A Prince George doctor is among five from around the province who received a My Family Doctor award, presented by the BC College of Family Physicians (BCCFP).
Dr. Kalen Geddes received the honour.
Geddes is a family doctor who has an interest in primary care obstetrics and practises as a hospitalist and medical assistance in dying (MAID) provider. In addition to his family practice, Dr. Geddes works out of the youth primary care clinic and gender-affirming care clinic at Foundry Prince George. He is a clinical instructor for the Northern Medical Program and UBC residency programs. Dr. Geddes values the longitudinal continuity of care from birth to death he is able to provide through family medicine, as well as the variety of practice opportunities family medicine offers.
Geddes’ patients describes a very caring doctor who took the time to get to know his patients.
“He cared enough to change my husband’s quality of life, not just quantity of life, because he really cared. He talked to us and took time with us to find a balance that we both agreed on. He went out of his way to research questions we asked and helped us make life-changing decisions that we could both manage and still maintain. We weren’t just a number on a chart – he put us through a lot of changes before we found something that worked, and we are so grateful that he cares about his patients. He means everything to us. There wouldn’t be an ‘us’ today without him.”
Research shows that family doctors provide a higher level of continuity of care, which is associated with lower mortality rates, improved patient satisfaction and fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits. As the primary point of contact for access into the health care system, family doctors play a central role in supporting wellness and diagnosing and managing disease and illness.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, patients can make appointments with their family doctor by phone, by video or in-person. Appointments with family doctors by telephone and video help reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 and support patients staying at home. If the family doctor thinks their patient needs to be seen in-person, they will help navigate this safely.
The announcement comes ahead of Family Doctor Day on May 19: a day proclaimed in BC and globally to recognize family doctors as a resource to their communities who provide comprehensive patient-centred care that improves the overall health of the population.
“BC’s family doctors play a central role in the early identification of disease, improved management of chronic illness and helping people stay well,” says Dr. Jeanette Boyd, family physician and President of the BC College of Family Physicians. “By developing trusting relationships with individuals and families over time, family doctors provide effective, high quality, continuing care that often spans a patient’s lifetime.”
British Columbians took the time to nominate over 300 family doctors from across the province. The BCCFP selected five family doctors – one from each health region – to receive the My Family Doctor Award. Award recipients include Dr. Peter Lutsky, Vancouver Coastal Health, Dr. Rachel Collins, Fraser Health, Dr. Patricia Olsen, Island Health, Dr. Mark Szynkaruk, Interior Health and Dr. Kalen Geddes, Northern Health.