08/12/2012 04:31 EDT | Updated 10/12/2012 05:12 EDT

Doctors head to Yellowknife for annual national meeting

Hundreds of doctors and their family members are arriving in Yellowknife for the Canadian Medical Association's 145th annual meeting.

This is the first time the influential conference is being held in the Northwest Territories.

Yellowknife mayor Gordon Van Tighem said the city has been preparing for conferences of this size for years. It will be one of the largest conferences ever held in the city.

“There's city facilities that are being converted into convention halls, the hotels have been getting ready for a period of time, and then of course people operating the city tours and the little fishing trips,” he said.

Van Tighem jokingly added that it’s a good week for a heart attack, but maybe not too good for a round of golf since he said it’s rumoured that the local course is fully booked for the week.

The incoming president of the national group, Dr. Anna Reid, is the first from the N.W.T. Reid works in the emergency room at the Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife. Reid is also the sixth woman to lead the national medical advocacy organization.

The doctors and health experts are expected to focus on health determinants.

"It is appropriate that we are holding it in Canada's North, where issues such as the impact housing, income and diet have on health are particularly important," said outgoing CMA president John Haggie.

The conference will be held mainly in the gym at St. Patrick high school since there are no other halls large enough.

About 700 doctors from around the country are expected to attend. The conference will wrap up on Wednesday.