May 18, 2022

News Release: Saskatchewan’s physicians mark Family Doctor Day, May 19, with call for support

Family Doctor Day on Thursday, May 19, is an opportunity to recognize the work of Saskatchewan’s family physicians. Family physicians work in clinics, hospitals, long-term care homes, and other settings providing primary care to their patients.

“Family physicians want to spend their days with patients,” said Dr. Myles Deutscher, president of the Saskatchewan College of Family Physicians. “Ask your family physician why they chose this career, and they will tell you about the diversity of practice and about how important the relationships with their patients are. The important part of my day is seeing my patients and hearing their stories.”

Having access to a family physician is shown to improve health outcomes for patients, said Dr. Deutscher, adding it is also important to recognize that not everyone in Saskatchewan has a family physician.

A recent Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) survey of physicians found that two years working during the pandemic has affected family physicians. Respondents noted their mental health has worsened, their workload has increased, and they are less satisfied in their jobs.

“Family physicians are asking for more support in the form of health-care teams, including mental health providers,” said Dr. Deutscher, who practices in Saskatoon. “Mental health is an enormous concern and having the opportunity for me and my patients to access additional mental health team members would help us all.”

Family physicians would like to see primary care clinics integrated into “Patient’s Medical Neighbourhoods” where patients and their family physicians work with a team to provide health care, he added.

SMA president Dr. John Gjevre thanked the more than 900 family physicians who work in communities across Saskatchewan.

“I want to recognize my family physician colleagues for their dedication and hard work in their clinics, in their local hospitals, and in their practice settings,” said Dr. Gjevre, a Saskatoon respirologist. “Family physicians have been at the forefront dealing with the challenges that the pandemic has placed on the health care system.

“We have come this far by working together and the SMA will continue to support family physicians and their patients in advocating for better primary care.”

Ask your family physician why they chose this career, and they will tell you about the diversity of practice and about how important the relationships with their patients are. The important part of my day is seeing my patients and hearing their stories.

Dr. Myles Deutscher, SCFP president

Family physicians have been at the forefront dealing with the challenges that the pandemic has placed on the health care system.

Dr. John Gjevre, SMA president

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