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Dr. Margot Burnell is the next president-elect of the Canadian Medical Association. Image: Canadian Medical Association

Canadian Medical Association names next president-elect

By Brad Perry Dec 12, 2023 | 2:00 PM

A New Brunswicker has been named the next president-elect of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA).

Dr. Margot Burnell is a medical oncologist and Horizon Health’s chief of staff in the Saint John area.

Eligible association members in New Brunswick had the chance to vote for the president-elect from Nov. 22 to Dec. 6.

“Compassionate, caring, empathetic physicians will build a trusting relationship with our patients that can never be displaced and is essential to the successful patient journey,” Burnell said in a news release.

“I will champion the family physician who guides and supports our patients through life’s challenges, the emergency doctor who treats life/limb-threatening conditions, and the specialist who provides their skills and expertise in diagnosing and treating complex cases.”

Burnell defeated former chief medical health officer Dr. Jennifer Russell for the position. Russell announced in October that she would step down as the province’s top doctor to run.

Several weeks later, the University of New Brunswick announced that she had been named the executive director of a planned institute of population health.

Pending General Council approval, Burnell will serve as the CMA’s president-elect from May 2024 until May 2025, when she will become president for a one-year term.

The president of the CMA is elected by members from a different province or territory every year. They represent the CMA in the media, as well as to provincial and territorial medical associations, government and other stakeholder organizations.