Chair's End of Year Message (Dec. 2021)
This is not how any of us were hoping or planning to approach the holiday season and end the year. And this is not the end of year message I was hoping to send. But, as Omicron puts us all on high alert and we all hear the calls to support the vaccination of millions of Ontarians over the next few weeks, while continuing to support our patients for their urgent needs and our learners as well, it is an important one.
Throughout the pandemic, you – family doctors, residents, students, primary care providers, researchers, educators, advocates, leaders and support staff – have achieved incredible things. You have cared for your patients, your colleagues, your communities and your families under extreme levels of stress and pressure. You have forged ahead with teaching and research to ensure that care and scholarship remain excellent now and in the future. You have told the stories of the patients and communities least protected and least supported in the pandemic, pairing your clinical and academic expertise with a passion to build a better world. I cannot thank you enough for the ways in which you make our department and our discipline proud, and I know your colleagues, learners and patients would say the same.
The unfortunate reality is that this year’s holiday season will not be quite the kind of break we had all hoped for.
We have been reminded over the last few days by system leaders and our provincial college that it is critical for the system that we maintain essential care in our clinics, it is important that we support the vaccination effort as best we can, it is important that we commit to our own personal wellness. For many, this will feel like an impossible juggling act. Luckily none of us has to do it alone. We have each other, a broad community of mutually supportive colleagues who have looked out for one another over the last 20 months and will continue to do so.
Here at DFCM we are working with our site Chiefs, our program directors and university leaders, our colleagues at the Ontario College of Family Physicians, and provincial system leaders to support the critical work ahead.
In the meantime, as we all work to juggle and balance as best we can, please check in with each other, and consider offering and accepting support where possible. Allow yourself to take time with your loved ones, even if it less than planned. And if you have suggestions for how DFCM can support the vaccination and broader pandemic response, or better support you, please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With gratitude for all you do and very sincere wishes for a better 2022,
Danielle Martin, DFCM Chair