September 24, 2021

Dear colleagues,

As your family physician representatives on the GPSC, we are sending a message to the family doctors of BC. Each of us is a working community doctor. At this extraordinarily difficult time in our profession, we want to let you know that we understand the incredible stress you are under. Like all British Columbians, we hoped in the spring that we were past the worst of this pandemic. Instead, wave four hit us with a vengeance, and for most of us, it seems even more overwhelming than before. The public protests and criticisms from our own peers and some partners have only magnified our desperation.   

We see your pain. We feel your exhaustion, we feel the toll this pandemic is taking on you and your families.

And still, you give it your all. The vast majority of you have continued to provide appropriate in-person care as you adapted to a virtual world. You were doing what you always did and continue to do. You put your patients first even though the personal stakes had escalated beyond what is imaginable. In addition to ramping up virtual care, you have been taking extraordinary measures to ensure your offices are safe for your patients and staff. As protocols and guidelines continuously shift, you are putting in the time and planning on the fly to change the way you and your team work.

You are doing this because you are consummate professionals. You know your job. There is no question you are the experts in primary care. In the midst of all this, we want to state clearly that you matter. Your personal and family circumstances, your mental and physical health and even your pets are priorities. Please take care of yourselves. Protect your health and wellbeing and that of your precious families. Even on an airplane, you put your own mask on first.     

This letter will not extoll the things the GPSC is doing for you. That is for another time. In future communications, we will share with you in a more transparent way the work of the GPSC and how we are advocating for you, for primary care, and for our patients. Over the next few months, as your Doctors of BC representatives on the GPSC, our focus will be on supporting your mental health, reducing your administrative burden, and helping you from an infrastructure perspective. Please continue to let us know what is on your minds. Engage with your divisions – they are your local connection to the GPSC. Tell us what we are doing right, and how we can do better.

We end this letter with one "ask" of you. Remember to lift up your colleagues; if someone is struggling, give them a hand. If someone does something extraordinarily good, show that you value and appreciate them. The little things can make a difference, especially right now. In the meantime, thank you for all you do. Thank you for being you.

Dr Anthon Meyer, GPSC Co-Chair
Dr Sari Cooper
Dr Jaron Easterbrook
Dr Mitch Fagan
Dr Lee MacKay
Dr Tracy Monk