This content is an excerpt of Dr. Molnar’s inaugural address at the Fall RF.

First of all, I want to thank my husband, Dr. John Henry Macgregor for his inspiring and enduring support. Thank you also to our five children and my friends who have been there for me throughout my career as a physician.

I have been a physician for 43 years. I have practiced my dual specialty in Calgary at the Foothills Medical Centre and in EFW Radiology’s community clinics for 34 years.

Over the course of my career, I have been driven with passion and integrity by my vision of compassionate and quality based health care. I now commit that energy and dedication to you and this organization. The health care system, created with Medicare in the 1970s, existed in a very different world than the one we live in today.

In my own practice, PET CT, which was only a dream then, today has revolutionized the way we evaluate cancer. The digital revolution has changed our world, and is radically transforming the way we practice medicine. We are beginning to see a transition away from a scarcity-based system to one of abundance.

In the past, we were the repositories of knowledge. We read the books. We owned the knowledge. We used our expertise to help our fellow humans.

Now, the workspace is different with both physicians and patients using applications such as Google to find the information they need. Medical knowledge has been democratised.

We see the impact of shared knowledge and communications in many spheres. 

I recently read a research article that looked at improving math performance of challenged school children. The assumption was that more intense and therefore costly intervention, such as tutors, would be most effective. Much to the surprise of the researchers, results actually showed simple text messaging to parents was a low-cost, but effective, solution to providing students with the supports they needed to succeed. If it can have this impact in education, we can expect similar unanticipated successes in medicine.

As physicians, we understand that the health care system as we know it is not sustainable. We are in a critical time for our profession; facing challenges but there is also enormous opportunity for positive change. 

Physicians are both leaders in science, and leaders within our communities. We are passionate about helping patients and consider it our duty to collaborate in the service of improving our health care system.

Therefore, the Government of Alberta must consider us as valued partners, and seek our medical knowledge and expertise when they make changes to the health care system.

Our organization, the AMA is trusted, qualified, and has a demonstrated track record of being a strong partner. We will continue to demonstrate a willingness and ability to be part of the solution.

Many of us have had a chance to review the Report and Recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Alberta’s Finances. We know that this report will have the most positive impact, if the AMA is involved in moving the recommendations into action.

The government’s health platform included many commitments, which we support. 

  1. We support enabling the medical home, which will improve Albertans’ health tremendously. We celebrate that Alberta is already ahead of every other province operationalizing the medical home. The literature has shown that the medical home will reduce costs in the system at large.
  2. We agree with the need to address wait times, which only serve to prolong needed diagnosis and intervention. Long wait times add to overall health care costs and Albertans suffer. Together, we can improve patient care by supplementing surgical resources within our communities.
  3. We stand behind the commitment that supporting seniors and the elderly at home, in the communities is the right thing to do. Not only is this the compassionate thing to do, but we know it yields significant cost savings.
  4. We agree new directions are needed to support those challenged by mental illness and those who struggle with addiction.

Change is coming and as a profession we must be organized and actively involved. I invite you to join in advocating for our patients across this province and hand-in-hand with our fellow Albertans to find new ways to bring positive, meaningful and accountable change.

To quote Margaret Meade, the renowned anthropologist, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

The AMA is exactly the kind of organization that is capable of driving this change. Through your dedication and the unity of our profession we can move our health care system towards sustainable effective future.

I am humbled by this opportunity and look forward to working with each and everyone of you as we chart this new path forward.

- Dr. Christine P. Molnar

Dr. Molnar's bio

Dr. Christine P. Molnar, a diagnostic radiologist and nuclear medicine specialist based in Calgary, is the 2019-20 AMA President. Dr. Molnar assumed office during the AMA Fall Representative Forum/Annual General Meeting, Saturday, September 28, 2019, in Edmonton.

Dr. Molnar has practiced in Calgary since 1985 and has taught as a Clinical Associate Professor of Radiology at the University of Calgary for over 34 years. She received her medical degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1976 and later received certifications from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada: Diagnostic Radiology in 1983 and Nuclear Medicine in 1984.

Your new president has served in various roles on numerous hospital, university and provincial committees, and is still active on many where her particular interests relate to improving patient care through advocacy, quality improvement and quality assurance.

Dr. Molnar has been an AMA member since 1985. She has a long history of service with the AMA, having served on the Board of Directors, the Representative Forum and the Nominating Committee.

She has been actively involved with the Section of Diagnostic Imaging, taking on leadership roles as President and Fees Representative. She serves as the Vice-President, Special Projects, Breast Imaging and Intervention.

Banner photo credit: Bryan Cooper of Cooper & O'Hara Photography.