highlight anti-Indigenous discrimination and implicit bias. Our goal is to inform physicians about the health outcomes that anti-Indigenous racism has on Indigenous communities, and to give you the tools and information to be mindful of the interactions you have with all patients you care for. Unfortunately, the constructs of racism are deeply encoded, and these articles serve to remind us to check our biases.

We also share information about our new Advertising policy that has just been approved by Council. The policy sets clear and meaningful guidance around how physicians may advertise their services, while still serving the needs and best interests of patients and the public. This new policy is innovative and really strikes a good balance.

I’d like to close by saying a huge thank you to Dr. Brenda Copps, who served as CPSO Council President in 2020. She led with grace and passion, and I am grateful to have had her and the entire Council’s support during this extremely challenging year. I very much look forward to working with Dr. Judith Plante in 2021 as she takes the reins as President!

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season!