Mad as Hell

Last week I was livid.

25 OMA delegates had signed a petition for a special meeting of council to be called, whose purpose was to pass seven resolutions to essentially topple the current OMA Board Executive, in the first non-confidence vote in OMA history.

That’s not what had me hopping mad. I agree with them.

Our leadership has been sorely lacking in proactive behaviours, and this has been true for many years now. They pay lip service to our concerns, but that is where it ends. They have ineffectively attempted to negotiate with our provincial government this time around for nearly 3 years without success.

Their attempt to shove the TPSA down members’ throats this past summer backfired and has caused the biggest fracture in the membership possibly in the history of the OMA. The respectful thing to have done at that time would have been to step down en masse.

They did not.

No, what had made me mad as hell was reading the thirteen grievances that accompanied the request for a special council meeting. To have the Executive’s failings enumerated one after the other was the cause of my fury.

Of course, I was aware of all the ways the Executive had disappointed me. But to have them all spelled out, in one place, seemed to magnify the effect of those transgressions.

First, the air whooshed out of me, then I became Angry.

Doctors are a forgiving bunch; we don’t like politics, we don’t like to rock the boat as a general rule. This has, however, become war with our government, a war for the very survival of our autonomy as a profession.

We have become like the Ents of the “Lord of the Rings” Trilogy; slow to anger, but once stoked, hard to stop. Rarely has our profession been more engaged in what is going on in the politics that concern us, with social media, fresh new doctors becoming delegates and Board members.

This wish to dissolve the current Executive isn’t personal; Individually, the members of the executive seem like nice people. But I don’t think they are capable of going to bat for us with the aggressiveness needed to gain ground.

In war, you need generals, not nice people.

But anger is a useless emotion unless it is righteous. It ultimately only serves to hurt the person who feels it, unless it is channeled for good.

I’ve been reading “The book of joy” with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In it, the Dalai Lama states “ if we can discover our role in creating the situations that upset us, we are able to reduce our feelings of frustration and anger”.(Abrams. p.107).

I discovered my role in my anger over our current situation: apathy. My disconnect from an Association that has not been all I need it to be.

I had been complicit in the OMA becoming the Behemoth of inaction it currently is.

My solution to this?


Champion our cause to my colleagues and patients, which is ultimately to have a Health Care System that can supply the care Ontarians need and require.


Inform them of my thoughts, my concerns, my hopes for the future of our association and ask them to vote this Sunday for their colleagues.


No longer be silent and demand change in my organization.

Only by getting involved will my anger over the failings of the current OMA to its’ profession be assuaged.

I wish “Bon Courage” and fortitude to our delegates this weekend. May they choose wisely for their colleagues.

references: “Lasting happiness in a changing world: the book of joy” His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams 2016.

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