Dialogue Volume 13 Issue 2 2017 - Page 5

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT Dear Colleagues: A David Rouselle, College President A handful of medical colleges across Canada have elected a public member of Council to lead their College common misconcep- tion: the College is an “old boys club”, run by doctors for doctors. In fact, 40% of the members of the governing Council of the College are non-physician, public members appointed by the government. These members are often respected busi- ness and community leaders, and/or members of other disciplines such as the legal and accounting professions. Over the last several years, a handful of medical colleges across Canada have elected a public mem- ber of Council to lead their College as President. In fact, Alberta and Newfoundland/Labrador have twice gone that route. And in Ontario health-care regulation, the College of Nurses recently elected a public member as its President. This College has been fortunate to have had many talented and dedi- cated public members of Council over the years. Certainly in my time at Council, I can think of a number of public members who would have made strong Presidents. And yet, it has never happened. It’s not because clinical knowledge is a prerequisite for the job – it is not. It is simply because a path had never been cleared to allow a public member entry to the position. Well, it’s time to clear a path. At its last meeting, Council asked the Governance Committee to develop options that would facilitate the election of a public President. The sentiment around the Council table was that the goal of any gov- ernance change should be to ensure alignment with our public member interest mandate. In this case, the goal would be that candidates for President are selected based on their suitability for the role, not whether they are public members or physi- cians. It would not mean that the President would always be a public member, but that they could be. I was pleased with Council’s discussion. A public member with strong leadership skills is just as capable of carrying the torch for public protection as a similarly gifted person with a medical degree. The issue of regulatory gover- nance – and specifically the com- position of councils and commit- tees – has received much attention Issue 2, 2017 Dialogue 5