A publication of the Saskatchewan Medical Association Volume 57 | Issue 2
SMA PRESIDENT DELIVERS
WOMEN’S HEALTH ISSUES MOTIVATE DR. JOANNE SIVERTSON
RECOVERING OUT LOUD Dr. Gore-Hickman’s story, in her own words
LIVING A LIFE in harmony
Connecting with his roots Winter 2017 | VOLUME 57 ISSUE 2 SMA Digest is the official member magazine of the Saskatchewan Medical Association. It is published twice per year and is distributed to nearly 90 per cent of practising physicians in Saskatchewan.
Staying whole for Dr. Jonathan Hunt involves a search for meaning and purpose, close personal relationships and a relationship with something bigger and wiser than ourselves – something he achieves by connecting with his Indigenous family and cultural practices. But this wasn’t always the case. For most of his life, he lived far away from his maternal Metis family and has only recently reconnected.
Maria Ryhorski (SMA staff )
Girard Hengen (SMA staff ) Ivan Muzychka (SMA staff ) Dr. Jim Cross (physician rep) Dr. Werner Oberholzer (physician rep) Dr. Susan Shaw (physician rep)
The next issue of SMA Digest will be distributed in spring 2018.
The deadline for booking and submitting advertising for the next issue is Monday, February 23, 2018. Rates for display advertising are available upon request. Classified ad placement is free for members promoting physician, locum and practice opportunities; ads should be submitted via email and must not exceed 150 words.
Member feedback is valuable and encouraged. Please direct comments, letters, ideas and advertising inquiries to: Maria Ryhorski Communications Advisor Saskatchewan Medical Association 201-2174 Airport Drive Saskatoon, SK, S7L 6M6 (306) 244-2196 firstname.lastname@example.org
The SMA is a member-based organization that promotes the honour and integrity of the profession. We: • Provide a common voice for physicians • Support the educational, professional, economic and personal well-being of physicians • Advocate for a high-quality, patientcentred health-care system
Recovering out loud Dr. Wendy Gore-Hickman had a wonderful life. On the outside, she looked like the perfect example of a woman effortlessly combining the roles of wife/mother and medical professional. On the inside, she was falling apart. Sixteen years ago she made the decision to recover out loud, in the hope her story could help others. This is her story, in her own words.
2 4 7 12 15 18 22 25 28 33
YOUR SMA Presidentâ€™s message It all started with a frog
STAYING WHOLE How do you stay whole? Recovering out loud Distress and what you can do Into the North Connecting with his roots Physician first, businessperson second Living a life in harmony Bicycling north
36 CLASSIFIEDS & ANNOUNCEMENTS 40 IN MEMORIAM
It all started with a frog Dr. Joanne Sivertson can thank a lowly frog for helping her make the leap into medicine. In Grade 11 biology class at Rosthern Junior College she was tasked with dissecting a frog. That moment set Dr. Sivertson on her path in life, one that has led her to ascend to the top of her profession as president of the Saskatchewan Medical Association.
PRESIDENT’S MES It is my pleasure to introduce the winter edition of the SMA Digest. I believe that the theme of this edition, “Staying Whole,” is both timely and imperative to the members of our profession. We know that nearly two-thirds of our physicians in Saskatchewan are feeling burnt out or at risk of burning out. We know that utilization of the SMA’s Physician Health Program increases every year. We know that our students and residents are the fastest-growing demographic of at-risk physicians reaching out to the SMA for help. We are coming up to the holiday season, which means different things to different people. For some it is a welcome opportunity to reconnect with family, reflect on priorities, and possibly embrace new challenges or resolutions. For some, it may be a stressful time full of additional responsibilities and ever mounting time constraints. Some of you may get this time of year off, benefiting from the work of colleagues who are providing coverage. And yet there will be those of us who experience overwhelming feelings of loneliness, isolation or emptiness. While these
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emotions are not unique to physicians, the additional demands we face in our work can cause stressors to amplify. Overhead is rising, patient complexity is increasing, expectations are changing and knowledge is exploding at such a pace that it is nearly impossible to keep up. How do we stay whole in a world where the needs of others may slowly pick us to pieces? The answers will not be the same for all of us, but through this issue you will see themes emerge. We interviewed doctors from across the province about their approaches to leisure time and staying sane. You will see that they find it therapeutic to return to nature, nurture their creative sides, harness exercise and foster both medical and non-medical relationships. As most of you know, our work can consume us if we are not careful. It is critical to be intentional in developing our own safeguards and coping mechanisms. Unfortunately, it can be all too easy to turn to crutches, and those less-healthy release valves can spiral into addiction. Please read one
SSAGE brave physicianâ€™s description of her struggles with alcohol dependence. Physicians are at very high risk of addiction, and very unlikely to seek the necessary help. We are highly skilled at keeping our disease hidden until it is too late. Physician suicide rates are staggering. We need to tear down the walls within our own community to discuss this openly and remove the stigma. I trust the informative articles within these pages illustrate how physicians have overcome a variety of struggles in order to rediscover the joy in their work. Ours remains a noble and humbling profession. The demands are great, but there are many times that the rewards are equally great. Only we can keep ourselves whole, and it is our collective responsibility to assist one another to that end. The SMA is here to help.
HOW DO WE STAY WHOLE IN A WORLD WHERE THE NEEDS OF OTHERS MAY SLOWLY PICK US TO PIECES?
DR. JOANNE SIVERTSON SMA President email@example.com
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IT ALL STARTED WITH A FROG from high school biology class to SMA presidency with Dr. Joanne Sivertson By Girard Hengen
Dr. Joanne Sivertson can thank a lowly frog for helping her make the leap into medicine. The setting was a Grade 11 biology class at Rosthern Junior College. The task at hand was dissecting that frog. That moment set Dr. Sivertson on her path in life, one that has led her to ascend to the top of her profession as president of the Saskatchewan Medical Association.
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But first she had to deal with that frog. “I was going to be a teacher my whole life; that was always my plan,” Dr. Sivertson told the SMA. “When I was in Grade 11 we were dissecting frogs in biology and my biology teacher said, ‘Oh you’re pretty good at that. I’d let you operate on me.’ I went, ‘Hmm, medicine. I wonder . . . ’ ” She had not considered a future in medicine. Some school subjects came easier to her, but the biological sciences were tough. “I thought if I was going to challenge myself in my career I should do something that was on the more difficult side for me, which were the biological sciences,” Dr. Sivertson said. Born and raised on a farm eight kilometres off Highway 11 near Hanley, she went to Rosthern for grades 11 and 12. After that fateful incident with the frog, she next charted a course into medicine. She attended the University of Regina for three years before being accepted into the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in 2000. People who knew her were a bit sceptical, she says. “Ironically, my gross motor skills are horrific and when people heard that I was going into medicine they were like, ‘You’re going to be a doctor?’ And I said, ‘It’s not like I’m going to be a surgeon.’ But my fine motor skills are good, as it turns out, and that’s what you need for surgery.” She planned to be a psychiatrist; however, between her first and second years of medical school, she did some shadowing work with Dr. Rizqi Ibrahim, a family doctor in Swift Current. “He did some deliveries, and I got to spend some time with him, and I got to spend some time with the O and G group there. I just found that women would come in really frightened and afraid of what might be going on because there’s a lot of misinformation when it comes to gynecological problems. Simply explaining the situation and talking to them about what was going on, they would leave much more comforted than they came in just with simple conversation and education. That was really rewarding for me.” Between her second and third years of medical school, she worked a month with a psychiatrist in Regina and a month on the obstetrics floor in Regina. “It really solidified for me that I was more interested in women’s health than psychiatry,” she said.
Dr. Sivertson’s plan was to work in Regina, but fate or a sequence of events intervened. Dr. Eric Clark of Prince Albert insisted they meet and discuss a contract that would bring Dr. Sivertson to Saskatchewan’s North. The contract was appealing to her because it provided some certainty on salary, and because it offered more OR time than she would get in Regina or Saskatoon. She signed and started in Prince Albert in 2009. In no time her practice filled, and she hasn’t looked back. She is O and G director for the enhanced surgical skills program, teaching family doctors how to perform surgeries such as caesarean sections. And she cares for many pregnant women living with HIV and, in the past, has travelled to First Nations and northern communities for outreach services. “We have fascinating medicine in Prince Albert. We get so many cases from the North and we don’t have subspecialties like they do in Saskatoon and Regina, so we are a little freer to do any and all procedures. But we’re still close enough to Saskatoon to access the supports that we need for really complex stuff.”
I THINK THAT THE MORE THAT WE TRAIN PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF A TERTIARY CENTRE, THE MORE CONFIDENCE THEY WILL HAVE TO GO WORK OUTSIDE A TERTIARY CENTRE. AND THAT’S THE ONLY WAY TO ULTIMATELY SUSTAIN OUR SYSTEM AS IT STANDS RIGHT NOW – TO GET PEOPLE OUT TO RURAL SITES.
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RETURNING BIRTH TO THE COMMUNITY IS ABOUT GETTING PEOPLE OUT INTO SMALLER COMMUNITIES THAT FEEL COMFORTABLE MANAGING LABOURS... IT PROVIDES SAFER CARE, BETTER CARE, TO KEEP WOMEN AT HOME.
A mere eight years after beginning her practice, Dr. Sivertson has found herself at the helm of the Saskatchewan Medical Association, leading the province’s 2,400 practising physicians as the health system in the province undergoes unprecedented change. Her ties to the SMA date to her days as a student representative, when she was first exposed to issues affecting the profession.
The other initiative is returning birth to Indigenous communities, which is endorsed by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.
The SMA has many issues on its plate at the moment, but Dr. Sivertson says she is passionate about moving a couple of initiatives forward during her term. One is promoting a more distributed training model, something she speaks about from personal experience training in Saskatoon but working in a regional setting.
“They’re pregnant and their families are at home, their other kids are at home and they’re waiting sometimes for a month or more to have their baby. If they come down two or three weeks before their due date and they end up going late, they’re here for a long time. They’re lonely.”
“Training in a tertiary centre, I was really nervous to leave all those supports,” she said. “There’s no NICU just down the hall; there’s no in-house anaesthesiologist. It’s different. You’re less surrounded by supports when you go out to a peripheral centre, and even more so when you go out rural.” The way to change that – and to give young physicians the courage to practise in rural Saskatchewan – is to train them in rural Saskatchewan, she said. “If I could promote something through the course of my presidency it would be distributed medical education. I think that the more that we train people outside of a tertiary centre, the more confidence they will have to go work outside a tertiary centre. And that’s the only way to ultimately sustain our system as it stands right now – to get people out to rural sites.”
