CAREER MEDICAL OFFICERS BULLETIN Volume 1 Number 1 December 1996


Well, guys, it's happened at last. There really is a Career Medical Officer's Association: the coming together of a bunch a independent spirited physicians ready to point out to the rest of the medical community that we are not only here, and competent, and getting on with the job, but that we are doing these jobs by choice.

So from Lismore to Victoria, and not a moment too soon, we gathered on Nov 15 to talk about what we do and why we do it, and how we want to go on doing it. Recent developments on the medical workforce planning front make it very clear that the time has come for us to stand up as a group and claim representation and a political voice. Time to act to maintain our independence. Of course, the first issue in defining a group's aims is to decide who we actually are, and that proved more difficult. In the wash of diverse opinions and spirited discussion at that inaugural meeting it became very clear that narrow definitions don't work for us. However, there was a unanimous refusal to define ourselves in terms of other people's "nons": non-specialist, non-GP, non-streamed. There are members who are specialist, who are GP, who are streamed, who are part-time, rural, non-clinical, whatever.

In the end we decided to let the more conventional medical organisations wrestle with their need for a pigeon hole, while we just get on with the job. A CMO is anyone who says they're a CMO. The one thing we are "not" is second rate rejects from a "real" career. Here's hoping we continue to share that conviction, together with a determination to take our training and experience and go our own individual ways.

Interesting times ahead. Buckle your swash and hang on!

Mary G T Webber
Secretary / Editor