Growing up in Winkler, in the home of a rural family doctor, I didn’t initially envision a future in medicine for myself. As a teenager and young adult, I spent time living in Switzerland, Ecuador, and Costa Rica studying language, political science, and international relations. I grew up wanting to make the world a better place. But after all of those experiences, I was drawn back to medicine for a career.
Having seen first hand the challenges of rural family medicine, my experiences in Canada and around the world also helped me to understand the incredible fulfillment that comes from making a positive impact in your community and the lives of each individual patient.
Like most doctors, I went into medicine because I wanted to help people. But more than that I wanted to make the world a better place.
I started residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at McMaster University. I love the experience of delivering a baby, or helping end someone’s chronic pain, or being there for some of the best and worst moments of a person’s life. But while I love all of that, I found my true calling when I transferred into Public Health and Preventive Medicine at the University of Manitoba.
I always say that while perhaps it sounds cheesy, I’m amazed every day that I am paid to literally try and make the world a better place. In public health I worked on cannabis legalization, created the naloxone distribution program, led disease outbreak responses, and acted as the Lead and Official Spokesperson for Manitoba’s most successful vaccination campaign in provincial history. Today, in my role as the Chief Medical Officer for the WRHA, this desire to make the world better guides my decision making every day.
I want to help create a healthcare system that allows physicians to provide better care that is safe, accessible, effective, and equitable. And I want that care to be provided in collaborative teams that are diverse, engaged, passionate, and valued.
It is this same passion that I will bring to the presidency of the CMA - a drive to empower physicians to find fulfilment in their work and to make the world better in their own ways.
Voted Humanitarian of the Year by Doctors Manitoba, Dr. Joss Reimer is an expert in physician leadership, health advocacy, science communication, and public health. Before taking on the role of Chief Medical Officer for Winnipeg, Joss Reimer is best known as the Medical Lead and Official Spokesperson for Manitoba’s Provincial COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force. In this role she led the province through the largest and most successful vaccine campaign in provincial history where over 3 million doses were administered, leading to an incredible 90% of all adults in Manitoba receiving at least one dose of the vaccine.
Prior to the pandemic, Dr. Reimer worked as the Medical Director of Public Health for Winnipeg where she maintained particular expertise in drug related harms, sexually transmitted infections, infectious diseases, cannabis, and health equity. She also developed and directed the 4-year Population Health course still used today to train all future physicians studying at the University of Manitoba.
In addition to her public health and medical leadership roles, Dr. Joss Reimer maintains a clinical practice in Women’s health where you might find her catching babies in the middle of the night.