In session during COVID-19: Our second MD Physician Council meeting

April 29, 2020 Daniel Labonté

 

As life continues apace amid the new reality of life during a pandemic, we went forward with our second MD Physician Council meeting (virtually, of course) in mid-April. It proved to be an engaging, candid discussion that illuminated many important issues.

At MD Financial Management (MD), we take pride in listening to — and knowing — our clients better than anyone else does. Part of that learning emanates from the valuable input and perspectives offered by our Council members. I’d like to thank each of them for their ongoing time and commitment to this group, even during such enormously stressful times.

COVID-19 was, as you may expect, a key focus of our Council meeting, with the implications of the pandemic unfolding for Canada’s physicians. Practices on hold, vast disruptions in care, significant losses of income, risk of becoming ill: these continue to be real concerns for physicians and their families.

The new world order post-COVID-19  

The outcomes of this pandemic, though not fully known, have raised a number of concerns for physicians, who are now starting to look ahead to how the realities of being “on the other side” may play out.

Video and phone consultations are now the norm for many of you; our Council reported that this trend may continue long after the pandemic eases. Physicians are also worried about a possible influx of patients once restrictions start to be lifted, leading to concerns about how best to manage services amid ongoing social distancing measures. These patients may also be in poorer health than they normally would be, due to delays in seeking care.

Moving forward, physicians will also be forced to consider how waiting-room seating should be altered, whether protective screens like those we see in supermarkets are needed, how to fill a persistent need for personal protective equipment — and even if an investment in more ergonomic office equipment is required, given the likely ongoing need to conduct more phone and online consultations.

All of these changes, of course, bear financial implications.

Providing clarity and transparency 

While the longer-term challenges of COVID-19, as well as any opportunities that may result, are still uncertain, it’s clear that MD can take specific actions to support you in the short term. 

Our Physician Council confirmed that volumes of information are flying at physicians from myriad sources. This has made it exhausting to decipher which government updates are applicable and where you can obtain the financial resources necessary to move your individual practices forward. 

Rest assured, we are committed to relieving as many administrative burdens as possible for you and ensuring that we deliver clear, tailored communications and proactive updates. Our online COVID-19 hub is also continually updated with the latest news and resources specifically relevant to physicians.  

There is much more to do

As our Physician Council reminded us, in downturns, you are scrutinizing budgets and asking questions such as, “Where is my money going?” and “What are you doing for me?” To this, MD is monitoring its investments on an ongoing basis and working with Scotiabank® to assess how our joint offerings can best support physicians both now and on the other side.

A lot of learning will come out of this pandemic. We promise to take those lessons and adapt to meet your “new normal” every step of the way. COVID-19 has made it even more clear that during a time of crisis, different challenges are brought to each of our doorsteps. With the Council’s help, we will cast the net wide to ensure whatever supports we put in place, whatever decisions we make, are fully informed — and leave no one behind.   

To that end, if you have specific feedback to share, please don’t hesitate to contact your MD Advisor* or our Physician Council via MDPhysicianCouncil@md.ca at any time.

Thank you to all our clients who continue to persevere in these times. Know that we’re behind you, and we remain laser-focused in taking care of your financial health, so you’re able to enjoy what matters most to you.

Please stay safe and stay well.

 

* MD Advisor refers to an MD Management Limited Financial Consultant or Investment Advisor (in Quebec).

® Registered trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under licence.

Banking and credit products and services are offered by The Bank of Nova Scotia “Scotiabank”. Credit and lending products are subject to credit approval by Scotiabank.

The above information should not be construed as offering specific financial, investment, foreign or domestic taxation, legal, accounting or similar professional advice nor is it intended to replace the advice of independent tax, accounting or legal professionals.

About the Author

Daniel Labonté

Daniel Labonté is President and Chief Executive Officer of MD Financial Management.

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