A message from the CEO

Theresa Oswald

In the year I was born, Robert Kennedy delivered a speech in which he cited an old Chinese curse that reads, “May you live in interesting times.” While there is no actual evidence to be found that such a curse ever existed in Chinese culture, the line has been co-opted by many, over time, to describe situations of great disruption and discomfort. But Kennedy also specifically noted that times of uncertainty can also be the most creative times for an organization, a society, a country or beyond.

I believe we are living in very interesting times.

I have been in the role of CEO at Doctors Manitoba for nearly six months, taking over from the very steady leadership of Bobby Cram. Bobby has been generous with his time and expertise in helping me transition into this new role, and I owe him many thanks. I am also most grateful to our Board of Directors, and its Executive in particular, who have invested many hours in ensuring I have what I need to do the job to the best of my ability.

I am the first woman to lead the organization, which has existed for over 110 years. At a moment when society is experiencing a seismic shift in its approach to workplace attitudes and behaviours, I can’t help but feel that the timing is just right.

The Board of Directors have formulated a strong strategic plan, and staff are working every day to move us all forward in ways that support the plan, which ultimately exists to support you.

Each and every one of our members is experiencing varying levels of disruption as a result of the government’s announcements to restructure the health care system. For many, there is inconvenience and uncertainty. For others, there is opportunity to lead a change that may hold us in good stead for the future, and consequently, there are hours and hours of work being invested that aren’t apt to inspire giant waves of applause. At least not yet. We know we can all count on the utmost professionalism of our members during these changing times, because you always put your patients first.

No matter where you work and live in Manitoba, the plans for restructuring have already had an effect on your work-life balance. Staff at Doctors Manitoba want you to know we are here to listen and we are here to help. We welcome your feedback, concerns, inquiries and ideas as we endeavour to advocate on your behalf during these very interesting times.

Thank you for this opportunity to serve you. I know how important it is for physicians to be well, and well-supported. We need you to be strong when our families need you the most, and that’s a responsibility I take very seriously.

Fond regards,
– Theresa