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You Are A Physician, Therefore You Are A Leader

Dr. Cindy Forbes has always been drawn to work that results in positive change.

Her early experiences sitting on boards and committees became the foundation of a career characterized by leadership.

“It was obvious to me from my early days in practice that there are many factors outside of the patient-physician encounter that affect a physician’s ability to deliver the best care,” she says.

These factors include complex system change, innovation in medicine, advocacy and policy. Effecting change in any of these areas requires strong leadership.

In August, Dr. Forbes will become President of the Canadian Medical Association. She takes on the role at time of great challenges facing health care and great opportunities facing Canadian physicians.

“During the election for CMA President Elect, many of my colleagues asked me why I wanted to get involved at the national level,” says Dr. Forbes. “Although health care in Canada is administered by the provinces and territories, I believe that Canadian physicians – regardless of where they practise – share many common challenges and our patients and our profession benefit when we all work together toward solutions.”

 Dr. Forbes attributes this passion for problem-solving and many of the skills that have brought her success to the guidance and support she’s received from great physician leaders and mentors.

“Leadership does not have to be a lonely road,” she says. “I continue to meet so many amazing people whose work both humbles and inspires me. These experiences make me a better physician and a better person.”

For Dr. Forbes, being a physician is a leadership role in itself. Whether or not physicians pursue formal roles, they lead every day by example to their patients, colleagues, families and communities.

“It’s like I tell my daughters – don’t be afraid of not succeeding; be afraid of not trying to succeed.”

Do you know a doctor that goes above and beyond the call of duty to help improve patient care in Nova Scotia? Add your story to the Story Map today!