Dear Colleagues:,

This is a very exciting time for the Newfoundland and Labrador College of Family Physicians. Our chapter continues to grow and now represents over 600 members. With members’ support, we have embarked on an increasing number of activities to promote family medicine in our province.

Our 2015 Annual Scientific Assembly occurred in conjunction with the Discipline of Family Medicine’s Family Medicine Education Forum in beautiful Humber Valley. The Awards Dinner was a celebration of family medicine in our province with many outstanding family physicians being recognised for their amazing work and commitment. Our AGM was well attended and members were very engaged and supportive of the work of the college. The annual “kitchen party” social was a great success again this year as it was a wonderful opportunity for everyone to relax, network with friends and enjoy music and food. Planning for ASA 2016 has already begun and dates for the event will be announced in the very near future. We also have a commitment to provide smaller CPD events throughout more locations in our province and details on this will be released in early 2016.

We continue to engage our medical learners. Our involvement with the Family Medicine Interest Group at MUN has been very rewarding as their enthusiasm for family medicine is incredibly inspirational. Our annual contribution to “Procedures Day” and our “Dinner with the Docs” has been successful and I would encourage any members who are interested in participating to contact us. This year, we have made a commitment to re-engage with our family medicine residents and to connect them with our college and, particularly, with the First Five Years in Practice group.

We are very excited with the recent discussion and investment in the redesign of primary health care in Newfoundland and Labrador. We have been an active partner in these discussions, promoting the movement towards the Patient Medical Home model of care. We continue to work closely with the NLMA, government and other key stakeholder groups to achieve meaningful transformation of our primary health care services. A considerable amount of work remains and we will be actively engaging members over the next year to provide input and leadership in this area. Watch for updates on provincial EMR and eConsult- a collaborative project to improve access to consultant care.

The next couple of years will also be a time of considerable challenges. Physician-assisted death, safe narcotic prescribing and access to primary care are all major issues we must address. Social accountability is of great importance to our college and our profession. Again, we will be engaging with members and partnering with other professional organizations on these topics. We must be strong advocates for our patients and leaders of change when necessary.

I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that the next couple years will bring to our chapter and our province. Please contact the Chapter office at any time by calling 709-864-6566 or email Debbie Rideout. You can drop by our new chapter office and Networking Corner in the old Student Affairs Office of MUN medical school. Of course, you could also join our Facebook Group “College of Family Physicians of Canada- Newfoundland and Labrador”, explore our website or follow us on Twitter @cfpcnl. We look forward to hearing from you.

Dr. Dave Thomas, MD, CCFP
President, NL CFPC