Historical Overview

Founded in 1998, the Canadian Society of Physician Leaders (CSPL) provides a support and development network to the growing cadre of Canadian physician managers. The CSPL seeks out opportunities and partnerships to increase members' exposure to quality professional development programs, either by promoting existing programs or developing new initiatives.


The Canadian Society of Physician Executives (CSPE -- now known as CSPL) was founded in 1998 and incorporated in 2000 by Dr. Chris Carruthers (Ontario) and co-founder, Dr. Dennis Kendel (Saskatchewan) plus six physicians and one CMA Director.  From 2002-2015 the CSPL office resided at CMA House in Ottawa. The CMA and CSPL established a formal Memorandum of Agreement and the CSPL applied for CMA affiliate status which was granted in 2002.


In 2015, the CSPL not only moved locations and became a fully independent organization but had a name change from Canadian Society of Physician Executives (CCPE) to the Canadian Society of Physician Leaders (CSPL).  The CSPL currently employs two part-time staff --  Executive Director and Program Manager.  The CSPL is a relatively small organization of just 600 members, but continues to offer members such benefits as the Canadian Journal of Physician Leadership, a biweekly e-newsletter, job opportunity postings, mentorship program, the Canadian Certified Physician Executive (CCPE) designation program, and an excellent rated annual conference.


Board of Directors & Staff


About Us


Shannon Fraser, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS, CCPE

Chief General Surgery

Jewish General Hospital, CIUSSS CODI

Montreal, QC

Past President

Rollie Nichol MD, MBA, FCFP, CEC, CCPE

Associate Chief Medical Officer

Alberta Health Services

Calgary, AB


Dietrich Furstenburg, MBChB, MM, CCFP(EM)

Anesthesiology Resident

McGill University, Montreal, QC


Constance LeBlanc, MD, CCFP(EM), MAEd, CCPE

Associate Dean, CPD

Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Board Member

Victor Do, MD

MD Class 2020, University of Alberta

PGY-2 Pediatrics, University of Toronto

Toronto, ON

Board Member

Marilyn Baetz, MD FRCPC CCPE

Vice-Dean Faculty Engagement

Professor of Psychiatry, College of Medicine

University of Saskatchewan

Saskatoon, SK

Board Member

Mamta Gautam, MD, MBA, FRCPC, CCPE, CPE

President and CEO, PEAK MD Inc.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Ottawa

Psychosocial Oncology, The Ottawa Hospital

Ottawa, ON

Board Member

Nadia Salvaterra, MD, CCFP, CCPE

Family Physician, Indigenous Health Program

Zone Clinical Department Head

Family Medicine, Edmonton Zone

Alberta Health Services

Edmonton, AB

Board Member

Joelle Thorgrimson MD, MSc, CCFP

Flight Surgeon, 22 CF H Svcs, Cold Lake

Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Director, Canadian Society of Aerospace Medicine

Cold Lake, AB

Executive Director

Colleen Galasso

Canadian Society of Physician Leaders

875 Carling Avenue, Suite 323

Ottawa, ON  K1S 5P1

613 369-8322 x100

Program Manager

Deirdre McKennirey

Canadian Society of Physician Leaders

875 Carling Avenue, Suite 323

Ottawa, ON  K1S 5P1

613 369-8322 x200

Contract Consultants

Dr. Johny Van Aerde, MD, PhD

CSPL Presidents 2000-2024

Dr. Chris Carruthers (First President and Founder)  Ottawa, ON

2000 – 2007

Dr. Donald H. Atkinson  Orillia, ON

2007 – 2009

Dr. Gaétan Tardif   Toronto, ON

2009 – 2011

Dr. Gillian Kernaghan  London, ON

2011 – 2013

Dr. Johny Van Aerde  Ladysmith, BC

2013 – 2015

Dr. Lynne Harrigan  Halifax, NS

2015 – 2017

Dr. Becky Temple Fort St. John, BC

2017 – 2019

Dr. Rowland (Rollie) Nichol Calgary, AB


Dr. Shannon Fraser Montreal, QC



Contract Consultants

Dr. Johny Van Aerde, MD, PhD Executive Medical Director, Ladysmith, BC