I believe in the Doctors of BC Strategic Framework: Better Together. Over the course of my year as President, I intend to meet and speak with members at every opportunity to share and celebrate local successes, listen to grassroots issues, and discuss barriers standing in the way of future triumphs. I believe that the secret to our success now and in the future, lies in coming together as a physician community, listening to all voices and perspectives, and envisioning a future that supports physicians in our pursuit of optimal patient care. By making connections across the province, we can move forward together to achieve our shared goals.
The outreach began in White Rock, with a visit to a recent Peace Arch Hospital Medical Staff Association meeting. I appreciated Dr Bob Cheyne introducing me to this tightly knit, collegial medical community. Both community and facility-based physicians came together to speak about local concerns. Highlighted at this meeting were issues such as insufficient numbers of pediatricians to staff the maternity services, the provincial crisis in access to vasectomy services, the lack of timely payment for those teaching for the UBC Faculty of Medicine, and many other concerns. Doctors of BC representatives, including the Director of Physician Advocacy, Rob Hulyk, Regional Advisor and Advocate, Lana Korch, and Sharon Shore, Senior Manager of Communications and Media Relations, alongside members from the Health Authority leadership, were in attendance. During the meeting, we had the opportunity to open up a dialogue on how best to engage with the Health Authority to improve physician resourcing and patient access to care.
My second invitation was to the Oceanside Division of Family Practice AGM in Qualicum Beach. In the room were a variety of representatives working to improve primary care in the community, including: physicians from the Parksville/Qualicum area and Port Alberni; nurse practitioners; community board members; Regional Advisor and Advocate, Alanna Black; Lucas Parker, GPSC Community Liaison, and Sharon Shore. As co-chairs Dr Gina Bell and Dr Mark Morris reviewed the list of projects and programs they had led over the previous year, including groundbreaking work on the Patient Medical Home, I was truly impressed and proud. Dr Clair Biglow presented his work to improve identification and coding of psychosis in dementia patients, work that supports the appropriate use of anti-psychotics in residential care in their area.
The energy and sense of purpose in both of these meetings was palpable. I know this energy exists across our province. Physicians are leading the way in healthcare system transformation and will continue to engage with all levels of government, Health Authorities, and community members to lead this change.
This outreach is an exciting process and I look forward to hearing more about the amazing work BC physicians have underway, along with learning what Doctors of BC can do to further support this great work.
- Dr Kathleen Ross