Nov 7, 2022

Chair's Message: Our time is now (Fall 2022)

Chair's Message
Cover of 2022 DFCM strategic plan report (landscape)
The quality of your listening determines the quality of their speaking.”

Dear Colleagues,

I am honoured and excited to share with you our department’s new five-year strategic plan, which was launched at a town hall on Nov. 3, 2022. (You can view the recording here if you were not able to attend the event.) We started this process many months ago and it is thrilling to see the plan, shaped through broad and deep engagement across our entire community, in its final form—articulating our values, needs, priorities and aspirations. Over 500 people participated—a deep and meaningful exercise in both speaking and listening.

Our time is now. The leadership of family medicine is required now more than ever. Millions of Canadians are without a family doctor or primary care team. Access to specialty care has been profoundly compromised. Too many health care workers—exhausted and demoralized by the pandemic and unrelenting strains on the system—are leaving or planning to leave their profession. Our learners feel the uncertainty of their own futures in their chosen profession. And our patients, their families and communities, need care like never before.

As the largest department of family and community medicine in the world, DFCM has a duty to take on some of the biggest challenges facing the health care system. We must lead by foregrounding the value of primary health care and prioritizing social accountability and health equity. The plan—structured around the themes of community, relationships and leadership—will guide us in this mandate over the next five years.

DFCM’s 2022–2027 Strategic Plan upholds our tradition of excellence in family and community medicine education, research and high-quality clinical care. It embeds the needs of patients, families and structurally marginalized communities in the future of our department and invites local, national and global partners to engage with us. It builds on our strengths and invites us to engage in newschool thinking, bringing our creativity and energy to the challenges of health inequity, an aging population, climate change, global health system threats and more. Please take some time to read the strategic plan in full , share it with your networks, and consider how you might want to contribute to its implementation.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the planning process. Your passion, creativity and expertise underpin this plan; a collective effort will be needed to carry it out. We are ready to champion newschool ideas and approaches for the well-being of our communities and the training of future practitioners. I hope this sense of shared purpose invigorates you and re-ignites in us all our love for family and community medicine.

Finally, you may have noticed our newsletter has a new look. To celebrate the launch of the new strategic plan, we have refreshed the design and streamlined the content to optimize the reading experience. We hope you like it—let us know your thoughts!

Warmest wishes,