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“Right now so many of our patients from the North, they come down, they wait in Prince Albert and they’re often waiting alone,” said Dr. Sivertson.
Pregnancy and birth are times when women should be surrounded by family in their home communities. Some women up and leave, giving birth at a remote health centre where they have no history with the physicians. The enhanced surgical skills program based in Prince Albert has trained family physicians to help bring about the change Dr. Sivertson seeks. “Returning birth to the community is about getting people out into smaller communities that feel comfortable managing labours so that low-risk pregnancies that are safe to deliver closer to home can be delivered closer to home,” she said. “It provides safer care, better care, to keep women at home. It’s been shown the closer women are to their homes, the better women are with the outcomes of their deliveries.” ◆
HOW DO YOU STAY WHOLE? More and more physicians are realizing they have to look after themselves as well as their patients. Because physicians’ work can be all-consuming – both physically and emotionally – they need a release valve. What do physicians like to do on their down time? What makes them tick away from the job? We posed these questions to a handful of Saskatchewan physicians. Here are their responses.
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DR. JESS MELLE Family and emergency medicine physician, Rosthern
THERE IS NOTHING QUITE AS CALMING AND SERENE AS THE SUN ON YOUR FACE AND THE COOL STREAM AT YOUR FEET.
What do you like to do with your leisure time? Leisure activities that I enjoy are the Medical Curling League, playing in a band with my colleagues to raise money for our new hospital and fly fishing. Of these, my favourite is fly fishing. I spent many summers in Montana learning the art of fly fishing from my grandfather. I still love to travel back to Big Sky Country as often as I can. Why do you do this? There is nothing quite as calming and serene as the sun on your face and the cool stream at your feet (or up to your waist), with a beautiful view of the mountains as a backdrop. I find challenge and reward in the art of tying the fly, reading the water and landing the fish. If they aren’t biting “a bad day on the stream beats the best day at work,” as my granddad always said. It’s a great place to clear your head, relax and enjoy nature, including birds, deer, rabbits and the occasional close call with a moose, bear, or even rattlesnake. Why do you think it is important for physicians to have outside pursuits? I think it’s important to keep up with pastimes such as these to stay grounded in our roots and family traditions, and to have an escape and mental break from the high stress at work. In the end, a tasty rainbow trout and some much-needed relaxation is often my reward.
DR. EDWARD KRICKAN Family physician/GP surgeon, Estevan I grew up in B.C., went to medical school in Ireland and did residency training in Prince Albert. What do you like to do with your leisure time? Hiking, mountain biking and kayaking. Why do you do this? I like to get outside and experience the relative quiet in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of the hospital or clinic. It helps to centre me and to unwind after demanding days at work. Getting on my bike, or getting out in the boat at the end of the day, puts a barrier between myself and my work and forces me to focus on the here and now. Why do you think it is important for physicians to have outside pursuits? I think that there needs to be something to look forward to when you’re busy and starting to get burned out. I think it’s important for physicians to be able to set a distance from their work and their patients sometimes.
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Dr. Mary Kinloch (second from left)
new-to-practice female physician social group that meets about every three months. Why do you do this? Ultimate Frisbee is how I keep in touch with my friends outside of medicine. We have been playing together for 15 years and our relationship has evolved from playing four nights a week and going out after games to becoming professionals busy with our careers and children. The games one day a week is time we have set aside to make sure we reconnect, and by doing something physical it multi-purposes the precious leisure time. We bring our kids on the sidelines for games too!
DR. MARY KINLOCH Anatomic pathologist, Saskatoon City Hospital, Saskatoon Health Region I live 400 metres from the hospital because I hate commuting and I like the access to the parks and the Meewasin Trail. I am a mother of a five-year-old daughter and an 18-month-old son. What do you like to do with your leisure time? Leisure time is a relative luxury for anyone with a young family but we walk to Kinsmen Park after dinner. I am a long-time member of the ultimate Frisbee community (since 2001) and play competitively with my husband on a league team (that’s how we met). I lawn bowl with a group of female physicians in the summertime. It’s relatively new to us – about two to three years. I am also a member of a
Our lawn bowling group is fairly relaxed. It is a great way to be outside, but not have to commit to something too physically demanding after a long work day. Transitioning into practice can be very daunting. Our female physician group represents many different specialties and provides support for newly practising physicians. Why do you think it is important for physicians to have outside pursuits? My life, probably like most physicians, is consumed by work and family. It’s good to remind yourself there are more dimensions to your life. I love making time for my medical friends outside of the hospital. We provide each other with encouragement and oftentimes our discussions lead to good solutions in our professional practice.
PALAK SURYAVANSHI Third-year medical student, Regina What do you like to do with your leisure time? As a medical student I do not get a lot of leisure time. When I do have time, I steal every opportunity to utilize it. I love doing so many activities outside of school that I often run out of time. I love exploring new cafes or coffee shops. In summer, I enjoy garage sales and exploring furniture shops. And, if you ask my friends, they will tell you it is almost impossible to get me off the dance floor once I start dancing. Meeting new people is another aspect that I enjoy in life. Why do you do this? As for my favourite activity, I think dancing takes the cup home. I have had training in several kinds of dances in the past, such as Bollywood, classical Indian, hip-hop, jazz and contemporary. Out of all, Bollywood style remains close to my heart because my father, who is the best dancer I know (because I am not biased at all), taught me how to lose myself in the music. I have performed at Folkfest in Saskatoon and countless events over the years. I enjoy every bit of it!
Why do you think it is important for physicians to have outside pursuits? Work is one of the biggest parts of our lives, but work is not everything that makes us who we are. Outside pursuits keeps us sane and empathetic. Health-care professionals are (at) high risk for burnout and having outside pursuits prevents that. It keeps us healthy, mentally and physically.
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DR. JULIE VEMEER First-year resident, OB/GYN, Regina I grew up in a small town in Nova Scotia on a dairy farm. I studied agriculture in Nova Scotia and then medicine at the University of Ottawa. I am now pursuing my dream of becoming an OB/ GYN as a first-year resident at the University of Saskatchewan in Regina. What do you like to do with your leisure time? One of my favourite leisure time activities is being outside. This could be hiking, biking, exploring Regina and the surrounding communities, or just finding a couple of nice trees to string up my hammock. It is very rejuvenating and gives me a chance to reflect on both my personal and professional life. My friends and family are also very important to me. I make a point of keeping in touch with friends from Nova Scotia and Ottawa on a regular basis and am building more friendships in Regina. I also really enjoy cooking and baking. I try to cook good meals throughout the week and not get too carried away with the baking. Why do you think it is important for physicians to have outside pursuits? I think it is really important to be happy with your life wherever you are. For me, taking the time to press the reset button by connecting with nature, cooking a good meal or chatting with a friend helps give me the perspective and strength for the journey that will be my residency and career as an OB/ GYN. Iâ€™m just at the starting line and I know that I have to look after myself now and build good practices and habits to succeed in residency and, ultimately, in my career. Taking this time for myself helps keep it all in perspective and a smile on my face. This ultimately reflects positively on patient care, lifelong learning and my happiness!
DR. MYLES DEUTSCHER Family Physician - Saskatoon I am 42 years of age, married with three children ages 10, 8 and 6. My former occupation was chemical engineer with Shell Canada. What do you like to do with your leisure time? I attend the gym three times per week to attempt to stay fit and sane. I run half marathons (24 to date). I curl during the wintertime. I help manage the medical curling league on Sunday evenings at the CN Curling Club. (If anyone wants to enter a team, we are currently looking for more teams.) I also spend some time with a group of physicians from Rosthern in a band raising funds for the Rosthern Hospital Foundation. The band name is Insufficient Funds and I am the drummer. During the summer, I like to spend my leisure time at the family cabin and we like to organize a backcountry backpacking trip in the Rocky Mountains. Why do you think it is important for physicians to have outside pursuits? I think it is important to maintain interests outside of medicine in order to stay well-rounded. Other activities can give you a release from the daily grind and stressors in our chosen career â€“ be an emotional sanctuary. I have also found strength in socializing with other physicians outside of the office. This gives us the opportunity to swap stories (nameless and within confidentiality confines, of course), which can help with the release of emotional burdens and allow us to ask for advice.
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DR. ROBBIE NEWTON DRUMMOND Emergency room physician, Saskatoon I was born in Montreal. I went to McGill Medical School in the ’80s. Over the years I have published two books of poetry (not a way to become independently wealthy, it turns out; neither is painting). I live in a loft in Saskatoon with my wife, two teenagers and three cats. I am trying to learn how to play guitar and write songs. What do you like to do with your leisure time? My main passion and endeavour now is to establish myself as a visual artist. I work in both acrylic and oil on canvas. I have a studio on Avenue E. I opened LUX Gallery in the old McHague funeral home on Third Avenue in downtown Saskatoon, where we showcase my wife’s line of unique jewelry and my paintings. I am interested in the power of symbols and sacred geometry. I paint water in all its permutations. I paint birds and all the creatures of nature. I have a series of cat paintings. I am currently
working on a series called “Nine Dragons” based on an ancient Chinese scroll dedicated to the Tao. Why do you do this? I paint because I have to. I have an understanding and a vision that needs to be expressed. I have a gift. I want to deepen my abilities to create works of beauty and truth. I just wish I had more technical skill. Why do you think it is important for physicians to have outside pursuits? The practice of medicine is honourable and of great value. It is often exhausting. I love what I do in the mayhem of the ER. To sit at my easel alone in the quiet and enter the mysterious world of the painting I am working on – that is my antidote to the stress I face daily. Medicine is very much of the left brain. Painting is very much of the right brain. I have met many new friends that have nothing to do with the world of the stethoscope and PET scanner. I like to think of myself as a painter who practises medicine on the side.
Why do you do this? I decided at age 50 that I had to do something about being fat and unfit. That led to triathlon since I was confident in the water, having learned to swim in Last Mountain Lake, and used a bicycle as my main transport in my 20s. I figured it was possible to learn to run. I thought I could use the technical knowledge from my specialty to maximize gains. I knew that if I did not fix my lifestyle, the consequences would start to progressively accumulate. With each longer event, the surprise that I could actually do it was an increasing pleasure: i.e. my first Half Iron in July (2.5K swim, 90K bike, 21.1K run). And I qualified for the age group Canadian team for long-distance triathlon.
