President's Message

David White, MD, CCFP, FCFP, President

Taking a global view of family medicine

In addition to being the national voice of family physicians, the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) represents Canada’s family doctors on the world stage: We are members of WONCA, we take part in a number of international conferences, and we have established the Besrour Centre to advance family medicine globally. These international relationships offer us important opportunities to learn from one another.

Our family physician neighbours in the United States are represented by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). The CFPC Board and the AAFP Board have many points of contact throughout the year, including attending each other’s annual meetings. Although Canadians commonly believe Americans should take lessons from our health care system, in fact the learning flows both ways. For example, our colleagues in the United States developed the concept of the Patient-Centered Medical Home; our College adapted this to the Canadian context, launching the Patient’s Medical Home (PMH). The PMH is currently undergoing a refresh, building on our experiences and those of our American counterparts.

In September Dr. Francine Lemire and I were guests at the AAFP’s Council of Delegates followed by their annual conference, Family Medicine Experience (FMX), in San Antonio, Texas. The Council of Delegates had lively debates on policy and voting on a wide range of important motions. At FMX, I attended a number of superb continuing medical education sessions and gave a brief presentation on the activities of the Besrour Centre.

NAPCRG, the North American Primary Care Research Group, is another international organization in which the CFPC and individual College members are active. Its annual conference takes place a week after Family Medicine Forum (FMF) this year, with both in Montreal. The NAPCRG conference is a key forum at which members of our Section of Researchers disseminate and discuss their work and connect with international colleagues.

As a national organization, the CFPC has a key responsibility to support family physicians in improving the health of people in Canada. We also have much to contribute to and learn from family physicians and their organizations around the world. In San Antonio I was inspired by the words of Dr. Doug Henley, Executive Vice President and CEO of the AAFP, who declared, “Health care is a right.” We must work to champion that right in our own countries, internationally, and globally.

As part of that effort, I hope to connect with many of you at FMF for our newly renamed Walk With the Docs - Advancing Family Medicine Globally in support of the Besrour Centre. See you in Montreal!

David White, MD, CCFP, FCFP

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