The BC College of Family Physicians (BCCFP) today announced the recipients of their annual awards. 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 relationship-based, comprehensive, longitudinal care that improves the overall health of the population.
“B.C.’s family doctors spend time getting to know patients and their families, delivering patient-centred care that takes into account the whole context of a person’s life,” says Dr. Marjorie Docherty, Kelowna-based family physician and President of the BC College of Family Physicians. “Evidence tells us that this type of longitudinal care leads to fewer hospitalizations, lower mortality, better overall health outcomes, and higher satisfaction with the health care system. That’s why we’re thrilled to be able to celebrate outstanding family doctors through our annual awards.”
The My Family Doctor awards are patient-nominated. British Columbians took the time to nominate over 350 family doctors from across the province – a record number of nominations. The BCCFP selected five family doctors – one from each health region – to receive the My Family Doctor Award. Award recipients include Dr. Louise Corcoran, Vancouver Coastal Health, Dr. Teresa Cordoni, Fraser Health, Dr. Lauren Baerg, Island Health, Dr. Deon Van Rensburg, Interior Health and Dr. Shu Fung Ho, Northern Health.
Dr. Shu Fung Ho (Vanderhoof) receive the My Family Doctor Award for Northern Health. He provides a diverse range of primary care services in his community. His nominator says, “Dr. Fung Ho has made going to the doctor a safe place. I feel really listened to. I feel he considers all aspects of my care. I am in my early 60s and have had my fair share of doctors, but none with this man’s bedside manner. He has made a huge difference in how I view our medical system and I feel very blessed he has taken me as a patient. Living in a smaller community, we are so very lucky to have many good doctors practising here.
Dr. Shu Fung Ho is a family physician practising in Vanderhoof. He graduated from UBC medicine in 2010 and undertook his family medicine residency in the northern medical program at the University Hospital of Northern British Columbia. He also undertook the Department of Family Practice Enhanced Skills Program in anesthesia at UBC, graduating in 2014. Dr. Fung Ho currently focuses on rural family practice, working in the hospital ER and managing the cardiac stress testing program. He provides anesthesia services in the operating room as well as obstetrics anesthesia and trauma on-call. Dr. Fung Ho enjoys the diversity of his practice and the flexibility that family medicine allows in being able to build additional skills in response to community needs. He enjoys the continuous learning that is a part of family practice. Dr. Fung Ho’s spare time is spent outdoors with his wife, their one-year-old child, and two big dogs.
Dr. Maheen Mujtaba (Prince George) received the R2 Resident Award. The BCCFP R2 Resident award celebrates three R2s graduating from the UBC Family Practice Residency Program who demonstrate a passion for family medicine, lead by example, influence change and practise kindness with those around them. Dr. Maheen Mujtaba is an R2 resident at the Prince George family medicine site, having trained at the Shifa College of Medicine in Pakistan. She served as the first female resident lead for the International Medical Graduates (IMG) in the UBC Family Practice Residency Program, acting as a passionate advocate on behalf of her fellow residents.
Dr. Mujtaba led a pivotal survey of all 300 family physician residents aimed to uncover the presence of racism within the residency program. She responded to the results with determination, expanding the working group to include program leadership and faculty and making sure that racism and mistreatment was recognized and addressed through real, actionable change. Thanks to her work, the program is establishing new anti-discrimination policies.
Dr. Mujtaba sits on various other program committees, including the Resident Selection Committee and the Postgraduate Education Committee.
Dr. Mujtaba advocated tirelessly for the BC IMG orientation, a 10-day long complex introductory program for incoming residents who trained abroad. She also worked with program administrators and Ministry of Health representatives to mitigate the impact of the return of service contract on the educational experience of residents.
Dr. Mujtaba’s nominator says, “She is an excellent clinician, a dedicated leader with strong advocacy skills, charisma and kind manners. She is humble and curious yet determined and solution focused.
She is a true “peaceful warrior” and exemplary support for her colleagues.”
With an average of 11 years of education and training before entering practice, family medicine is centred around the patient-doctor relationship, which extends across all ages, health conditions and settings. Family doctors help manage a patient’s journey, Including preventative health initiatives, diagnosis and management of complex illness, treatment, and following the patient throughout their illness.
“In their nomination letters, the public told us that they really value the relationships they are able to build with their family doctors. Many say that their families’ safety and health simply wouldn’t be the same without the care they receive from their doctor,” says Dr. Docherty. “We especially enjoy reading about family doctors who treat multiple generations of the same family. In this way, family doctors are able to understand the patient’s family history, their values, past experiences and their ongoing health concerns.”
British Columbians in need of a family doctor can visit PathwaysMedicalCare.ca, a new province-wide public directory that helps connect people to care. It includes individual family doctor listings plus information on doctors accepting new patients.