DR. MILO FINK Head, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Medicine, Regina I am 64 and live with my wife, Liz Gibbings, an internist, and our youngest son, age 16. Our two older children live in Montreal and Vancouver. What do you like to do with your leisure time? Triathlon.
Most weeks I train between seven and 12 hours, in early mornings and weekends. I think I feel more energetic, happier and my brain probably works better than when I was unfit. Why do you think it is important for physicians to have outside pursuits? As a physician, I tell people that exercise is of major importance in their health. I need to follow my own prescription. The social connections with my training group of non-physicians, ages from preteen to their 50s, is refreshing and supportive.
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OUT LOUD By Dr. Wendy Gore-Hickman
To anyone looking at me from the outside, they would have thought that my life was pretty much perfect. Dream career, wonderful family and friends, travel, hobbies, fitness: I was the perfect example of combining the roles of wife/ mother and medical professional. I always had a smile on my face. If you asked me how I was, I would tell you that everything was wonderful. On the inside, I was dying.
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It wasn’t as if I was in complete denial that I had become addicted to alcohol. I had known as a teenager that I didn’t drink alcohol like other people. Over the years, I saw, and understood, that my drinking was becoming more serious. The problem was that, as I had been able to accomplish everything else in my life that I had attempted, I was certain that I could keep my drinking under control by myself. In my twenties and thirties, I was able to stop drinking when I wanted to – during university, my pregnancies and whenever I decided that I just needed a break from it. However, alcoholism is a progressive disease and, as time progressed, I found that I could no longer quit when I wanted to. For years, I had convinced myself that as long as I didn’t cross the lines that I had drawn for myself in the sand, that my drinking, despite being excessive, was not a problem. As long as I didn’t drink and drive, drink and work, as long as my kids didn’t see me impaired, my physical health wasn’t affected, it really wasn’t anybody else’s business how much I drank, I rationalized. But as addicts are known to do, one by one I started crossing the lines that I had drawn. This is one of the insanities of this illness. My life was becoming unmanageable. I tried to stop. How I tried! I read every self-help book on the shelves. I tried switching what I drank, when I drank, counting drinks and a dozen other tactics. I tried and I failed, and I tried and I failed. The more I failed, the more depressed I became. I convinced my physician to put me on antidepressants, but never once told her about my drinking, nor asked her for help with it. The shame and the stigma associated with addictions are some of the things that prevented me from asking for help. Being a physician, I thought that I should be intelligent enough to beat this demon on my own, which made the guilt and the shame even more overwhelming. I felt so alone, and completely hopeless. I resigned myself to the idea that this was my lot in life, and that no human power could help me. Many physicians work in isolation. My colleagues were unaware of my struggle. My close friends and family assumed that I was capable of getting my drinking under control – after all, I was the doctor. I prayed for help. Occasionally, someone would reach out to me. I insisted that I was fine. Then I prayed for help again. More insanity. The Saskatchewan Medical Association’s Physician Health Program literally saved my life. They had reached out to me a couple times over the years. Each time I reluctantly met
with them and politely reassured them that I was in control of my drinking. Then I went back to praying for help. The third time that they reached out to me was different. I reluctantly agreed to meet with two physicians working with the program and planned on brushing them off again. They were empathetic, understanding and passionate about living a life in long-term recovery from substance misuse disorders. I did not feel threatened, judged or shamed. I saw light at the end of the tunnel. For the first time in many years, I had hope.
THE SHAME AND THE STIGMA ASSOCIATED WITH ADDICTIONS ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT PREVENTED ME FROM ASKING FOR HELP. BEING A PHYSICIAN, I THOUGHT THAT I SHOULD BE INTELLIGENT ENOUGH TO BEAT THIS DEMON ON MY OWN, WHICH MADE THE GUILT AND THE SHAME EVEN MORE OVERWHELMING.
The program directed me through treatment, ongoing counselling and offered family support. They developed a contract with me, which was invaluable in reassuring my colleagues, hospitals and the College of Physicians and Surgeons that I was indeed healthy and could safely continue my practice. I felt respected, protected and empowered. Did the stress of juggling medicine and a busy family cause or contribute to my addiction? I cannot answer that. I loved my profession, and also loved being a wife and mother. I always maintained a healthy diet, had hobbies and exercised daily. The desire to do it all, and to do it all perfectly, apparently took its toll. Sixteen years ago, prior to going into in-patient treatment, I made a decision to recover out loud. I told my anesthesia, surgical and nursing colleagues that I was an alcoholic, and that I was going to get help. Although, at the time, this was somewhat selfishly motivated – an attempt to sideline any gossip and misinformation – it turned out to be a blessing in my life. Because people
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knew that I was in long-term recovery, they knew that they could reach out to me for help for themselves, their family or their friends. I have spent much of the past 16 years helping individuals and families find the resources that they need to navigate a pathway into recovery. I tell my story every chance that I get. The world needs to know that recovery exists, that treatment works and that we are worth investing in. By sharing my experience, strength and hope with others, I can help to decrease the shame and the stigma surrounding addictions and encourage those still struggling to have hope. ◆
MOUNT ROYAL FAMILY PHYSICIANS
Traditionally, physicians in need of care feel guilty about accepting care and shame for needing it. Many physicians struggle with undiagnosed, untreated or self-treated mental health issues. Many others struggle with relationship and family issues and substance abuse and addiction.
Let’s start the conversation. Contact the Physician Health Program. Brenda Senger
Director, Physician Support Programs
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Excellent opportunity in this well established fivedoctor clinic that has been operating for more than 30 years. Mount Royal Family Physicians provides medical services to a wide range of patients from newborn to the elderly. The successful candidate will join the present team of doctors and have the scope to expand by accepting new patients. The scope of services offered includes CDM, tending to nursing homes in the Saskatoon area and prenatal care but not deliveries. Diabetic education clinics are offered to patients on a monthly basis by a diabetic nurse. Our premises are modern and fully computerized with EMR (Accuro). There is a pharmacy in the same building and ample free parking for patients. After-hours telephonic on-call is shared between physicians on a rotation basis. Clinic hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Walk-in clinic is offered to existing Mount Royal Family Physicians patients. •
attractive financial practice
we offer a competitive split (70:30)
can start work immediately
Please contact Dr. Kurt Roelens to arrange an interview: P. 1(306) 382‐5854/563-7696 E. firstname.lastname@example.org
DISTRESS & what you can do
By Shannon Boklaschuk There are common symptoms people may experience when they are distressed, such as issues with short-term memory, says Brenda Senger, director of the SMA’s Physician Support Programs. “That’s one of the foundational signs of distress, is impaired short-term memory,” she said. “Think about a really, really busy day that you have. How often do you forget things? That’s a distress symptom. That tells us that our stress level’s too high.” Other symptoms that may indicate people are struggling include body pain, difficulty with concentration, headaches, difficulty sleeping, irritability, feeling numb, periods of melancholy, difficulty catching one’s breath, panic attacks, ruminating, intrusive thoughts and feeling a need to withdraw and isolate oneself. “Burnout is about apathy; stress is about over-involvement,” Senger said. One of the issues for people who live with distress for long periods of time is that it becomes the “new normal” for them and they may no longer know that they are stressed, said Senger. She uses the analogy of a bucket of water that is filled to the top. “That’s our stress sensitivity – the bucket’s full. And then what happens when you add another drop? It overflows. That’s when, all of a sudden, someone loses their temper at work or someone starts to cry – or all those sorts of things, because there’s no room for choice and manoeuvring anymore because you’re full,” she said.
“The only way those symptoms go down is by managing stress more effectively. You have to bring the stress level down. That’s the only thing that changes that.” Physicians need to learn stress management skills and figure out what works best for them, said Senger. Techniques will vary from individual to individual. “Physicians are very smart people so, when they have a problem, they want a handout that they can read. They want to do the quiz at the end, get an A and then they’re all done, because they all think they can outsmart emotional and psychological issues,” said Senger.
FIND SOMEONE WHO CREATES A SAFE SPACE FOR YOU TO FIGURE THINGS OUT, NOT SOMEONE WHO HAS THE ANSWERS FOR YOUR LIFE - SOMEONE WHO WILL SIMPLY SIT QUIETLY AND KEEP YOU SAFE WHILE YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR LIFE.
“This is not a cognitive issue; this isn’t something where you just read a book and you’re all better. It’s actually an experiential thing they have to do. So you have to learn stress management skills, to figure out what works for you – and realize everyone’s different. That’s why it’s helpful to actually sit down with someone who can navigate that with you.”
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When it comes to managing stress, Senger thinks about four components of an individual’s life: biological, psychological, social and spiritual. Biological factors include eating and sleeping well, exercising and addressing medical needs. Psychological factors are also important to well-being, said Senger. “Are you well? Have you dealt with your stuff? Do you have good skills for communicating with people and asking for what you want and setting limits and boundaries and asserting yourself and managing conflict? And what’s your self-regard like? Do you have an undiagnosed, untreated, mental health issue or an addiction? Do we need to fix some chemistry?” Senger also believes it’s important for an individual to have a social support system and a “safe space to get filled up.” She has an important question for physicians: “You spend all day taking care of people; who takes care of you?” In regards to the spiritual aspect of one’s life, Senger said that does not have to be religious in nature.
“How do I sit comfortably in the here and now and get a sense of serenity? Very rarely do physicians feel that way. Or, those that are uncomfortable emotionally keep busy enough so that they never have to feel anything. It’s not a one-size-fits-all thing; it’s about, ‘I need to examine all these components of my life and decide.’ ” Ultimately, what well-being looks like will vary from physician to physician; what is best for an extrovert, for example, may not be best for an introvert. Senger’s biggest recommendation is that people find a “trusted other.” “Find someone who creates a safe space for you to figure things out, not someone who has the answers for your life,” she said. “(Find) someone who will simply sit quietly and keep you safe while you make sense of your life.” ◆
Visit our website to use our free self-screening tools for stress, burnout, depression, PTSD, gambling and substance misuse disorders: www.sma.sk.ca/self-reflection-tools
YOUR FOUNDATION ASSESSMENT GRAPH In the following diagram, place an ‘X’ in the box that best describes your level of functioning for each of the life arenas described at the bottom of the diagram. Now shade each column up to and including the boxes in which you placed your ‘X’. You now have a graph of your life balance. Pay particular attention to your lowest levels of functioning. Unless you improve these areas, growth in the other areas of your life will be held back. I’m thriving! Let me teach you what I know. I’m doing great here. Being good at this is part of my identity. I’m fulfilled and pleased with my outcomes here. I’m doing fairly well most of the time. I’m doing fairly well about half the time. I'm maintaining, but this area needs work. I’m suffering and struggling to survive. Work
Source: Letting go of what’s holding you back, Wayne M. Sotile, PhD, and Mary O. Sotile, MA, 2007, pg 45-6
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for stepping up to lead
Doctors for a Healthy Society
Edited by Andrew Bresnahan, Mahli Brindamour, Christopher Charles and Ryan Meili Alleviating suffering and treating patients, whether in a physician’s office or an emergency room, can be a matter of prescribing medication or staunching a bleeding wound. But every clinical story has a social story, and patients who present with acute medical problems or a chronic disease often describe the everyday life conditions that made them sick in the first place. These stories are often about where they work, live and play, and about their income, food security and housing. Doctors are now listening. More than this, they are working with their patients and communities to address the root causes of illness at their sources. Upstream Medicine features interviews by medical students and residents with leading Canadian physicians whose practices bring evidence-based, upstream ideas to life. Their personal stories and patient encounters illuminate the social determinants of health – the conditions that lead to good health and long lives or to more complex, painful and expensive downstream medical problems later on. By transforming how we imagine the practice of medicine, this book will help us build a healthier society.
It takes a special kind of commitment to the profession and to health care in Saskatchewan to take on a leadership role at your medical association in addition to shouldering all the daily responsibilities of your practice, family and life outside work. On behalf of the Saskatchewan Medical Association and all the physicians we represent, thank you. The SMA could not achieve all that it aspires to without leadership from physicians like you. •
Dr. Rizqi Ibrahim
Chair of Primary Health Care Committee 1996-2017
Dr. Thirza Smith (in memoriam)
Chair of Intersectional Council and Economics Committee 2011-2017
Dr. Lise Morin
Board member 2011-2017
Dr. Janet Tootoosis
Board member 2013-2017
Dr. Chris Ekong
Board member 2013-2017
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INTO THE NOR 18
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There is nothing that really compares to being out on the water with a paddle in hand, following the historical paths of those indigenous to this land. With every dip of the paddle, you touch a small part of the history of this place.
- Dr. Sean Groves
Every year, beginning with the first group of residents to graduate from the La Ronge program in 2014, Dr. Sean Groves has led his team by canoe into the wilds of northern Saskatchewan. Routes have taken them through Missinipe, Otter Lake, McKay Lake, Stanley Mission and Nistowiak Falls following historic fur-trade routes of the Churchill River system. This annual expedition which, in addition to physicians and residents, often includes visiting medical students, clinic admin staff and often their spouses and children as well, stems from the desire to build connection as a team and introduce learners and their families to the northern lifestyle and to the myriad of reasons why people choose to stay. Photos and quotes were submitted by participants in the 2017 trip. SMA DIGEST | WINTER 2017
The canoe trip was a perfect way to get to know most of our docs and residents! The sights of Lac La Ronge, especially Nistowiak Falls, were amazing! It eased the pressure of transitioning into clinical work the week after, because you felt like you knew most of the physicians and several of the admin staff after meeting them on the trip! We had so much fun, and it was awesome for the doctors and residents to bond over the course of the trip! - Dr. Guerman Rolzing, FMR1
L to R: Mike Maggrah; Myles Maggrah (baby); Dr. Johanna Kaiser; Alexis Martel; Dr. Nick Martel, resident; Janice Skilliter (front); Dr. Kylie Doyle, resident; Daniel Forbes; Dr. Tamara Tsang, resident (front); Bruce Skilliter; Dr. Sean Groves; and Dr. Guerman Rolzing, resident.
This trip demonstrated to me, as the partner of one of the residents, that family, fun and community building are actually important to this program and to this physician group. This is not an event designed to check the â€œwellnessâ€? box of residency requirements, it truly seems to reflect the values of the program and the community. - Alexis Reichert 20
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At one point, I stopped and looked around to just take in the scene - baby Abe sitting on a blanket attempting to eat what I think was a piece of bark, my physician colleague Johanna Kaiser cradling her weeks-old son to her chest, her husband Mike explaining the finer details of water filtration to my wife, our new residents interacting with the old, one of us out for an evening swim. The sense of connection to place and the sense of being in it together was immense, and a much-appreciated break from the constant go-go-go of the clinic and hospital. - Dr. Sean Groves
The thing I really love about paddling is the real and tangible connection to the land and the water. The work is very physical and you alone are responsible for your well-being, from your mode of transportation through to all of your food and accommodations. And you have to be prepared to carry it all on your back. The concepts of “minimalist” and “leave no trace” carry actual meaning in a place like this.
Getting the chance to introduce our residents and their families to this lifestyle and setting as they join us for what is often the most intense two-year period of their lives is very rewarding. I think it helps to set the tone for some of what we hope to achieve with them during their time with us. SMA DIGEST | WINTER 2017
- Dr. Sean Groves
CONNECTING WITH HIS ROOTS
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By Shannon Boklaschuk
For Dr. Jonathan Hunt, an important part of “staying whole” is connecting with his family and participating in their cultural practices. “Staying whole, for me, involves a spiritual bent,” said Dr. Hunt, a Metis physician who practises in northern Saskatchewan. “Spirituality involves a search for meaning and purpose and feelings of awe and otherworldliness – our close human relationships and personal relationship with something bigger and wiser than ourselves. Sun Dancing and sweats are, for me, a way to experience all that,” he said.
Dr. Hunt is continually connecting with his Indigenous heritage, but that wasn’t always the case. For most of his life, he lived far away from his maternal Metis family.
came to Canada and fell in love with a local Metis woman. Dr. Hunt’s older brother was born in Macklin, before the young family moved to the U.K., where Dr. Hunt was born in 1976. When he was two years old, Dr. Hunt’s mother returned to Canada and he and his brother remained in the U.K. with their father. Dr. Hunt only visited his mother once during his childhood, when he was 16. That changed four years ago. In 2013, at age 37, Dr. Hunt decided to travel to Ile-a-la-Crosse and make contact with his mother. It was a life-altering experience. “On that visit I discovered I was Metis, my great-grandfather was a Cree medicine man and my uncles ran sweat lodges,” he said. “One of my uncles, who has been following Native ways since the 1980s, gave me a drum. The following day he ran me through a sweat with our family, after which he asked me if I wanted to do a Sun Dance the following year.” Dr. Hunt returned the following summer and took part in the Sun Dance on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. The next summer he moved to Canada. He recently participated in his fourth Sun Dance.
Dr. Hunt was born in Manchester, England, and completed all of his medical training in the U.K. before moving to Canada two years ago. Today he works in family and emergency medicine in the Saskatchewan village of Ile-a-la-Crosse, which is situated in the boreal forest about 65 kilometres southeast of Buffalo Narrows. He also flies to other communities to provide clinics.
“ ‘Otherworldly, huh?’ said an elder when I had just stood up from having my back pierced at my last Sun Dance. ‘Yes,’ I thought. This whole ceremony is exactly that.”
Living in the remote community has helped Dr. Hunt learn about his roots and get to know his maternal family in ways he never would have had he remained in the U.K.
ONE OF THE ELDERS TOLD ME ONCE YOU HAVE DANCED SEVEN (TIMES) YOU ‘MAY KNOW SOMETHING.’ HENCE THIS IS ALL I CAN SAY ABOUT THE SUN DANCE... WHATEVER ELSE IT IS, IT IS ONE OF THE MOST SPIRITUALLY POWERFUL EXPERIENCES IN MY LIFE.
“I’m a newbie when it comes to learning about my Metis and aboriginal heritage. A child who has grown up in the culture knows more than me. I can, however, experience ceremony,” he said. “What I am grateful for is that both my uncles are healing themselves using Native American spirituality. I sweat with both of them. One has been praying with and attending Sun Dance with a descendent of Crazy Horse’s medicine man in Pine Ridge reservation, South Dakota, U.S.A., since the 1980s. The other runs a sweat in Ile-a-la-Crosse. I was surprised to hear a Christian prayer in the sweat lodge in Ilea-la-Crosse. Metis are adept in blending cultures.”
Dr. Hunt’s family connection to Ile-a-la-Crosse goes back to the 1970s. At the time, his father was a doctor in his 20s who
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Reconnecting with his mother has led Dr. Hunt to call Ile-ala-Crosse home. Prior to moving to Canada, he spent time learning about the history of the country’s Indigenous people. “I encountered words such as cultural genocide, residential school survivors and intergenerational trauma. This was a secret to me till then. I wanted to help. This strengthened my resolve to move to Canada,” he said.
SINCE MOVING TO CANADA I’VE ENCOUNTERED BETTER WORDS: TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION. I BEAR ALL THIS IN MIND WHEN CONSULTING WITH MY PATIENTS.
portant ceremony for certain Plains Native American tribes. (It’s) an annual coming together of our Tiospaye – a pilgrimage, perhaps,” he added. “The Sun Dance involves the dancers not eating or drinking (for) four days and dancing in the sacred arbour. Dancing and blowing an eagle whistle to the beat of a drum and sacred songs whilst not eating or drinking puts you in an altered state. “One of the elders told me once you have danced seven (times) you ‘may know something.’ Hence this is all I can say about the Sun Dance, some of which may well be wrong. Whatever else it is, it is one of the most spiritually powerful experiences in my life.” This year has been a big one for Dr. Hunt: he welcomed his first child and he began running marathons. He is also “awed by nature” and enjoys trail running, cycling and skiing. Every week or so Dr. Hunt participates in a sweat, which he finds “cleansing and purifying.” He believes his mind is calmer after it’s over. “Speaking our prayers in the lodge, which are often related to what is troubling us, gives us the option to leave our troubles in the lodge and have Spirit work on them,” he said.
“Since moving to Canada I’ve encountered better words: Truth and reconciliation. I bear all this in mind when consulting with my patients, especially insofar as it may be a cause of some of their behaviours and emotions. The majority of my patients know my mother or other family members. Having family ties to the community I live and work (in) I’m sure is beneficial to a healing relationship.” Dr. Hunt believes participating in cultural practices such as Sun Dances and sweats enhances his overall wellness. He has taken part in four Sun Dances – three in South Dakota and one on Saskatchewan’s Carry the Kettle First Nation. “‘You’re our brother now,’ said one of the attendees after I completed my first Sun Dance. The shared sacrifice and suffering required of the dancers creates a sense of closeness amongst us,” said Dr. Hunt. “The sacrifice and suffering makes our prayers stronger. We pray for the health, healing and well-being of our Tiospaye. Some dancers have their own private prayers also. The Tiospaye is our close community of family and friends. There are usually 20-30 dancers and a couple of hundred attendees. “The Sun Dance I attend ordinarily starts the day after the full moon in July. I believe it is one of, if not the most, im-
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“A sweat takes place in a sweat lodge, which is a low, domeshaped tent. It is totally blacked out inside once the door is closed. In the centre is a pit in which hot stones are placed. Water is poured onto the stones to create steam. “I sweat with my family and geographically close members of my Tiospaye.” ◆
Dr. Jonathan Hunt with his wife, Chey Campbell, and son, Oliver.
Dr. Gavin Van de Venter
By Girard Hengen Dr. Gavin Van de Venter calls himself a physician first and a businessperson second.
“We were about to leave, as we were totally drowning,” said Dr. Van de Venter. “Overheads absorbed all our income. The region recognized this and stepped in.”
That’s why he feels he is making more of a difference in his patients’ lives now that the burdens of running his Meadow Lake practice aren’t competing for his time and attention.
The physicians suggested a move to an alternate method of payment (AMP) from fee-for-service (FFS) for compensation, with the health region buying and managing the clinic. Specialized services remained FFS.
Since 2015, the Prairie North Regional Health Authority has owned and operated the Meadow Lake Primary Health Centre, which had previously been managed by local physicians. The authority already owned the building.
Teams of health-care professionals work together, including physicians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, case managers, dietitians, pharmacists, chronic disease managers and mental health workers.
“I would never ask an accountant to remove my appendix, so why ask a doctor to be a business manager? It is doomed to be a mediocre endeavour at best,” Dr. Van de Venter said. He said his staff, and their families, used to suffer “under my overworked and under-prepared efforts to be a boss.” However, under the innovative new arrangement, people who know how to operate a business do what they are trained to do. “I can keep busy doing what I was trained to do … being a physician,” Dr. Van de Venter said. “My stress halved in a moment and I started enjoying my work again.” When he arrived in Meadow Lake in 2002, three long-term local physicians owned the building he practised in. He paid them for the space, staff and use of clinic facilities. But things changed within a few years. In 2009 the clinic went from 13 physicians to four, two of whom worked part-time and no after-hours.
I WOULD NEVER ASK AN ACCOUNTANT TO REMOVE MY APPENDIX, SO WHY ASK A DOCTOR TO BE A BUSINESS MANAGER? IT IS DOOMED TO BE A MEDIOCRE ENDEAVOUR AT BEST.
Dr. Van de Venter said the clinic tapped the resources of the health region in areas such as human resources and IT after the move to the AMP model. “I quickly realized a very important fact,” he said. “I, as a doctor, was trying to run a business with no training and expertise in the field of management and administration. I SMA DIGEST | WINTER 2017
WE ARE TRYING TO CREATE A CULTURE OF PROGRESSIVE-THINKING, HARD-WORKING, MODERN MDs WHO INSIST ON LIFE-WORK BALANCE – AND ARE NOT PREPARED TO COMPROMISE ON THAT – AND STILL OFFER A STABLE AND HIGH LEVEL OF SERVICE.
thought I could do it, but did not realize that I was doing my staff a disservice by pretending that I know how to negotiate with unions, deal with hiring and firing, contracts, etc., off the side of my table, while working 60 to 100 hours per week to run a practice.” He also found time for personal professional development and spends more time per patient, which enhances the patient’s – and his – experience. He has been able to introduce new programs and hospital grand rounds, which he says are highly successful. The arrangement comes with some drawbacks, Dr. Van de Venter said. Turnover was high at first and stability was hard to achieve. All of the programs take time and much planning. Decisions are made by majority rules; physicians must respect the decision of the group and fall in line, whether they agree or not.
Dr. Van de Venter said physicians had to give up some control, but it was in areas they don’t need to control. “We are trying to create a culture of progressive-thinking, hard-working, modern MDs who insist on life-work balance – and are not prepared to compromise on that – and still offer a stable and high level of service.” Dr. Van de Venter is grateful to Prairie North Regional Health Authority CEO David Fan and executives for their vision and support in the new venture. “I personally hope that I will never have to go back to a FFS set-up,” he said. “I really enjoy my work and feel that I make a real difference in my patients’ lives.” ◆
Clinic Location: Grosvenor Park Centre #19-2105 8th St. East Saskatoon, SK Hours: M-F 9am to 6pm Contact Us:
Helping your patients get back to the important things in life. 26
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SMA DIGEST | WINTER 2017
LIVING A LIFE IN HARMONY
By Girard Hengen
Life hasn’t always been in perfect harmony for Moose Jaw’s “Singing Doctor.” A decade ago, Dr. Volker Rininsland’s world closed in. His son left home, his daughter was growing up too fast, his father was ill and needed surgery, and he testified during a murder trial in which the defence tried to pin the blame on him for failing to revive the victim. Discordant voices took over where once there was song and laughter. “I crashed emotionally,” Dr. Rininsland said. “I contacted the SMA and said, ‘I’m not enjoying my life; I have to talk to someone.’ The Physician Health Program got me in touch with someone to talk to, and they said, ‘You are quite normal and what you are going through is normal.’ ” Dr. Rininsland now exudes wit and charm. Over lunch with residents who are part of the family medicine residency program he developed in Moose Jaw, he regales in stories with a vibrancy that belies his 60 years.
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A family physician for 34 years, he has been a Saskatchewan Medical Association member since his university days, and served on SMA committees and as president of the Five Hills Regional Medical Association. He was also twice president of the Saskatchewan chapter of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. He developed an EMT program for Moose Jaw. For these achievements, and perhaps for breaking out in song on occasion, Dr. Rininsland received the SMA’s Physician of the Year Award for 2017. “I’m surprised how much goodwill I have received from patients,” he said after word filtered out in Moose Jaw about the award, which was announced at the SMA’s 2017 Spring Representative Assembly in May. “It’s just beautiful. I’ve gotten at least 150 congratulations cards.” A fixture in Moose Jaw’s medical scene, Dr. Rininsland actually wanted to practice somewhere smaller. That’s not surprising for someone firmly rooted in the soil of rural Saskatchewan. His family came from Germany to Lanigan when he was 10. His father, an engineer, took a job as manager of the nearby potash mine.
“We were so happy to be here,” he recalled. “There’s a freedom in Canada. In Germany there are lots of people, not much space, lots of rules. We just found it very liberating to be here.” He didn’t speak a word of English, but soon picked it up. Lanigan was a great place to grow up, play sports in high school, say hello to your neighbours and learn the value of an honest day’s work. The lifestyle left an imprint that lasts to this day. “I always had this thing, I was going to try to be a small-town family doctor,” he said. After one year of pre-med, he was “surprisingly” accepted into medical school at the University of Saskatchewan. His family had no background in medicine. He graduated in 1981 and completed a two-year residency in 1983. “I did this weird thing called a family medicine residency, which 35 years ago was pretty rare,” he said. “All the cool kids did one-year internships at St. Paul’s. But I’d gotten in quite young and figured why not do the extra year of training, because I wanted to be really good at what I did and have a little more experience in it. “I had considered Assiniboia or Nipawin, or even back in Lanigan, but I came to Moose Jaw. We really liked the place
and I realized there were some older doctors retiring. In those days there was actually a little bit of a doctor oversupply in Saskatoon and, for some of my classmates, there wasn’t much work for them – but Moose Jaw was busy right away.” His wife, who is from the small community of Leroy, wanted to live somewhere bigger. He wanted something smaller. “Moose Jaw was very good because Moose Jaw, medically, behaved like a small town. There were no emergency doctors. There were not very many specialists; family doctors were very active in the hospital. “In a way it was like a small town, only bigger.” He became interested in emergency medicine, and saw some gaps in the service. Moose Jaw had emergency medical technicians, but they could not perform IVs. He was instrumental in starting a paramedic program, and became head of it. “It became very time-consuming and challenging because I had to ride ambulances for six months. Our first paramedic, I had to certify him that he was competent and he could certify the next paramedic, but the first paramedic, I ran around for six months with a radio on my back for ambulance calls. It was fun, but it was a lot of work.”
I STILL THINK THE GOLDEN RULE IS SO IMPORTANT: PRETEND THAT PATIENT IS YOU, YOUR RELATIVE. ALWAYS TRY TO BE PATIENT AND KIND... AND BE PERSONALLY THANKFUL FOR WHAT YOU’VE GOT, BECAUSE THAT IMPROVES YOUR OWN WAY OF LOOKING AT LIFE AND IT WILL SHOW IN THE WAY YOU TREAT OTHER PEOPLE.
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He calls the paramedic program his proudest accomplishment. After 30-plus years in medicine, Dr. Rininsland isn’t ready to retire just yet. He will slow down, maybe, in time. When he reaches 65, he plans to work four days a week and spend the early mornings with some study, prayer and exercise – things he says he doesn’t do often enough. Of course, he’d like to sing more. He is well-known in Moose Jaw and the medical community for what he calls his “dirty songs” – songs with a medical theme. For example, he performed “Family Docs” to the tune of “King of the Road” at the SMA’s 2017 Fall Representative Assembly. “I don’t do enough of it,” Dr. Rininsland said. “I don’t take enough time for myself. It’s a struggle for me to find time to play guitar.” But he learned a decade ago, from that dark, emotional place, that he needs to look after himself to be there for his family, friends and his patients. “I’m the first to admit that I’ve not always done a good job of that, especially back in the day when we did all the calls. I wish I would have been home more. I got away with it. I’m still happily married after 38 years and my children love me. I don’t think I caused any damage, because doctors do. I wished I would have been home a little bit more.”
