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What new doctors want: Attracting med school grads and GP residents to practice in BC

A panel of new grads and residents at the recent GPSC Spring Summit was asked about their hopes, aspirations, and concerns for their future careers during a session entitled “Recruitment and Retention: A Conversation with the Next Generation of Family Doctors.” Participants were asked to describe what they are seeking in a practice and a community – what do they want? What don’t they want?

The panel discussion was led by Dr Derek Poteryko, a member of the Nanaimo Division of Family Practice who also works as a Family Practice Preceptor and Behavioural Medicine Lead Faculty with UBC. Through his work as a preceptor, Dr Poteryko organizes the Blue Sky Clinic—a yearly exercise during which he consults family medicine residents about the ideal circumstances in which they’d like to practice. 

In response to the panel questions, participants expressed deep concerns about physician burnout. In their ideal practice they would be able to leave their patients in good hands when they need a break, and work alongside nurses, allied health practitioners, and other doctors in a team environment where work-life balance can be achieved.  

A summary of the session, including quotes from participants, was published on the Doctors of BC website—click here to read the story


  • GP credits Nanaimo Division’s Suboxone Physician E-Mentor Program with improving patient’s life

    During an interview on CBC’s “On the Island” show, Dr Kristy Williams spoke about starting a patient on Suboxone treatment using support from the E-Mentor program, which, according to Dr Williams, has “totally changed the patient’s life.” >

  • New fees, updated guidelines support treatment of opioid use disorder

    As of June 1, 2018, two new fees to compensate physicians for treatment of patients with opioid use disorder came into effect. >

  • NIRD/Northern Health videoconferencing project improves access to care in rural communities

    A videoconferencing initiative started by Northern Interior Rural division doctors is improving access to care for patients in northern BC. The Robson Valley Virtual Medicine project—a collaboration between the Northern Interior Rural division (NIRD) and Northern Health—uses videoconferencing technology to connect two neighboring rural emergency departments, enabling physicians who share on-call duties to see patients immediately without needing to travel from one hospital to the other. The technology has also facilitated physician-to-physician communication during acute emergencies. >

  • Division GPs among recent BCCFP award recipients

    GPs from a number of divisions across the province are recipients of the BC College of Family Physicians’ 2018 awards. >

  • Campbell River Division doctor wins international leadership award

    Campbell River emergency room physician Dr Jeffrey Beselt is the recipient of the 2018 Canadian College of Health Leaders’ Celebrating the Human Spirit Award.  The award recognizes the meaningful contributions of individuals or teams who provide health services for acts of caring and compassion that go above and beyond the call of duty, inspire others, and have a profound and lasting impact. >

  • Advance Care Planning in FNW: GP collaboration improves dignity and quality of life for patients

    Advance care planning conversations are key to ensuring that patients receive end-of-life care that aligns with their needs and beliefs. Recognizing this, Fraser Northwest division has been working with Fraser Health for the past four years to implement an effective and reliable method of transferring this information between doctors’ offices and facilities. >

  • Chilliwack division supports student-developed overdose advice app

    Chilliwack Division support (via the Chilliwack Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Local Action Team) has enabled local students to complete development of a new app that provides lifesaving overdose support and advice for teens, even in situations where they may not have cell or wifi service. >

  • PNW division member Dr Jaco Strydom wins College Coin award

    Pacific Northwest division member Dr Jaco Strydom has been awarded the College Coin from the BC College of Family Physicians for his outstanding work supporting patients in Terrace. Modelled on the coins used by the Canadian military to recognize special achievements, the College Coin is designed to honour unsung heroes in family medicine. >

  • Pacific Northwest doctors use team-based approach to support patients with metabolic syndrome

    In fall 2017, the Pacific Northwest division launched a year-long pilot of a diet and exercise program to help patients with metabolic syndrome, a health disorder that leads to chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Called CHANGE (Canadian Health Advanced by Nutrition and Graded Exercise) BC, the initiative supports patients through a team-based care model that includes GPs, a dietician, and a kinesiologist. After assessing each patient, the team creates a plan to meet their distinct needs, taking lifestyle, income, physical abilities, and exercise preferences into account, and participants’ family doctors oversee the program and monitor their patients’ progress. >

  • NIRD family doctors collaborate with partners to improve health outcomes for Vanderhoof youth

    Six family doctors are now providing weekly clinics at Nechako Valley Secondary School in Vanderhoof, through a new school clinic aimed at improving health outcomes for local students.  >

  • From concept to CME: Division-organized opioid and pain management education sessions

    Divisions around the province are supporting their members to provide the best possible care to patients who have pain management and opioid addiction issues. Much of this work is accomplished through division-organized CME and information sessions, which promote awareness of community resources and best practice recommendations. >

  • New primary care social worker program in FNW region replicates successful ”Nurse Debbie" model

    Feedback from GPs and the success of a joint program of the Fraser Northwest division and Fraser Health have led to a new team-based care pilot project in the region. As of March 1, 2018, the division’s GPs have exclusive access to a Fraser Health social worker, who can assess and intervene in complex situations that may include challenges such as barriers associated with the social determinants of health (e.g., culture, education, poverty), disability and loss of independence, high-risk behaviors, and compromised ability to remain at home. >

