Like many of my classmates, somewhere toward the end of medical school, I became aware of the Medical Council of Canada (MCC). In fact, not even that is true – I became aware that an exam with those initials stood between me and graduation. Life was moving at its fastest, with no time for deeper thought. It was just another exam, one of the many hurdles on the road to a life in medicine. I studied. I sat the exam. I feared the worst and awaited the results with mounting dread. I tore the envelope open and, with barely a moment to indulge a sense of relief, got onto the next hurdle.
Things certainly didn’t slow down thereafter. Residency gave way to practice, just as the student loan gave way to office leases and mortgages. The responsibility to learn was joined by responsibilities to my patients and the profession. Before I knew it, I was taking on students and, either as a teacher or mentor, I watched the process repeat itself.
This year I attended the MCC’s Annual Meeting as the newly minted Registrar for Nova Scotia. The Chateau Laurier hosted discussions on big issues that, I am embarrassed to say, I had hitherto paid little heed. It made for wonderful listening.
In the committee meetings, I was struck by the depth of thought given to matters at issue, the respect given to opposing views and the diplomacy with which consensus was sought and hard decisions were made. Moreover, with each decision I sensed that the foundation of the medical profession had added another fortifying brick.
On returning home, I was increasingly conscious of my own ingratitude, of how I had long taken the good work of the MCC for granted. As physicians and patients, we are enormously supported by the MCC. I look forward to the privilege of sitting on the Council.
Dr. Douglas (Gus) Grant joined the Medical Council of Canada in 2011. He is the Registrar of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia.