Family Medicine Matters Blog

The OCFP Blog discusses current topics and invites members to share their perspectives and ideas, and engage in a dialogue.

Message to Family Physicians: “We see you. We appreciate you. And we celebrate with you.”

Dr. Michael Lee Poy

November 27, 2017

Dr. Michael Lee-Poy has been recognized as Ontario's Family Physician of the Year. In accepting the 2017 Reg L. Perkin Award at the OCFP Awards ceremony on Nov. 23, Dr. Lee-Poy spoke passionately about the special privilege of  being a family physician and the importance of celebrating family medicine.

The OCFP Awards celebrate the outstanding skill, knowledge and dedication of family doctors across Ontario, and recognize the vital work family doctors do to help keep Ontarians healthy, including through community and medical leadership, contributions in teaching and exceptional teamwork.

On behalf of all the recipients I would like to thank the OCFP for hosting this celebration. We are all very honoured to receive these awards tonight. In a time when there are many things happening that can make physicians in general feel unappreciated or undervalued, events like this are important. Events that say “We see you.  We appreciate you.  And we celebrate you.” And that is what we are here to do tonight – to celebrate family medicine.

I believe we all go into medicine with the hopes of making a difference in people’s lives. And of all the specialties, I believe most of us chose family medicine because of the continuity of care and the primary importance of the patient-physician relationship. In what other specialty are we able to journey with patients from birth to death, celebrate their joys and grieve with them their losses? In what other specialty do patients invite us into their most protected parts of their lives and trust us with stories they may never have shared with anyone else? Patients trust us with their stories and we in turn are asked to hold those stories gently and with compassion. 

 For ultimately, people are why we went into medicine. There may be many things that distract us from that – time constraints, fatigue and burnout, external pressures and imposed metrics. However, we must remember that people are why we went into medicine. Family medicine is all about people and their stories and I am profoundly proud to be a family physician.

So, tonight we celebrate family medicine and what a celebration it is in hearing all of the accomplishments. But we are not so naïve as to think we do this on our own. We can only do what we do with a tremendous community of support - our family, our friends, our colleagues, our staff, medical organizations and communities and the greater communities at large.  All of you are part of the successes of family medicine.

So, on behalf of all the recipients, I would like to say to each and every one of you tonight:

We see you.

We appreciate you.

And we celebrate with you tonight.

Together, we are family medicine.

Thank you.


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