Chair's Message

Dear Colleagues,

If there ever was a question about the role of family medicine and primary care in a pandemic, you have answered it and then some.

Over the last two weeks, we have come together in new and innovative ways: we have moved courses online, developed resources, continue to create new redeployment strategies and assisted our learners. All this while figuring out how to see more patients virtually and manning COVID-19 assessment centres. As family doctors, we are also trusted communicators, as patients and the public look to us for answers in this unprecedented time – many of you have been providing evidence-based information through mainstream and social media.

All this in a time of uncertainty: we are waiting to see how this pandemic will unfold in Ontario. I know you fear for the health and safety of your patients, your families and yourself. My DFCM colleagues and I are talking every day about how we can best help you and your primary care colleagues prepare for what is likely going to be a long battle with this virus.

For now, we have created a webpage full of resources, including clinical, health and wellness, and information about DFCM programs. In the coming days, we will improve on the organization of the webpage, and continue to add items that our colleagues and others have developed. We are also continuing to record our podcasts - to hear more from faculty and others about what they’re doing during this time -  and will share them with you as they are recorded.

This is an unprecedented time and there is value in documenting it. We also will be starting a blog on our website where we will be asking you, our faculty, residents, students and staff, to submit short stories: whether about an experience with a patient or a colleague, a tool you developed, something that inspired you, the little things that bring you hope, or overall concerns or thoughts about this time - the topics are endless. Please email dfcm.communications@utoronto.ca with a short submission (around 250 words) and we will review and post it when we can.

And if there’s anything else we can do to support you and your colleagues or if you have specific ideas for the website or other resources, do not hesitate to reach out.

Thank you again for all your work. The coming days, weeks and months will bring many anticipated and unanticipated challenges. After seeing what we’ve done over the course of just a few weeks, I feel that by working together and supporting each other we are prepared and capable of facing these challenges.

David Tannenbaum
Interim Chair
Department of Family and Community Medicine
Email: david.tannenbaum@utoronto.ca