I would like to begin by thanking Dr. John Falconer for his five years of service as President of the Specialists of BC. I am honoured and humbled to take over from him as your new SBC President. During my time in this role, it is my goal to foster an organization grounded in the principles of inclusion, collaboration, transparency and balance of representation across the diversity of specialties in the SBC tent.
As we emerge from the pandemic there are many issues facing Specialist care: the future of virtual medicine, post-pandemic PPE requirements, surgical catch-up, to name a few. Collective advocacy will continue to be essential for Specialists and the SBC will continue to provide this.
There has been a recent push by BC Family Doctors to have family physicians recognized as specialists themselves. With their unique training and expertise in primary care and a knowledge base which covers the daunting breadth of medicine, our colleagues in family medicine deserve to be celebrated and respected. The proposed extension of the ‘specialist’ nomenclature to family physicians is an avenue they see to fostering this recognition. There is concern, however, that this change risks introducing confusion to the general public, licencing authorities, and the government. This situation and the related significant implications is an illustration of the necessity for Specialists (as we have been traditionally known) to have a strong counter-balancing organization of our own. Our influence is lost if we fracture into our individual specialties without the cohesive voice of the SBC. The SBC needs to remain a strong society to promote the interests of both Specialist physicians and those of our patients.
That being said, we are currently at a cross-roads in our organization, with leadership change and a tenuous membership/financial model which is in need of change if we are to remain viable. We have a lot of work to do over the next couple of years to revitalize our organization. I am confident, however, that with a collective and collaborative effort we can renew the SBC to ensure it remains a prominent and sustainable voice for Specialist care in all of its many forms.
Although I take on the job as your President with some trepidation, it is also with optimism and a hope that we can all recognize each other’s value and respect each other’s training, sacrifice, and dedication to a calling which is truly honourable and humbling – caring for each other. I look forward to working with all of you to guide the SBC through this period of renewal.
Please reach out any time and if you wish to be more involved in the SBC, let us know! The SBC runs on your engagement!
Wishing you all a well-deserved restful summer.
Dr. Chris Hoag
President, Specialists of BC
Below is a summary of some of the highlights of issues that your Executive is currently working on:
Over the last three months, we have engaged with the CPSBC to ask for their position on this development and to express our concerns, underlining the importance of maintaining the distinction between Primary Care/Family Practice and Consultant Specialist care.