Dear colleagues:

What is the Medical/Professional Staff Association (MSA/PSA), and does it have any real influence?  Within hospitals this is not an uncommon question.  Doctors often reach out to the MSA on issues related to hospital policy and process and when they need an avenue to voice their concerns.

Medical Staff Associations are a sub committee of the Board and their role is to represent the physician perspective to the hospital on decisions being made. Professional Staff Associations are similar to Medical Staff Associations but also represent Dentists and Midwives.

Members of the Staff Association Executive are voting members at the Medical Advisory Committee and sit on other Board committees such as Credentialing and Finance and Audit.  The President and Vice-President of the Staff Association are Directors on the hospital Board, and along with the Chief of Staff (COS) and CEO are non-voting members of the Board.

The Executive also provides support to the Professional Staff by helping individuals navigate the system within the hospital which can include giving them advice on process or connecting them with people to address their concerns.  Specific examples may include advising members on or accompanying them in Code of Conduct meetings, coaching them on how to escalate concerns they have through their departments and if needed, connecting them with people both inside or outside of the hospital including the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) or the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) for further advice and guidance.

Through these avenues, the Staff Association Executive is able to voice perspective, bring to light concerns, and advocate behalf of Physicians.  By establishing trusted, forward thinking relationships, they are able to provide meaningful input and improve the environment for the care Physicians provide.

Rohit Kumar MD, FRCP(C)
Twitter: @RohitKumarRKV