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Second Opinion re: BCMA Physician Master Agreement

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BC doctors have seen several communications from the BCMA/Doctors of BC asking its membership to vote in favour of the 5-year Physician Master Agreement (PMA) by Dec. 4, 2014.

I would like to share my 'second opinion' of this complex agreement, in the sincere hope that it will help stimulate needed discussion and more thoughtful reflection amongst my fellow colleagues.

This 2-page analysis provides an academic perspective through a policy and governance lens from my recent studies as a full time student at New York University, where I earned a Master degree in Public Administration (MPA) at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. It also incorporates political insights from my experience as a former BCMA director (1998-2008), various leadership roles in organized medicine, and as a longtime family physician for over two decades.

I strongly believe that informed debate with careful consideration of the pros and cons of this important agreement will enable BC physicians to make the best possible decision that will determine the future direction for our profession and health care system.


Caroline Wang, MD, MPA

2014_PMA_-_a_Second_Opinion.pdf56.35 KB

I'd like to thank Caroline Wang for taking the time to present

I'd like to thank Caroline Wang for taking the time to present the arguments in her attachment to the posting, even if some may find some of her conclusions debatable. In fact it's because they may provoke discussion and debate that we should appreciate her work, even if we reach different conclusions amongst ourselves.

One thing is abundantly clear: Dr. Caroline Wang is deeply committed to both sides of the medical 'divide', i.e. the patients and the doctors. We all want what's best for both sides. And she is right to remind us that governments and their bureaucrats don't necessarily hold those values as we do. For both governments and their bureaucrats it's about power politics and survival, than about a principled investigation into what makes for the best solution.

I have already voted against the PMA for reasons very similar to those expressed by Caroline, although she has expressed them more succinctly and with greater clarity than me. At the same time I can see why some may have voted for the PMA, even if I disagree with their reasons.

The one thing none of us should do is simply to vote for it because the BCMA recommends us to do so. Those of you who haven't dome so should read it and then make an informed choice when you vote.