He and his wife, Pat, have two children. Andrew has a master’s degree in journalism and is self-taught in computer programming. He works for the Financial Times in London. Vanessa followed her father into medicine, graduating from the U of S in 2016. She is an internal medicine resident in Saskatoon. If there is one “golden rule” Dr. Rininsland has learned after more than three decades in medicine, it is to put himself into his patient’s shoes, especially on those days when the demands of being a physician are heaviest. “We’re middle-class Canadians; we’ve won the world lottery,” Dr. Rininsland said as lunch draws to a close. Some of the residents have scattered off to work, following paths well-tread over the years by their mentor. “Sure I work hard, but so does the guy with the small farm that isn’t guaranteed getting paid at the end of the day. So does the guy trying to sell cars; he’s putting in 12 hours and he doesn’t have the control over his life that I do. “I still think the golden rule is so important: Pretend that patient is you, your relative. Always try to be patient and kind and stay calm and be personally thankful for what you’ve got, because that improves your own way of looking at life and it will show in the way you treat other people.” ◆
CUMMING SCHOOL OF MEDICINE Office of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development
Explore our professional development courses and programs COURSES • 2018
PROGRAMS 2017 • 2018
Paediatric Fractures Course (JAN 18) Emergency Medicine for Rural Hospitals
Rural Videoconference Program
Evening Course 2017-2018 & Wednesday Night Webinar
Diagnosing ECGs Emergently (JAN 19) Complex Fractures and Dislocations Course
Essential Strategies for Chronic Pain Management
CAMH Opioid Dependence Treatment Core Course – Alberta Version
Rural Anesthesia for GP Anesthesiologists (JAN 19)
Ultrasound Guided Nerve Blocks (JAN 20) Choosing Wisely Alberta Symposium (MAR 7) 2018 MSK Clinical Pearls Conference (MAR 9) Preparation Course for the CCFP Exam (MAR 17-18)
Stroke Symposium (MAR 23) Therapeutics Pre-Course (APR 18) 35th Annual Therapeutics Course (APR 19-20) Calgary Pain Conference (MAY 7)
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Psychiatry Online Literature Review Course Acute Stroke Care e-Learning Program Obesity Management CME Program Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics Office Gynecological Training for Family Physicians Medical Record Keeping Program Tapering and Stopping Opioid Therapy
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yes / no
n n n n
5. Does the suite have an alarm system? 6. Does the suite have a sprinkler system? 7. Any insurance claims made in the past 3 years? 8. Do you have a policy in place at the moment? If yes expiry date is
n n n n
Most of this information will be on your current policy. You can fax this information to 1-866-806-4467 and we would be happy to prepare a quote for you. You can also scan this form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send quote to: Name: ____________________________________
By completing a quote you will automatically be entered into a draw to win a $1,000 Flight Centre travel Voucher. the draw will be open until december 31, 2017 and all existing policyholders will automatically be entered as well.
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NORTH This spring, Brendan Groat saw a need, hopped on the seat of his bike and did something about it.
The medical student travelled by bicycle, trailer in tow, across northern Saskatchewan in a project he called Bicycling North. He journeyed to remote communities to show first-hand the benefits of cycling as a fitness activity. He recognized the need to promote health and healthy lifestyles when he lived in Ile-a-la-Crosse for six weeks as part of the College of Medicineâ€™s Making the Links - Certificate in Global Health program. During the Bicycling North project, Groat staged bike days in Dillon, Buffalo Narrows, La Loche, Beauval and Patuanak from May 15 to June 30, 2017. The following are some perspectives of his trip, in his own words.
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The first couple days in each community were spent getting to know the communities. I had special experiences talking with leaders and being welcomed into community happenings, learning about challenges and successes and relationships with health care.
Humour was a consistent theme of interactions through the North, community members explaining it provides resilience.
I was often reminded how achieving success in learning desired skills improves self-efficacy and emotional health.
By Brendan Groat The project itself was inspired by interactions with northern Saskatchewan peoples last summer. . . . From a bike event, and further conversations with community members, I learned that increased bicycling is a hope of northern communities. In reflecting on the experiences of last summer, I realized I could help. From the beginning, the project was supported by many groups. . . . I was really quite happy with the accuracy and focus of the media coverage. These outlets seemed to grasp that the project wasnâ€™t just about bikes, but helping to improve the holistic health of northern peoples. The send-out ride for the project was coordinated with the events of Bike Week YXE, and so a large group of supporters joined a bicycle ride out of town to Wanuskewin (Heritage Park). The week before, my cousin, Tate Groat, with bike me-
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chanic skills, had joined the project and so we continued on north, our packed trailer in tow. We made good time over 100 km or so in beautiful 20-degree sunny weather, but were caught in a speedy storm, lightning striking all around and water freezing to fabric materials. We hunkered down in a bush for the night and continued on the next day. With the storm as an omen and sketchy roads and traffic, we remembered the main goal was to make it to the communities and do the events, so we reluctantly chose to drive. This was unfortunate as one of the goals was to travel across the land by human-powered movement, adherent to Indigenous values of connection to land and sustainable practices. We arrived in each community a couple days before the bike events to start to get to know the people there and their culture. . . . We would let people know about the bike events, especially encouraging adolescents and adults to
Re-connecting with community leaders and working with the next iteration of MTL students support the sustainable progression of relationships and community health. participate in the workshop, and that tools and parts would be left for the community. These conversations had bikes as common ground, and evolved to talk about experiences of government, health care and community challenges and successes. I feel privileged to have had this shared with me. I also completed health-centre shadowing in most communities. These experiences corroborated the stories I had heard from community members about poor health outcomes in their community. Having spent time in the community, experiencing poignant social determinants of health, especially food access and housing, I observed the results on health in patients. Community members shared they “don’t trust” health care, as it is a branch of government. Unfortunately, throughout the North, the intergenerational effects of government action are apparent.
Each Bike Day and Bike Workshop started with a discussion about bikes and holistic health. I was always amazed hearing about the ways bikes contribute to participants’ physical, mental, social and spiritual health. In returning from up north, I found I needed time to process the experience. To be candid, for two weeks, I cried daily and had numbing panic attacks for the first time in my life. . . . I eventually realized this disquiet was the result of the weight of being in northern communities, representing health-care leadership. I look to the many individuals that provided support to the successful completion of this project as hope for resolution to the wellness disparity experienced by Indigenous peoples. Their actions and words confirm Canada wants to right the relationship with Indigenous peoples. They jumped at the opportunity to support this project, perhaps understanding they had privilege and resources that were the result of their social history, influenced by past government decisions, and linked to the detriment caused to Indigenous peoples. ◆
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CLASSIFIEDS ANNOUNCEMENTS FAMILY PRACTICE Looking for physician in large, busy family practice of 30 years, to work as partner with a commitment to take over practice completely in due course. Practice involves hospital in-patient care and on-call for in-patients. Obstetrics, minor surgery, surgical assists in hospital are optional as well. Practitioner can adjust working hours accordingly. Interested physicians please contact: Dr. M. C. Khurana Phone: 306-446-4303
FAMILY PRACTICE, GERIATRIC FOCUS
welcoming environment with access to minor laboratory services, electrocardiograms, audiograms, and operates on the Accuro EMR system. Income is based on your MCIB/third-party billings. We offer a competitive overhead that covers office space, MOA wages, medical supplies and work done by our proficient administrative team. You make your own schedule! We pride ourselves in enabling our physicians to have work-life balance. If you are interested in a satisfying, comprehensive clinical practice, contact Gloria St.Amand at 306-953-1677 or email@example.com.
LIFEBRIDGE HEALTH CENTRE
This is your opportunity to move to beautiful Saskatoon. A family physician nearing retirement wants to turn over his geriatric-focused practise to a qualified physician. This practise is ideally located with support services nearby and on-call is shared. No buy-in is expected.
Lifebridge Health Centre (www.lifebridgehealth.ca), a family physician medical practice, is seeking full-time or part-time physicians or specialists. Flexible work schedules. Competitive split.
If interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-303227-7754.
Lifebridge services include a women’s clinic, daily walk-in clinics, counselling and dietitian services.
BUSY FAMILY MEDICINE PRACTICE FOR SALE IN SASKATCHEWAN We are offering an established family practice in Saskatchewan’s largest urban centre. We have a large and growing patient base with walk-in clientele. This is a turn-key operation with more potential to be gained. Leased office space. All enquiries will be kept confidential. Please send serious inquiries only to: email@example.com.
ASSOCIATE MEDICAL CLINIC – PRINCE ALBERT
Is seeking a full or part-time family physician to join our established clinic with a large patient base. We have 10 family physicians and eight specialists. You would practise as an independent self-employed medical professional that assumes all duties pertaining to the general practice of medicine. Our clinic has served Prince Albert and surrounding communities for over 50 years. Patients are treated in a
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Lifebridge offers 15 fully-equipped exam rooms, three procedure rooms, an EMR system, in-house ECGs and spirometry, and support staff. Lifebridge is located in a complex with other health services, including: pharmacy, x-ray, ultrasound, physiotherapy and naturopathy. Candidates must have/obtain certification with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan, and membership with health region Practitioner Staff Affairs. Interested candidates may submit a copy of their CV or contact Louise Braun/Dr. Sandra Wegner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FAMILY PHYSICIAN – LUMSDEN, SK The Town of Lumsden is looking for a full-time qualified family physician on a competitive overhead share. This exciting opportunity includes a clinic with two examining rooms, two offices, two washrooms, waiting room, kitchenette, utilities, receptionist support and plenty of parking. In addition the town will be providing incentives. There is
Your new clinic space is waiting
Looking to fast-track your growth in Saskatoon? Urban Equity Business Centre can assist you. We offer: Focal point for access to: The University of Saskatchewan The Royal University Hospital The Central Business District A world-class convention centre (TCU Place) World-class recreational facilities Simplify your practice. We supply: Shared secretary Desk, chair and a phone for the room Local calling through our phone system Internet, limited wifi Large and small board rooms Four handicapped washrooms One handicap parking stall Bi-weekly office cleaning Power, gas and water
The centre features world-class: Communications and IT infrastructure Maintenance and security services Secure underground heated parking
Urban Equity Business Centre • • •
Minimum 1 year lease Office space: 86 sq ft up to 189 sq ft Rent starting at $600/month
Contact: Call 306-974-5411 ext 0 or email UrbanEquity@sasktel.net, regarding availability and viewing of the individual spaces. Or visit us online: https://kdgroupcanada.com
Urban Equity Business Centre 101-1132 College Drive Saskatoon, SK SK S7N SMA DIGEST | WINTER 2017
potential for expansion and a three-bedroom home is also available for rent.
