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Cheers to All the Family Doctors

I nominated our family physician for an award last year. Sadly, she didn’t win this well-deserved recognition, but I made sure to send her a card in the mail outlining all these things I appreciate about her. Even if the system doesn’t recognize family physicians, patients can make the time to thank them!


Here is a version of the nomination letter…dedicated to all the family physicians out there. Thank you, thank you, thank you for caring for us and our loved ones.


I am pleased to nominate my family physician, Dr. G, for Family Doctor Award.


I am nominating her because of her exemplary care of our entire family over the past few years - during my cancer treatment follow up and also throughout the pandemic and our son’s challenging teenage years. 


Our son is 20 years old and has Down syndrome. Dr. G is extremely patient and inclusive when she works with Aaron. She demonstrates none of the preconceived ableism that we have encountered in other areas of health care. On the contrary, she treats him with respect and dignity and offers him choice and agency when it comes to his medical decisions.


Dr. G’s exceptional skill is that she is a fabulous communicator.  She is clear and speaks in plain language. She explains all the different options and I believe she moves beyond even shared decision making – by giving us the information in the way we understand, us patients are empowered to make our own decisions.  She offers advice only if asked and truly allows us to control our own health care decisions. She understands that communication – and health literacy – is a two-way street.


Speaking plainly about complex issues to any patient, particularly a patient with an intellectual disability, is no small feat!. But Dr. G does just that. She’s the best communicator that I’ve ever met in health care. She makes the time to spend time alone with Aaron to listen to his own concerns and has helped him achieve independence in his doctor’s appointments.


I had anxiety after my cancer treatment finished and Dr. G has always believed me, made the time to listen and never rushed me. She takes my concerns that the cancer has returned seriously, explaining and actioning on what needs to be done to rule that out in a timely way.


She is the epitome of what an exceptional family physician is: she has our family’s back. She is our quarterback in the often-confusing health care system. She believes us, treats us with dignity and cares about us. She is professional while still being human.


In the community, Dr. G also works in a long-term care facility, so she truly understand the entire lifespan of her patients. I don’t consider the ‘busy’ model to be a good thing – so I admire her for working at both her practice and in LTC on a part-time basis so she can care for her children, for I want my doctor to be healthy too. 


I value Dr. G not only for her competency in the field of family medicine, but because she is a compassionate physician who demonstrates that she cares for the families in her practice through her actions, gestures and kind words. She a role-model for the healthy future of medicine.




Sue Robins

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1 Comment

so glad you have such a compassionate and talented family doctor! And for sharing the gratitude with many other family doctors❤️

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