For Dr Alan Ruddiman, being a doctor is more than just a job – it’s a calling. In medical practice for 27 years, he has for the last 20 years been answering this calling as a full-service rural generalist physician based in the Okanagan Valley. Scottish born, his family immigrated and he earned his medical degree in Johannesburg, South Africa. Dr Ruddiman initially arrived and practiced on the Prairies for five years before he and his young Canadian wife discovered the beauty of Oliver, BC and made it their home.
Growing up Dr Ruddiman learned at an early age the importance of serving others – his mother was an active hospital nurse who later in life transitioned to industrial occupational nursing. The theme of medicine lived in his family home. His upbringing combined with wanting to share his childhood best friend’s dream of being a doctor inspired Dr Ruddiman to pursue a career in medicine. As Dr Ruddiman says, “Medicine allows me to not only improve the lives of my patient’s, but to also meaningfully contribute to the betterment of my community and society as a whole.”
Dr Ruddiman is honoured to be President of Doctors of BC. He steps into the role after a long involvement with the Association that began in 1996, and in which he has held the positions of District Board Delegate and more recently as co-chair of the provincial Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues. He attributes his longstanding involvement and participation to his belief that one should always “open the door to ask more of oneself.”
During his term as president, Dr Ruddiman will hold forefront the theme of professionalism. “As doctors of medicine, we strive for professionalism in every aspect of our working lives. It is the cornerstone of our relationships with patients, with one another, with other health care providers, and most certainly with society.” He will also promote physician leadership, particularly among the profession’s younger doctors coming up the ranks.
Dr Ruddiman has learned many things during his career and says one of the most important lessons is that there is always room to listen more and to talk less – a trait he says he will use in his role as president.
Throughout this year he will make it his business to consult broadly with specialists and generalists across the province and connect doctors with each other and with their Association. “When our physician members have the opportunity to freely access the president and let their views be known, Doctors of BC will be better able serve members.”