Family medicine was a popular choice among medical graduates in the 1980s, when Roger Strasser was training at The University of Western Ontario. “The residents had almost a missionary zeal that they were going to be family doctors,” he says.
He shared their passion, becoming a family physician. But when he returned to Canada in 2002, after going back to his home country of Australia, “the proportion of graduates choosing family medicine had plummeted,” he says. “It was in the doldrums.”
Strasser was back as the first dean of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, which was created in response to the shortage of family doctors in Northern Ontario.
It was one of many initiatives to boost the attractiveness of family medicine. They seem to have worked – this year, 38% of medical students chose family medicine as their first pick in the residency match, the highest number in 20 years.
“To get to 38 percent was quite something,” says Kathy Lawrence, president of The College of Family Physicians of Canada. Family medicine was the first choice of more than 30 percent of graduates at all but three schools in Canada. Women and international medical graduates were more likely to
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About 60 Princeton and Area residents attended the Public Forum on Healthcare held at Riverside Community Centre on June 4. The event was organized by SOHC to provide the public with information on the legal challenge to Canada’s Public Health Care system brought about by Dr. Brian Day and the Cambie Street Surgical Clinic.
The three panelists were Dr. Duncan Etches (Canadian Doctors for Medicare), Rick Turner (Co-Chair of the BC Health Coalition) and Ed Staples (President of SOHC). The moderator for the evening was Brad Hope (Area H Regional Director).
From left to right: Ed Staples, Duncan Etches, Rick Turner, Brad Hope
Presentations included information on the history of Medicare, background to the constitutional legal challenge, and consequences for Canadians if Dr. Day wins his legal challenge. This case will go to trial in BC Supreme Court in September. SOHC will be following the case closely and will post future developments.
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News from the Princeton Health Care Steering Committee
The Princeton Health Care Steering Committee (PHCSC) held its regular monthly
meeting on Tuesday, May 20 at Princeton General Hospital. The meeting was attended
by representatives from Area H (RDOS), the Town of Princeton, hospital administration,
health care practitioners, Interior Health, Princeton seniors, and SOHC.
Dr. Colleen Black reported on an initiative called the Rapid Access Clinic that will be
launched as a pilot program at Cascade Medical Centre in the near future. This program
will provide fast access to a consultation with a physician or nurse practitioner for
conditions that do not involve lengthy appointments. Dr. Black described the program
as being similar to a walk-in clinic, where each practitioner would designate a period of
time each week for Rapid Access patients. More information on the program will be
shared with the public when details have been finalized.
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