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New guide supports family physicians in caring for Canada’s Veteran population

2022-03-15


(Mississauga, ON) The College of Family Physicians of Canada™ (CFPC) has collaborated with Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) and community-based practice experts to create the Best Advice guide: Caring for Veterans.

The guide provides recommendations to family physicians and other primary care providers in caring for Canada’s Veteran population within the context of the CFPC’s Patient’s Medical Home vision for the future of family practice in Canada. This document highlights considerations to address the key health needs of Veteran patients while sharing best practices, practical tips, and resources for family physicians.
 
Key themes include:
  • Military literacy and cultural competency. Physician awareness and understanding of military culture and context to enhance the patient-provider relationship and optimize the care of Veterans.
  • Challenges with transition to life after service. Timely access to a regular, trusted family physician or primary care team is needed to support Veterans’ transition to the provincial/territorial health care system and ensure continuity of care.
  • Special considerations for military-related physical and mental health conditions. These considerations for care include conditions such as chronic pain, hearing loss, mild traumatic brain injury, and post-traumatic stress disorder, among others.
  • Team-based care with family physician leadership. Team-based care is crucial for long-term, effective management of health conditions and can be especially beneficial when combined with the additional resources available through VAC programs.
  • Patient and family-partnered care. Like all patients, Veterans should be active partners in managing their health and treatment plans. Veteran care should be provided within the context of their environment and socioeconomic factors that may impact their health.
“It is important that family physicians in Canada are well equipped to meet the health needs of specific populations,” says the CFPC’s Executive Director and CEO, Francine Lemire, MD CM, CCFP, FCFP, CAE, ICD.D. “We are proud to have collaborated with VAC to release this guidance that will hopefully result in improved outcomes for Canada’s Veterans.”

“The Best Advice guide will help ensure Canada’s Veterans receive the best health care possible. Family physicians are so vitally important for Veterans, especially when transitioning to life after service. Having a family doctor who understands the military experience will be a big help for Veterans and their families,” says the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence.
 

About the College of Family Physicians of Canada

The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) is the professional organization representing more than 42,000 members across the country. The College establishes the standards for and accredits postgraduate family medicine training in Canada’s 17 medical schools. It reviews and certifies continuing professional development programs and materials which enable family physicians to meet certification and licensing requirements. The CFPC provides high-quality services, supports family medicine teaching and research, and advocates on behalf of the specialty of family medicine, family physicians, and the patients they serve.
 

Contact

Alisa Raizman
Communications Coordinator
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Tel: 905-629-0900 ext. 254
Email: [email protected]

Media Relations
Veterans Affairs Canada
613-992-7468
[email protected]

John Embury
Director, Communications
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
[email protected]
 

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