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A country doctor in the city: Family Physician of the Year Dr. Jennifer Kuzmicz

Dr. Jennifer Kuzmicz, Saskatchewan’s 2017 Family Physician of the Year, likens herself to a country doctor, even though she practises in the province’s second-largest city.

Regina, she says, is a “big small town,” and despite its size, Dr. Kuzmicz models her practice as if she worked in a small town. A town such as Candiac, which is close to the farm she grew up on in southeast Saskatchewan.

“I’m still providing all around comprehensive care, even in the city setting,” Dr. Kuzmicz told the SMA. “You don’t see a lot of urban practitioners still doing hospital work and obstetrics and going to nursing homes and doing home visits and community care, as well as teaching.

“It’s the kind of care that I think people deserve in the city but they don’t get. We’ve got the capacity to provide a high level of care in the city…. The type of care modelled by rural physicians is what I try to bring to an urban practice.”

Dr. Kuzmicz received the award from the Saskatchewan College of Family Physicians at an awards banquet on Sept. 22 in Regina. In addition to looking after about 750 patients and making the rounds at facilities across the city, she has been the family medicine residency training coordinator since 2013. She received her fellowship in family medicine from the CCFP in 2014.

“There are lots of other people in the province who could get this,” she said of the award. “It was a bit of a surprise.

“I’m definitely honoured to be in the same company as (former recipients) like Dr. Sally Mahood and Dr. Tom Smith-Windsor. I know Dr. Antoinette Le Roux, who won it last year. It’s pretty special to be recognized with the same honour that people that I admire have received. It’s nice to know that someone thinks I’m that kind of physician.”

Born in Winnipeg, she was raised near Candiac. She attended school in Montmartre, received a BA in political science in 1993 from St. Francis Xavier University and her medical degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1999. She did her family medicine residency in Regina and earned her Canadian Certification in Family Medicine in 2001.

Once a student of the residency program, now as coordinator she gets to work with people who are starting their careers. They’re eager, well-read, and up on the latest in their field of medicine. But she can still teach them a thing or two.

“What I tell residents is to remember these are people, they’re not just patients, and that they don’t necessarily have a lot of experience or knowledge about the health system and they’re depending on you.”

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