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DR. SHAHANA NATHWANI
Dr. Nathwani has been a part of the College of Family Physicians (CFPC) since medical school, an opportunity she’s grateful for.
(BCCFP note: Since writing this, Dr. Nathwani has graduated.) As a resident, I am a member of the BC College as a means of getting mentorship. It’s the easiest, most valuable way for me to meet other physicians as well as those working in health care administration. I am inspired by the work they are doing at both a clinical and a managerial level. I’ve actually been involved in the College for a long time.
In medical school, I was very fortunate to represent the Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) at the National College of Family Physicians. In this role, I was required to travel to Ontario periodically to participate in board meetings, where I often was the youngest and least experienced person in the room. Once I got over my nerves, I realized how lucky I was to be a part of these influential discussions. I remember one particular occasion at a strategic retreat where we were discussing a relatively new concept at the time called the “medical home.” Now, the patient’s medical home is not just well known terminology but involves functioning entities delivering quality medical care. Medical school and residency are a time to acquire a breadth of required clinical knowledge. However, little time is spent understanding the current and relevant issues facing the profession that you soon are going to be a part of. I think it is extremely important for all physicians, especially new grads like me, to be able to better articulate where we see family medicine in the next 10-20 years and take the necessary steps to ensure this is a tangible goal. Participating in the College enables us to do that. I would encourage others to become members and to get involved in the College’s work if they have the time and ability to do so. It’s such an important organization, working to promote family medicine and acting as a voice for both physicians and patients. So much goes on behind the scenes that many aren’t aware of.
Kevin works as a military physician and flight surgeon at an air force base in Comox, BC. He also takes up regular shifts at a family practice clinic in Courtenay. Despite his busy schedule, Kevin finds the time to represent physicians as our national First Five Years of Practice Representative—not to mention that he also practices yoga and takes care of four pets!
Kevin most values his position as a family physician for the dynamism of the work. On a daily basis, he has the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and perform a wide variety of medical procedures. To Kevin, being a family doctor means “getting to know people’s stories, not just their problems.”
This is especially true as a rural practitioner, where a varied skill set is a necessity. With fewer specialists to attend to patients, Kevin must be proficient in as much medical knowledge as possible. He enjoys facing new and complex cases in an environment where medical specialists are not always available.
As a word of advice for his fellow physicians in their first five years of practice, Kevin maintains, “Get to know your medical community. They will be a great system of support when you have questions.” He recommends that young physicians join organizations and associations to become involved and build a network of doctors. You’ll very likely need a helping hand at some point, and it helps to have someone to turn to.
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