With the days getting shorter and the nights longer, the holiday season is almost upon us. During the holidays, I like to take stock of what matters, appreciate what I have and recharge for the New Year. Although health care never stops, this is an important time of year to remember why we have chosen to dedicate ourselves to medicine and helping others. No matter what field of medicine you practice, we are all here to help people. From the new hospitalist just out of residency training to the general surgeon with thousands of hours’ experience – this dedication to the people we serve unites us.
This year I am taking a moment to appreciate my family, friends and colleagues. I appreciate that I get to work with such a dedicated, compassionate team of medical staff and leaders. Yes, there are challenges in health care. In such a complex system with unending pressures, the challenges can seem daunting. Knowing that we share a passion for care and the fact that together, we are stronger than we are as individuals helps me when the challenges mount.
I also look with gratitude to the great work that Medical and Academic Affairs have accomplished in 2019. To support workforce needs we have recruited 134 new medical staff including 37 primary care providers, 62 specialists including four anesthesiologists and eight psychiatrists. To enhance medical staff involvement in decision-making and quality improvements we have recruited 35 new medical leaders and have the fourth and largest cohort of medical staff involved in the Specialist Services Committee (SSC) Physician Quality Improvement, leading projects in Victoria’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to Campbell River’s family practice. To further support medical leaders in their roles we have developed new onboarding processes and have delivered medical leadership workshops to over 400 participants. We have also seen improvement in medical staff communications with the most-visited medical staff website in the province and the recent development of a monthly medical staff newsletter. Our Enhanced Medical Staff Support team is established and providing a valuable resource to leaders for concerns around professionalism.
As we look forward to 2020, I know that we will continue to do our part to improve the experience, quality and outcomes for patients, improve the experience health and well-being of our medical staff, ensure the sustainability of our services and improve the health of the communities we serve.
On behalf of Medical and Academic Affairs, I would like to extend my heartfelt wishes for a happy, healthy and safe holiday season!
Dr. Jeremy Etherington
Chief Medical Officer, VP Medicine, Quality, Academic Affairs