Remarks from our Immediate Past President, Dr. Shelley Zieroth

Fellow FMWC members,

It has been an honor to serve as the President of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada for the past year. I distinctly remember the weight of emotions I felt as Senator Osler placed The Arnhem Medal around my neck last year. This historical medal was presented to Dr. Margaret Owen at the International Congress of Medical Women, held in Amsterdam back in 1947. Now that my term has completed l have the privilege of bestowing the medal on our next president. Dr. Kim Williams planned an exceptional 2023 AGM for the Federation and we look forward to her leadership.

I would like to take this opportunity to formally introduce the membership to Caroline Hornyak our new Executive Director. As many of you know this past year has been a year of transition for the Federation and Caroline initially stepped in as project manager for our 2022 AGM and then as our interim national executive coordinator. Caroline you have been instrumental in navigating us towards some very positive changes in this organization over the past year. Thank you for your professionalism, passion and your friendship in supporting the women and women identifying physicians this organization represents.

What have we achieved this year? Please allow me to reflect:

  1. We achieved outstanding atendance at our Learners’ Round Tables, an important asset for membership growth and for mentoring the future women medical leaders of Canada. Thank you to Dr. Stephanie Smith, and Dr. Romy Segall for your time and inspiration.
  2. We continue our important alliance with MWIA and AMWA and thank you to Dr. Connie Newman who represented AMWA and MWIA as our regional VP at our AGM. Thank you also to Dr. Shelley Ross for all the work you do as our MWIA representative
  3. We have continued our important advocacy work through our Women Peace and Security commitee which has now merged with the Gender Based and Family Based Violence commitee under the leadership of Dr Anne Niec and Dr. Karen Breek. We also
    support ongoing special projects and advocacy work from our HPV commitee. A special thanks to Dr. Vivien Brown and Sheri Fitzpatrick-Poulain on all of the important work they lead on behalf of the Federation.
  4. In December we sent a leter to the editor of the National Post in reaction to an offensive front page story celebrating a man who murdered Dr. Elena Fric. Many of our members supported this leter on social media and the public outcry resulted in an article highlighting the life and contributions of Dr. Fric and a frank testament to the manner in which she died.
  5. Very much aligned with our Womens Cardiovascular (CV) health commitee work we have expanded our AGM sponsors to include 3 CV based industry sponsors. Given the fact the CV disease is a leading cause of death in women I hope this is patern we can continue. Thank you to Dr. Shahin Jaffer for leading this commitee.
  6. We have a new website and membership portal which allows for automatic renewal!
  7. Under the guidance and expertise of our governance guru Dr. Shelley Ross we continue the meticulous but necessary work towards revising, modernizing and opening up our bylaws for review and approval at the 100th anniversary 2024 meeting.
  8. Thank you to Dr. Mamta Gautum and Dr. Shelley Ross for chairing the 100th anniversary working group. Registration will open soon so be sure to grab your spot at this historical event!
  9. We have established a new Finance Commitee which will be chaired by Dr. Cathy Clelland and I hope that any of you who are interested in learning more will feel inclined to join the commitee.
  10.  This past year we have anchored ourselves in establishing collaborative and longterm relationships with allies. We will be having regular meetings with MD Management and CMA who are part of the Affinity group and important sponsors for the FMWC. We have initiated discussions regarding high level MOU’s with IPAC and BPC and we have made important steps in our relationship with the Royal College, CMPA and the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. This year FMWC should put forward a nominee to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in honor of our 100th anniversary and every year thereafter.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the board, the commitees and chairs and the FMWC executive in particular for your support and guidance in some interesting times over the past year. Thank you to our Executive “dream team”: Dr’s Mamta, Kim, Susan, Stephanie, Debra, Dalia and the “other” Shelley.

There are 2 of our “dream team” Executive members who will be transitioning off the executive. First Dr. Mamta Gautam. Thank you for saying yes and for stepping up as an Officer of the Board and specifically as Past President. You didn’t hesitate. You just took a leap of faith with me. Your guidance has been highly valued and your faith in me will stay with me forever.

Next, Dr. Debra Boyce. You are my unexpected friend, mentor and sponsor. Thank you for taking on the role of Honorary Secretary. How else would I have met you or any of you, any other way than through the glorious network of FMWC. You have afforded me many of your precious minutes as a sounding board and returned words of wisdom. I have cherished every minute. I look forward to more of our chats.

Thank you all again for the honor of being your President and I look forward to continuing to serve the Federation and joining the incredible Past Presidents club that continues to support and guide the Federation.

Dr. Shelley Zieroth
President FMWC 2022- 2023

A Message from FMWC’s New President, Dr. Kimberly Williams

I am so honored and excited to be the in-coming president of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada (FMWC). I feel especially privileged as we move into our 100th year and reflect on the accomplishments of the past, while focusing on the many challenges still facing women and girls today.

The FMWC has advocated for the advancement of women in medicine for nearly a century and worked to connect female physicians and trainees from across Canada to ensure support and mentorship. As a new-in-practice physician, mother, and psychiatrist I have witnessed first-hand the difficulties faced by female physicians over the past few years during the pandemic as they have had to balance even more in an ever challenging and complex health care landscape. This makes the networking, advocacy, and connections that FMWC provides to our members even more important as we move into our next century of work.

Over this next 12 months I hope to continue to support trainees through our learn round tables where they can connect virtually across the country on various topics relevant to them. I plan to work with our members to refine our key areas of advocacy so that we are as efficient and effective as we can be in ensuring improved women’s and girls’ health. Finally, I hope to have an external presence so that female physicians and trainees as well as the public is aware of the remarkable work being done by the federation.

I know that we can continue to do the amazing work of our founding members including Dr. Bagshaw who was the medical director of Canada’s first birth control clinic and supported women to deliver their babies even by kerosene lamps from her car.

One of my mentors Dr. Larry Svenson who recently passed away once said to me “live your life as if you were someone’s only role model”. I think this goes for our organization. We strive to be role models for each other, for women’s health and for those who identify as such.

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any thoughts or concerns!

Kindest Regards,

Kimberly Williams
Federation of Medical Women of Canada

It’s a Wrap: 2023 AGM & Educational Conference

Close to 100 FMWC members, sponsors, presenters and award winners gathered in Calgary on September 23-24, 2023 for our AGM and Conference. The events kicked off with a Mentor Mingle Thursday night at the Knix store, followed by our AGM and two days of AWESOME, engaging and meaningful talks, trainee poster presentations, and the Awards Dinner where we celebrated our collegaues. We listened, we shared ideas, we learned, we engaged, we and we celebrated!

As quickly approach our Centennial coming up in 2024, this event reminds us of the importance of exchanging ideas and knowledge and of making connections with eachother.

A few snapshots….