Dear PARA Members,
It is with great privilege and humility that I look forward to serving as your PARA President for the 2023-2024 academic year.
In case you don’t hear it enough, I want to immediately start off by expressing my gratitude. Thank-you for the work you do in providing patient care to Albertans. Every year, it seems Canada and Alberta reach new critical pivot points in health care and medical education. I deeply believe our generation is shaping the profession and the Canadian public health care system for the next 50 years. You have the ability to help shape the system you work within and PARA, your resident physician association, can and will be a critical aspect of your residency journey.
I am a PGY-2 in Pediatrics at the University of Calgary and have been involved with PARA since the start of my first year, serving two years as your Vice President Operations & Finance. I have been involved in numerous committees, notably on the Negotiation Committee and the Equity, Diversity & Inclusivity Committee (EDIC). Through these roles, I had tremendous privilege watching PARA become one of the most effective provincial house-staff organizations in the country when it comes to making real changes for its current and future members.
In 2022, PARA successfully completed negotiations with Alberta Health Services and our two Post-Graduate Medical Education (PGME) offices at the University of Alberta and University of Calgary, in fewer than six months, providing resident physicians with a new Agreement which remains effective until June 30, 2024. This new Agreement provides resident physicians with salary increases, explicit wording regarding time-off between shifts consistent with Alberta labour laws, gender-neutral language, reduced requirements for overnight call during pregnancy and many other additional gains. Check out your Resident Physician Agreement on the PARA website.
PARA aims to support resident physicians throughout their residency journey, whether that be with orientations, social opportunities to meet and connect with fellow resident physicians, advocacy and community outreach opportunities, leadership workshops, Transition to Practice sessions, Agreement compliance or other wellness, advocacy and leadership initiatives. Follow PARA on your preferred social media platform such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
In addition to PARA’s core operations, the 2023-2024 Executive Board is focused on:
- Strengthening member engagement in-person and virtually
- Preparing for negotiations in spring 2024
- An expanded focus on resident physician wellness & discrimination: working to address systemic barriers & members’ day-to-day experiences to improve holistic well-being
- Strengthening PARA’s relationships with partner organizations such as PGME offices, College of Physician & Surgeons of Alberta, and the Alberta Medical Association
- Connecting with members like you to continue to improve your residency experience!
The PARA office and 2023-2024 Executive Board are here to ensure resident physicians are informed, empowered, and involved, but most importantly we are here to support you. PARA’s success is a direct reflection of our 1,700 resident physician members. You are tomorrow’s staff physicians leading for health today!
I challenge you to take the following actions:
- Become and stay engaged with PARA, be sure to mark PARA as a “safe sender” and follow PARA across social media
- Complete your Negotiations Priority Survey in Fall 2023, so our association can best represent its members
- Reach out to your Executive Board, Assembly Delegates and/or the office staff with any and all questions, ideas or suggestions
- Consider developing your leadership skills via participation in one of our many committees, or consider running to be an Assembly Delegate, watch your emails for more information
- Be bold, challenge the status quo and think outside the box!
Congratulations on the start of your next academic year – whether as a new resident physician, in mid-training or moving towards transitioning to practice. I encourage you to visit PARA’s newly launched Residency Training Resource page with a myriad of resources including contact information, financial tips and EDI resources.
I look forward to another outstanding year for PARA and serving as your 2023-2024 President. Please feel comfortable reaching out to myself, the Executive, or an Assembly Delegate any time this year.
Dr. Tamara Yee
2023-2024 PARA President