Spaces are available for a physiotherapist, a registered pharmacy and a massage therapist.
Lumsden is located within the beautiful Qu’Appelle Valley. The town boasts modern facilities and also has a public nursing home and private care home. Located close to Last Mountain Lake, Lumsden draws from a large trading area including Regina Beach, Craven, Bethune and the surrounding municipality.
Integral Medical Centre is located in West Regina on Dewdney Avenue, right opposite the Royal RCM building, two minutes’ drive from Pasqua General Hospital and the Westerra, the new mixed-use community development. It is located close to great cafes and shops.
If you’re looking to practice in a growing community and family friendly environment, Lumsden is the place for you! For more information about this exciting opportunity call Jacqueline Chouinard at 306-731-7780 or email: email@example.com.
An elegant clinic entrance, reception desks, waiting rooms, treatment rooms (four) and examination rooms (14), including autoclave, surgical instruments, refrigerators, examining beds, etc.
A positive, happy and healthy work environment.
SUTHERLAND AND FAMILY MEDICAL CLINIC
Seeking family physician to purchase half share of medical office building and continue the care of established 30 years plus practice in Saskatoon. Phone: 306-222-6733 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a diverse patient profile due to the clinic location in a high-density part of a diverse neighbourhood, and with a significant population of seniors at the Westerra Housing Units.
Competitive splits with options: flat monthly fee or percentage splits with full support.
At Integral Medical Centre, we offer:
Integral Medical Centre is a new modern facility with • We handle all scheduling, staffing. MCIB/Non-MCIB spaces available for physicians and specialists looking for billings and collections optional. a modern centre that provide them with more time with HQC Mission Ad 7" x 4.4" Sept 20, 2017.pdf 1 2017-09-20 10:08 AM the patients and not on completing administrative tasks. • We incur cost for all equipment, supplies, staffing and
The mission of Saskatchewan’s Health Quality Council is to accelerate improvement in our province’s health system. Our vision: The highest quality of health care for everyone, every time. Want to learn more? Check out our new website: hqc.sk.ca Twitter: @hqcsask Email: email@example.com Phone: 306-668-8810
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facility maintenance. •
Fully computerized clinic and paperless office, using Accuro EMR*.
Well-equipped staff room, conference room, staff lounge and a private gym and much more!
Elevator for patients’ convenience and wheelchair accessible environment
On-site pharmacy for your patients’ convenience.
Staff and patient parking stalls (including street parking).
Facility will be ready for operation in February 2018.
We look forward to discussing our clinic with you. Please contact: Samson Treasureland Holdings Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org For a physician’s perspective, please contact: Dr. O. O. Sotomi at email@example.com.
PHYSICIAN LEADER The SMA is looking for a physician leader who advocates on behalf of the profession and is passionate about creating opportunities for doctors to reach new levels of excellence and professionalism in an environment of collaborative and continuous learning. The role of director of physician advocacy and leadership is a minimum halftime position to enable continued engagement in other aspects of professional practice.
To learn more visit: www.sma.sk.ca/physicianadvocate Expressions of interest can be submitted in confidence to Ms. Bonnie Brossart, CEO at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GROW YOUR SKILLS
2018 CMA/SMA Physician Leadership Institute course schedule is coming soon!
Visit www.sma.sk.ca/PLI SMA DIGEST | WINTER 2017
IN MEMORIAM Dr. Jack Adolph
Dr. John Bury
Dr. Jack Adolph passed away on June 29, 2017. Jack was born in Saskatoon to Jacob Adolph and Anne Shave. He is survived by Rena, his wife of 60 years.
Dr. John Bury passed away on Dec. 22, 2016. John was born in England on March 16, 1924. He attended university at the London Hospital Medical College and practised as a physician in England until June 1963, when he and his family came to Saskatoon. John joined the Community Clinic as a family physician during the medicare crisis.
Jack graduated from Saskatoon Technical Collegiate, where he was senior watch. He attended the University of Saskatchewan and completed his medical degree at the University of Alberta. He started his medical career in Milden and went on to work as a pathologist in Swift Current and Saskatoon. Jack was a kind and compassionate man who will be remembered for his perseverance and work ethic.
Dr. John Charles Burt 1928-2017
Dr. John Charles Burt passed away on Sept. 14, 2017, at Mont St. Joseph Care Home. John was born on Feb. 10, 1928, in Cheshire, England. The youngest of three children, John received his education in England. He attended Guyâ€™s Hospital in London and became a family physician. He married Pamela Henville on July 24, 1954, and together they raised four children. John was a family physician for 40 years. He was chief of staff at Victoria Hospital, past-president of the Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons, Physician of the Year in 1993 and a member of the University of Saskatchewan Senate. John was a member of Nature Prince Albert, the Prince Albert Historical Society, Prince Albert Wood Turners Guild, and the Caledonian Society. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, woodturning, painting and gardening. John loved to travel and he really loved a good joke. John is survived by his wife, Pamela, and his children.
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John was involved in the development of the Community Clinic, including the design of the prescription drug formulary, which reduced the cost of prescription drugs. This experience led to his appointment as a member of the Probe on Prescription Drugs initiated under the Blakeney government, which formed the foundation of the Saskatchewan Prescription Drug Plan. He served as director of the regional health service branch, Saskatchewan Department of Health, between 1973 and 1976, and as director of the health promotion branch in 1977. John retired in 1988. In his retirement years he was very involved in work for peace as a member of the Saskatchewan branch of Veterans Against Nuclear Arms, and continued to work on health issues to preserve medicare. He was also a prolific urban and landscape watercolour painter. He is survived by his wife, Betsy.
Dr. Gerard Emmanuel C. Ducasse 1935-2017
Dr. Gerard Emmanuel Clement Ducasse passed away on March 17, 2017, at the age of 81. Gerard was married to Marie Hilda Ducasse (nee Cerclay), who predeceased him in 2014. Gerard was born in Port-Louis, Mauritius, and still had family living there. He studied diligently and excelled in the classical languages. Gerard spoke ancient Greek and Latin fluently. He won the Commonwealth Scholarship for Mauri-
tius, which allowed him to study medicine at University College in Dublin. In 1962, he earned his medical degree MB, BCh, BAO from the National University of Ireland. Additional qualifications included ECG, DCH Ireland, MRCP, and CRCP. Gerard completed his fellowship in paediatrics in 1965. He and Hilda married the same year and, in 1969, they immigrated to Canada. They settled in North Battleford and resided there until 1981, when they moved to Saskatoon. A talented and devoted paediatrician, Gerard took care of many children across the province, working in all three hospitals in Saskatoon, and maintained a busy private practice. Gerard was passionate about art. He was a member of the Prairie Sculptor’s Association and a founding member of both L’Association des Artistes de la Saskatchewan and the Humanum Art Gallery. He was a prolific and accomplished sculptor and painter. When Gerard retired from paediatrics, the Royal University Hospital Department of Pediatrics named its art gallery after him. He considered this a great honour. Gerard was also a poet and author, and wrote three novels and numerous short stories. His book of poetry Clairs – Obscurs was shortlisted for a Saskatchewan Book Award in 2002. Gerard helped and supported his wife and children through all of their educational, vocational and charitable pursuits. He loved taking the family on vacations back home to Mauritius, and also to France, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the United States. He loved telling stories to his grandchildren about his past adventures and talking to them about music, art and science. He was so proud of his family and friends, and they in turn loved his wit and charm.
Dr. George Gilmour 1937-2017
Dr. George Gilmour passed away peacefully on Sept. 27, 2017. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Margaret, and family. George was born in Motherwell, Scotland, to William and Susan Gilmour. He graduated from Glasgow University in 1963 and married Margaret the same year. In 1968, they immigrated with their two eldest children to Prince Albert, where he began his practice in ophthalmology. George practised in Prince Albert and many communities in the North until 2011. Among his accomplishments included serving as president of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan, chief of staff of Holy Family Hospital, president of the Prince Albert Medical Association, president of the Prince Albert CNIB, president of the Prince Albert Red Cross, president of the Prince Albert Rotary Club and elder of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church. Throughout his life, George spent time enjoying many outdoor activities, such as hunting, fishing and spending time at the family cabin at Emma Lake. He was an avid and loyal Saskatchewan Roughriders fan. George was also very fortunate to be able to travel, sharing trips with his wife and family to all parts of the world.
Dr. Sydney Garth Graham-Rowe 1939-2017
Dr. Sydney Garth Graham-Rowe passed away on Aug. 20, 2017, at the age of 77 surrounded by his family. He will be greatly missed by his loving wife, Sandi, and his children. Garth was proud of his Jamaican heritage and it was always close to his heart. He was a family physician for 47 years
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and practised in Jamaica, Balcarres, Lemberg, Regina, Cupar and Goodsoil. Caring for people was his passion and he was trusted and respected by all who knew him.
family physician at the Medical Arts Clinic in Regina. In 1980, he completed a specialty in geriatrics and joined the family medicine unit at the Regina Plains Health Centre, training medical residents as an associate professor in the faculty of medicine at the University of Saskatchewan.
Dr. Thomas Arthur Johnson
A role model and mentor to many, Bill was honoured as Saskatchewan’s Family Physician of the Year in 1989. After caring for and supporting numerous Regina senior citizens and their families, he semi-retired in 1997, staying active in the community well into his 80s on issues related to aging, most notably teaching RCMP Training Depot cadets about the neglect and mistreatment of elderly people. Bill was an honorary member of the Canadian Medical Association.
Dr. Thomas Arthur Johnson passed away on March 8, 2017, in Medicine Hat, Alta. Tom is mourned with fond and loving memories by his four children and Judy (Leis) Johnson, the mother of his children. Tom was born on June 26, 1953, in Moose Jaw. After getting his medical degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1980, he started his practice in Williams Lake, B.C. In 1993, Tom returned to school at Queen’s University and went on to become an accomplished anesthesiologist, practising in Fort McMurray, Alta., Saskatoon and Medicine Hat, Alta. Known for his big smile and even larger heart, Tom would give the shirt off his back to a friend or a stranger in need. As a lover of travel, he took countless trips with his loved ones and to visit family, as well as many humanitarian aid adventures in places such as Ecuador, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Honduras. Tom was a man of deep conviction, measureless generosity and an unconditional love for his family and friends. He thought nothing of driving hours out of his way to connect with the people he loved, to see a hockey game, or to play in the annual Grey Cup Family Classic with his brothers. Few people have tried to cram so much into one life, or one day. He will be forever missed and remembered for his backyard football games, impassioned golf rounds, Roughrider and Oilers memorabilia gifts and early morning “Gramps” cuddles with his grandkids.
