Gigi Osler | Physician Wellness, Health and Diversity
Dr. Osler has been a busy Otolaryngology-Head and Neck surgeon since 1998 and has established strong relationships to the medical community across Canada. She is the IFOS Regional Secretary, North America and Caribbean, and Assistant Professor with the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Manitoba. Over her years of service, she has been involved in the training of numerous medical students and residents.
In 2018, Dr. Osler became the first Otolaryngology-Head and Neck surgeon, the first female surgeon, and the first woman of color to be elected as President of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) - the national medical association representing medical students, residents and physicians across Canada. In recognition of this challenging national leadership role, she was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network in 2019. The CMA also recognized her inspiring leadership and named her a 2019 Physician Changemaker.
In her leadership roles at the CMA, she fostered community spirit and engagement with physicians and allied health care professionals across Canada. She led official CMA delegations to and delivered addresses at international meetings in Iceland, Sweden, Spain, the United Kingdom and the USA. She met with MPs, senators, premiers, and other key stakeholders to advance’s CMA work on improving health and health care in Canada.
Through her leadership, the CMA began tackling equity in medicine, both for physicians in the profession and health equity for patients. Her work inspired a new CMA policy – its first ever – on Equity and Diversity in Medicine. She collaborated with The Lancet’s work on advancing women in science, medicine and global health. She headed the CMA’s first ever delegations to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, and to Women Deliver, the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women.
A passionate advocate for health and wellness, Dr. Osler raised awareness of this vital issue through her CMA leadership. She served as the inaugural chair of the Doctors Manitoba Physician Health and Wellness Committee; in 2017 she was awarded their Health or Safety Promotion Award in recognition of her efforts to develop and implement programs to support the health and well-being of physicians.
She is dedicated to breaking down barriers in access to health care for patients. As one of three physician leaders of the first ever national Virtual Care Task Force, she explored how technology in medicine can help improve access for all Canadians. A strong supporter of lifelong learning and education, she sits on the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s Professional Learning and Development Committee.
Dr. Osler is dedicated to the promotion of global surgery and safe, accessible surgical care. For the last several years Dr. Osler has volunteered annually on medical missions to Uganda to improve the quality of local health care through education, training and mentorship to African surgeons, residents and medical students.