The first formal meeting of individuals interested in developing a Canadian specialty society for Community Medicine was held in September 1996 in Halifax, at the time of the RCPSC annual meeting; this followed a 1994 workshop on the role of community medicine specialists in Canada.

The National Specialty Society for Community Medicine (NSSCM) was incorporated after the 2nd Annual Meeting (which was held in Toronto in 1997).

Early priorities identified were: 
  • continuing professional development;
  • advocacy on behalf of the specialty; and,
  • communications amongst and to members.
In 2003, the Society committed to a 5-year strategic plan, and a short-term action plan focused on the following broad objectives: 
  • achieving a stable funding base;
  • increasing membership;
  • planning a member satisfaction survey;
  • hiring a part-time Executive Director; and,
  • developing defined products or services supporting the Society’s added value to its membership.
Since this time the Society has achieved many of the goals identified in the 2003 strategic plan, and continues to work on growing the Society. Some items of achievement are as follows:
  • Involvement/development and implementation of the Human Resource and remuneration survey and strategy;
  • Adoption of the 5 business lines and supporting document: members services, advocacy, communication, strategic partnerships, and community;
  • Development of a Society website, launched in 2007;
  • Job postings and recruitment announcements;
  • Joint conference with JASP in 2006;
  • Involvement on the Resident Scientific Day;
  • Involvement on the RCPSC Community Medicine Specialty Committee;
  • Involvement on the Canadian Coalition for Public Health in the 21st Century;
  • Affiliation and partnership discussions with CMA;
  • Involvement in the National Specialty Society Committee;
  • Representation on the CPHA advocacy council;
  • Development of various position statements;
  • PHAC-funding to attend a meeting on Public Health Human Resources;
  • PHAC support for a support staff position (2008-2011);
  • Growth in membership to over 200 members;
  • Involvement in the Public Health Primary Care Interface;
  • Received PHAC funding for Human Resource and Remuneration study;
  • Survey development, dissemination and analysis to determine CPD needs, working condition priorities of members, and member views on various position items;
  • Representation on the Canadian Immunization Conference;
  • PHAC funding received for the CPD project in partnership with CPHA;
  • Nominating committee and three nominations for the 2007 RCPSC McLaughlin Gallin Visiting Professorship awards;
  • Surveyed membership to propose name change of the specialty;
  • Invitation from the RCPSC regarding involvement in the resident awards;
  • Accreditation approval for annual symposium events since 2007;
  • Annual CPD events developed, promoted and offered in conjunction with the AGM since 2007; and
  • Annual members dinner offered in conjunction with the AGM since September 15, 2007.
  • Name change to the Public Health Physicians of Canada (PHPC) - resolution passed in June 2011 and the name change was made official in March 2012.

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