Dr. William Klassen 1923-2017
After a full and rich life, Dr. William (Bill) Klassen died on March 23, 2017, in his 94th year following a brief illness. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Margaret. Bill grew up on a homestead near Rosemary, Alta. Always interested in science and the human body, he attended the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon as an undergraduate and was accepted to the faculty of medicine at the University of Toronto, graduating as a medical doctor in 1954. A Prairie boy through and through, Bill returned to Saskatchewan to begin a 43-year medical career, practising as a
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Bill’s pride and joy was his beloved cottage at Highwood Beach on Last Mountain Lake. You would often find him whistling away in his workshop, steering his boat masterfully around the water skiing route with many a child in tow, or relaxing on the sundeck enjoying the view. Downhill skiing was also a big part of Bill’s life, and he and Margaret drove thousands of kilometres through the Canadian and U.S. Rockies for many years to give their Prairie children the thrill of mountain slopes (a thrill for him too, of course!). An avid reader and life-long learner, Bill spent much of his retirement as a student at the University of Regina, exploring topics such as quantum physics, world religions and geology. During the past few years, Bill managed through some health issues, remaining positive and accepting his limitations in true clinical fashion.
Dr. Tilak Malholtra 1938-2017
Dr. Tilak Raj Malhotra, MBBS, MRCP (London), MRCP (Ireland), MRCP (Scotland), FRCS (Canada), passed peacefully on July 17, 2017. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Lalita Malhotra, and his children. Tilak was born in Punjab, India, where he met and married Lalita and obtained his medical degree. Together, they moved to the United Kingdom, where he furthered his post-graduate medical training by successfully completing three postgraduate fellowships in pediatrics and internal medicine. Tilak and Lalita moved to Prince Albert in 1975, where he became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He provided more than 40 years of service to the community of Prince Albert as a pediatrician.
Tilak contributed immensely to the national, provincial and local medical communities. He was the first pediatrician from Saskatchewan to be asked to participate on the national board for the Canadian Paediatric Society. Tilak took great pride in serving for many years as a council member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan. He was the chair of the credentials committee for Prince Albert Parkland Health Region. Tilak served as vice-president of the regional medical association. He also participated in many other provincial and local health committees and boards. He was awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit for his years of service. His contributions to the community will forever be remembered. However great his achievements, Tilak’s priority was always his family. He was a loving father and husband who instilled the importance of education and hard work in his children. His legacy as a father will always live on in his children.
Dr. Wesley Hugh McKee 1947-2017
Dr. Wesley Hugh McKee, age 70, of Saskatoon, passed away on Sept. 13, 2017. Hugh is survived by his loving wife, Sheryl, and son, Kevin (Aimee), of Harriston, Ont. Hugh was born on May 14, 1947, in Saskatoon, where he also grew up. He enjoyed playing hockey and his scouting activities. He became a Queen Scout. He attended the 11th World Jamboree in Greece during the summer of 1963. He completed high school and attended the University of Saskatchewan. He graduated with distinction with a Doctor of Medicine in May 1971. He completed his internship at St. Paul’s Hospital in 1972. Hugh married Sheryl Valleau of Saskatoon on Dec. 16, 1972. He practised medicine in Saskatoon (Associated Family Physicians) from 1972 to 2017. He received his certification from the College of Family Physicians (Canada) in 1983. He served as clinical instructor for the College of Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, from 1975 to 1985. He became a clinical associate professor for the Department of Family Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, in July 1985. He was active in the medical community on various committees and received the Saskatchewan Family Physician of the Year Award in 1992. He received an Honorary Fellow-
ship in Family Medicine in 1993 from the College of Family Physicians of Canada. In later years he enjoyed international travel and attending events at Gustin House.
Dr. Brian Francis A. McKenna 1928-2017
Dr. Brian Francis A. McKenna passed away peacefully on Aug. 1, 2017, just three months shy of his 89th birthday. Brian was predeceased by his wife of 49 years, Angele. Brian was born on Oct. 10, 1928, in Dublin, Ireland. He spent his childhood in Dingle, Ireland, where some of his fondest memories were made. He completed his medical degree at Trinity College in Dublin. Brian began his medical career in London, England. It was there that he met the love of his life, Angele. They married on July 1, 1959, and moved to Canada shortly thereafter. Brian completed his fellowship in orthopaedic surgery in Montreal. From there they moved to Saskatoon, where he practised at the Medical Arts Building and at City and St. Paul’s hospitals. Brian was highly regarded by his colleagues and patients. He retired in 1995. Brian was selflessly devoted to Angele. During the last 10 years of her life, Angele suffered from chronic illness. Brian cared for her in their family home until her passing in 2009. Brian’s backyard was his sanctuary. It was there that he nurtured his flowers and took special pride in his tomatoes. Brian especially treasured sharing time with family and friends in his swimming pool. He made everyone feel welcome, paying special attention to the countless youngsters he taught to swim and dive. Brian also had a passion for golf. He enjoyed many rounds over the years with daughter Michele, friends and colleagues at the Riverside golf course. Brian cherished his weekly pub nights with his Irish buddies Dr. Gerry McGarry, Dr. Jim McGettigan and Des Carroll.
Dr. Patrick Joseph Miller 1930-2017
Despite suffering multiple health issues for years, Dr. Patrick Joseph Miller continued to be genial and respectful toward others and was extremely well thought of by all who cared for him. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mary, and his children.
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Patrick was born in Radville and spent his formative years in Regina, where he graduated from Campion High School. He completed his medical training in Winnipeg, where he met his wife at the Children’s Hospital. They were married in 1954 and moved to Humboldt, where he practised medicine from 1955 until 1992. His amiability, caring, compassionate manner and considerable skill earned him the respect and love of countless patients, as well as his colleagues. He was chief of the medical staff for many years at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Humboldt. As a doctor in a small community without specialist services, he became skilled in many aspects of medicine unfamiliar to the average GP. He loved his job: “Fun, fun, fun all day!” The challenges of a demanding medical practice were met with courage and confidence. Patrick was involved in the community, serving as chair of the school board of Humboldt Collegiate Institute for years. When he was not in his woodturning studio, he loved to spend time drinking coffee and swatting flies on the picturesque deck of the family cabin at McPhee Lake. He loved to take his grandchildren water skiing, tubing and fishing with his boat. He was a prolific and talented artist, producing many wonderful paintings and woodturnings. He was at one time an avid hunter and enjoyed tennis, racquetball and golf in his younger years. He was a formidable (and somewhat exasperating) ping-pong opponent. Despite numerous health issues in his later life, he maintained his easygoing personality and sense of humour. This is, perhaps, the most remarkable of his accomplishments.
Dr. Robert Sollars 1925-2017
Dr. Robert Sollars passed away on March 5, 2017, at the age of 91. He is predeceased by his wife of 40 years, Margaret, and his second wife, Patricia. Born and raised in England, Bob attended medical school during the Second World War with an obligation to join the British Army upon graduation. Stationed in occupied Germany, Bob met Margaret, a British Army physiotherapist. After marriage and the birth of Philippa, Bob and Margaret moved to Canada. Bob found opportunity to practise medicine in rural Saskatchewan and, shortly thereafter, Susan was born (in Central Butte) followed by Andy and Sarah (both Radville). Wishing to pursue a specialty, Bob and Margaret moved to Columbus, Ohio, where Bob trained in obstetrics and
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gynaecology. In the early 1960s, with talk of another war (Vietnam) and with a son who could one day be draft eligible, Bob and Margaret were more than happy to return to Saskatchewan after Bob’s training. This time it was to the Queen City. Soon after the move to Regina, son Tiger was born, a promise to Margaret if she agreed to the Ohio adventure. Bob loved practising in Regina, serving the population of southern Saskatchewan, working with all the staff at the Regina General and Pasqua hospitals and teaching “the trade” to young OB/GYNs. This was recognized with the creation of the Dr. Bob Sollars Teaching Award for Postgraduate Teaching, which is awarded annually to the best clinical teacher as voted by the OB/GYN resident doctors training in Regina. When not delivering babies or performing surgery, Bob’s hobbies were gardening, tennis, squash, wine tasting and skiing (with the ever-present Whoa! Damit! ski pin). Bob, Margaret and the family had many great summer and winter vacations at their getaway in Big Sky, Mont. Bob spent his retirement years on Vancouver Island in the oceanside town of Sidney.
Dr. George Varughese 1926-2017
Dr. George Varughese passed away peacefully at home in White Rock, B.C., on July 30, 2017, surrounded by loved ones. Born in Kerala, India, he received his MD in India before coming to Canada to train in neurosurgery. He did his neurosurgery residency in Saskatoon at Royal University Hospital, before receiving his fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons from the prestigious Montreal Neurological Institute and his LMCC from Ottawa. He then returned to Saskatoon, where he practised neurosurgery at Saskatoon City Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital and Royal University Hospital for more than 30 years. An avid photographer, painter and reader, George was also an attending member of St. Paul’s United Church in Saskatoon. Retirement saw him self-publish two memoirs of his training and early years as a doctor, as well as travel throughout the world with his wife. He enjoyed escaping Saskatoon winters in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and eventually retired permanently to White Rock, B.C. He is survived by his wife, Susy.
Build your future and celebrate with MD. To celebrate the Canadian Medical Association’s 150th anniversary, MD Financial Management is introducing Match150—an investment incentive especially for residents. MD will match up to $150 in contributions when residents start a regular investment program or pre-authorized contribution plan in 2017.* If you’re a resident thinking about how to save and invest, now is the perfect time to start your journey!
For more information, visit mdm.ca/match150 * Applicable to new clients and accounts. MD Financial Management provides financial products and services, the MD Family of Funds and investment counselling services through the MD Group of Companies. For a detailed list of these companies, visit md.cma.ca. SMA DIGEST | WINTER 2017
Photo by Oshin Maheshwari, Class of 2018
Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to:
SASKATCHEWAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION 201-2174 Airport Drive Saskatoon, SK Canada S7L 6M6