Walk with your Doc is underway in BC for the 9th straight year with hundreds of doctors walking side-by-side with their patients, encouraging them to get moving for good health. The walking events take place in communities around the province. Last year, 375 doctors walked alongside about 4,000 participants.
While Walk with your Doc is funded and supported by Doctors of BC, the walks wouldn’t be possible without local, community leadership from hundreds of doctors, support staff, and allied health professionals.
We spoke with two event organizers to learn about their experiences.
Doctors of BC asked walk organizer Emily Sayward about how the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice gets involved in their communities.
“Our Division is different than others in that it is made up of 3 unique communities. Each community runs an event and they are all very different in terms of the demographic and the length of the walk. I love how we are able to tailor the event to the needs of each community. One big success we have had is joining another preexisting event (Move for Health Day) so we are able to make our resources go further and draw twice as many people”, said Emily.
In Parksville, perennial walk host and champion of physical, mental, and emotional health Dr Satish Desai says, “Improving the health of the community as a whole starts with improving the health of each individual. The physician MUST set the example.”
Through his years leading community walks, Dr Desai has seen improvements in the health of his patient population.
“One of my patients improved his cardiovascular risk factors after joining me at a Walk with your Doc event. He enjoyed himself so much that he started walking on a daily basis!” he said.
Another patient suffering from significant problems with shortness of breath, insulin dependent diabetes, and hypertension requiring several medications found the benefits of moving for health when prescribed walking for 10 minutes a day.
“The prescription was from the Walk with a Doc ‘Rx for Health’ pad. The patient lost 73 lbs in weight! He is no longer on Insulin and I took him off his last antihypertensive medication this week,” said Dr Desai.
These are just a few examples of the work being done throughout British Columbia by Doctors of BC members and partners. Doctors of BC supports, promotes, and champions public health.
For more information, or to join a walk near you, visit walkwithyourdoc.ca.