  • New instructional video and reference card for PLS phone translation service

    The Primary Care Telephone Interpreting Service Pilot Project, launched October 1, 2017, provides immediate phone translation services to help physicians and their teams (nurses, MOAs, etc.) when treating culturally and linguistically diverse patients. Two newly released Provincial Language Service (PLS) resources provide additional support to those using the service. >

  • North Shore Division collaboration with VCH highlighted by CFPC

    The HealthConnection Clinic in North Vancouver, a collaboration between the North Shore Division and Vancouver Coastal Health, was highlighted by the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) in the second issue of their Innovation in Primary Care series. >

  • Salt Spring Island Suicide Intervention Toolkits featured in BC Medical Journal

    This story, originally published on August 8th, 2017, has been updated to include a link to a related article in the BC Medical Journal entitled "A mental health resource for all communities: The Salt Spring Island Youth Suicide Intervention Toolkit. The Salt Spring Island Child and Youth Mental Health Local Action Team has created a youth suicide intervention toolkit, providing information and support to children and youth in the community who are struggling with suicidal ideation. >

  • Divisions of family practice support physicians in improving access to care for transgender patients

    Transgender care has been identified as an emerging health care issue for family physicians and primary care providers. Recognizing the need to support physicians in the health care management of transgender patients in family practice, a number of divisions have undertaken projects to create sustainable solutions for ensuring transgender patients feel safe and confident in accessing care. >

  • Changes to CPSBC physician directory

    The College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC has announced changes to its physician search directory—specifically, removing the feature that allows family physicians to identify themselves as accepting new patients. >

  • Award win recognizes GPSC co-chair’s leadership, commitment to excellence

    Dr Shelley Ross, GPSC co-chair and Burnaby Division member, has received the 2017 Physician of the Year Award from the Burnaby Hospital Foundation. Each year this award is given to a physician who has demonstrated community leadership and hospital support through philanthropy and personal influence. >

  • Physician team relocating to Vancouver Island thanks to multi-division collaboration

    The Vancouver Island Regional Recruitment and Retention Working Group works together to assist GPs as they explore practice options on Vancouver Island. The “Island Collaborative” (as the divisions call themselves) has a one-for-all and all-for-one philosophy—they approach the challenge of attracting new GPs to their communities by setting competition aside and working for the collective good. >

  • Interdisciplinary approach to care creates sense of community, benefits patients and providers

    As clinical care becomes more complex, providing patient-centred care relies increasingly on coordinated interdisciplinary teamwork. Aiming to maintain a stable culture focused on longitudinal, relationship-based care, the Fairmont Family Practice in Vancouver is an interdisciplinary clinic operating under a population-based funding model. >

  • Registration now open for PCN webinars on Jan 26, 30, 31

    In response to feedback from CSCs regarding tight timelines and additional clarity required about the primary care network (PCN) expression of interest intakes, the GPSC has scheduled a series of webinars to provide follow-up information and a forum for Q&A. CSCs are encouraged to join the webinars to ask questions about the expression of interest process. Webinar dates along with registration links are listed below, please take a moment to complete your online registration. >

  • Innovative ways divisions are getting to “yes” on Section 41

    There are various ways to comply with Section 41 of the new BC Societies Act, and the Vancouver and Powell River Divisions have taken innovative approaches. The two represent very different types of divisions – Vancouver being the largest division with the most members – and Powell River being one of the smallest divisions with the fewest members. Their decisions about board composition and compensation were chosen to best suit the needs of their divisions, and their stories are helpful for those divisions that have yet to start the process of getting to “yes”. Following is a synopsis of information these divisions shared during a webinar with their division colleagues on November 8, 2017. >

  • PMH practice assessment event provides valuable GP engagement opportunity

    The Central Interior Rural Division (CIRD) hosted three successful events that encouraged members to complete the GPSC Patient Medical Home (PMH) Assessment and provided a great opportunity for individual engagement and conversations with physicians. “The process allowed us to get more information, including information not in the assessment, which was of great value to the Division. Conversations with these physicians are like gold,” says Jane Barnett, the Practice Support Coordinator (PSP) coordinator in the region. Visit the GPSC website for more about this story, including information for divisions interested in hosting similar group events. >

  • Opioid treatment and management practice resources

    As the opioid crisis continues in BC, it’s projected that there will be more than 1,500 overdose deaths by December 31, 2017. Through the GPSC, family doctors can access incentives fees and provincial resources to support opioid prescribing and pain management, and the care of patients with addiction challenges, including opioid use disorder. A summary of GPSC incentives demonstrates how doctors can apply these specific fees.  Also, the following is a list of additional provincial resources support currently in place. >

  • Award wins for two Vancouver Division family doctors

    Dr Joy Russell, a member of the Vancouver Division of Family Practice, has been named Family Physician of the Year in BC by the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Dr Russell, who has been a physician in Vancouver for 33 years, is one of 10 family doctors across Canada being honoured with the Family Physician of the Year designation in 2017. The award recognizes family doctors across the country who provide exceptional care to their patients, contribute to the well-being of their communities, and demonstrate leadership in family medicine education and research. >


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