Head's Message 2015-2016

 

It has been a year of significant achievement in the Queen’s Department of Family Medicine, notwithstanding unexpected funding constraints.

Funding reductions are a reality. Chief among them was the failed negotiations between the Ontario Medical Association and the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, which resulted in fee cuts to physician services. The department also saw its educational activities’ funding tightened, leading us to strategically readjust our resources. With that in mind, we have begun reviewing all our activities with the view to identifying efficiencies and developing revenue streams to support our valued programs and services. While I predict these current and ongoing financial challenges will remain with us for some time, I remain confident that the department is well positioned to address them.

It is important to note that the adjustments we have made have not affected the quality of our educational offerings nor restricted our clinical services. We can rise to these challenges because of exceptional faculty and staff members who are willing and able to meet them.

In her role as Postgraduate Program Director, Dr. Karen Schultz’s constant strive for excellence serves to motivate the entire education team. In every conversation I have with our postgraduate trainees, I am reminded that the backbone of our education program is the exceptional teaching that our family physicians provide. The role of our community physicians in sharing their professional expertise and ensuring the strength of the medical profession for future generations is remarkable. I express sincere thanks to the community physicians who continue to play this pivotal role. Of course, I also extend thanks to our specialist colleagues, who provide clinical experiences in our teaching hospitals and our community settings. We get tremendous feedback from our residents about these rotations and the continuing effort of our colleagues to tailor some of their educational time to residents’ specific needs.

To our postgraduate trainees, I would like to express thanks for making this a dynamic environment in which to work. Your contributions are critical to our success and to the care of our patients.

Dr. Shayna Watson’s exceptional leadership as Undergraduate Program Director has contributed significantly to the rewarding experience Queen’s medical students enjoy in our discipline. Again, the role of our community preceptors in providing superb clinical experiences is central to medical education at Queen’s University. We also appreciate the insight and support of Dr. Tony Sanfilippo, Associate Dean, Queen’s Undergraduate Medicine Program, for ensuring all medical students receive an early and foundational family medicine experience.

The department’s Centre for Studies in Primary Care continues to thrive under the leadership of Dr. Richard Birtwhistle. The research centre has successfully secured funding for a variety of projects, and we continue to see our funded research grow.

Our clinical program, the platform on which we teach our learners, serves the needs of our community well. Dr. Karen Hall Barber continues to expand our clinical services, and keeps quality improvement a priority.

The department continues to receive honours that reflect our leadership to our profession, our communities, our students and our patients. I encourage you to link to the department’s 2015-2016 Annual Report for a summary of these accolades.

Something that stands out for me this year is the number of faculty members and residents who have spoken to me about our collegial working environment. It is clear that this declared goodwill and shared commitment to our mission propels us to support our talented, passionate colleagues. I think we all feel honoured to play a role in this important enterprise, and I certainly share this sentiment.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Glenn Brown's signature

Glenn D. Brown
BSc, MD, CCFP (EM), FCFP, MPH
Head, Department of Family Medicine
Queen's University.