Specialist physician teams breaking new ground

April 27, 2015

When doctors work together with other doctors and health care professionals, great things can happen. In BC, multi-disciplinary specialized clinics and programs are making a big difference for patients by breaking new ground in medicine.    

Here are four programs led by doctors that have been made possible with start-up funds from Doctors of BC and the provincial government, and are operated in partnership with Health Authorities.  They are based on ideas generated by specialist-physicians who recognized a gap in their area of expertise and then addressed it with the help of funding partners. 

  • The BC Inherited Heart Arrhythmia Program: About 7,000 people in the province are affected by inherited heart rhythm (HR) conditions.  The stressful part about having this condition is that you may not know you have it, yet it can put you at risk of palpitations, fainting, cardiac arrest and sudden unexpected death. The BC Inherited Heart Arrhythmia Program brings together specialists in adult and pediatric cardiology, as well as medical genetics to identify, screen and treat people with this condition.   For more information, check out our video.
  • Fragile X Clinic: Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) is one of the most common inherited forms of intellectual disability. Medical complications can include seizures and joint issues.  And, it is not easy to diagnose. The team at the Fragile X Clinic on Vancouver Island is making a positive difference for patients. The clinic provides assessments by a development pediatrician, clinical geneticist and genetic counsellor, as required.  FXS conditions may require the services of other team specialists including a psychiatrist, neurologist and obstetrician-gynecologist.  For more information.
  • Prostate Cancer Supportive Care Program: Getting a diagnosis of prostate cancer can be scary for both patients and families. This program is a first of its kind in Canada that focuses on supporting the patient to be a partner in their care, along with their families. The team helps patients and their partners cope when first diagnosed, and to manage the stresses associated with treatment and its side effects. Diverse experts present the five distinct modules on clinical services and education.  For more information.
  • Rebalance Clinic: Muscle and joint injuries are quite common and don’t discriminate by gender or age. Treatment can require a number of providers from orthopedic surgeons, physiotherapists, rehabilitation therapists, osteoporosis specialists. This one-stop clinic provides South Vancouver Island with access to this multidisciplinary model of care. Both patients and primary care providers can easily access the range of services needed for treatment at one convenient location.  For more information.

Funding for the programs was provided through the Specialist Services Committee, a collaborative committee of Doctors of BC and the provincial government. They are some examples of the collaborative programs, which use funds from the Physician Master Agreement to foster innovation, improve patient care and help build a stronger health care system.