We relaunched the My Family Doctor Cares campaign to advocate on behalf of our profession, our patients and the almost-one-million British Columbians without a family doctor.
Throughout April and May – culminating on May 19 for My Family Doctor Day – the My Family Doctor Cares campaign will raise awareness that there is a crisis in family medicine that will not improve until the health care system takes better care of the family doctors who take care of British Columbians.
**Thanks to the My Family Doctor Cares campaign, the work of other organizations, and the incredible show of support from family doctors around the province, the family doctor crisis has garnered significant media attention in recent weeks.
If you are interested in participating directly in campaign activities, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2019 and 2022 we undertook public polling research and member surveys to better understand public perceptions and members’ experience of practicing family medicine in British Columbia. This research was used to inform the My Family Doctor Cares campaign.
The position paper is available here.
1) Meet with your MLA
It’s important for BC legislators to understand the crisis facing family medicine. An effective way to achieve this is to share your experience with your local MLA.
- To get the name and contact info for your MLA, visit: www.leg.bc.ca/learn-about-us/members (Note: search by the postal code of your home or practice).
- On your own, or with a group of family doctors in your area, contact your MLA’s office and request a meeting to discuss access to primary care in your community. If possible, schedule this meeting prior to the BCCFP’s Day at the Legislature on May 19.
(Note: Please let BCCFP know if you have a meeting planned, or if you have already met with your MLA.)
- Meet with your MLA and share your experience. Use the talking points below as a guide.
- Invite your MLA to attend the BCCFP’s Day at the Legislature – a breakfast meeting in Victoria on May 19. Let them know how important their attendance is to you, your patients and their constituents who are concerned about having access to a family doctor.
If you can’t meet with your MLA, send a personal email encouraging them to attend the BCCFP’s Day at the Legislature. To save time, feel free to use the email copy we’ve provided or customize an email of your own.
I am a family doctor and member of the BC College of Family Physicians (BCCFP). On May 19, the BCCFP will be hosting a Day at the Legislature breakfast session at the Fairmont Empress at 8:00 a.m.
I am writing to encourage you to attend this session to learn more about the crisis in family medicine.
Almost one million BC residents don’t have, and can’t get, a family doctor. Research conducted recently by the BCCFP reports that 40 percent of British Columbians with a family doctor are concerned about losing them to retirement or practice closure.
It has never been more challenging to practice comprehensive, longitudinal family medicine in BC. We want to share the experience of family doctors and some solutions to support better health outcomes for patients.
Please let me know if you can join us for breakfast on May 19.
Thank you for your time and interest in family medicine.
2) Share social media posts with your followers
Follow BCCFP’s social media channels and like or share our posts.
When posting about family medicine, use the hashtags:
3) Attend the BCCFP’s Day at the Legislature on May 19
Join us in Victoria on May 19. Share your experience regarding how family practice has changed in recent years and the increasing challenges facing you, your patients and your community.
A delegation of member volunteers will be traveling to Victoria for the May 19 breakfast meeting with MLAs.
Space is limited, so if you are interested in volunteering to join us at this meeting in Victoria, please RSVP to email@example.com as soon as possible.
4) Become a media spokesperson in your community
We will be carrying out a hyper-local media campaign, sending media releases to local media celebrating family doctors as the foundation of the health care system.
Local media prefers to use local spokespeople. Let us know if you are willing to speak on behalf of family doctors in your community. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
5) Invite concerned patients, friends and family to send a letter to their MLA
We created a form letter that the public can send, simply by inputting their postal code on our website, selecting their MLA and hitting ‘send’. The public MLA letter can be found on the myfamilydoctorcares.ca website.
We have also created a poster for your office that invites patients to add their voice.
The poster can be downloaded and printed on 8.5×11 office paper. (We recommend printing in colour for maximum effect).
1) To download, click on the thumbnail to the right.
2) Once the PDF is open, left click and chose to save the PDF to your computer or print.
Share Your Story: Advocacy Talking Points
1. Family medicine is in a state of crisis
- Almost one million British Columbians don’t have, and can’t get, a family doctor.
- Fewer family doctors are choosing to work in comprehensive, longitudinal family practice and more family doctors than ever before are considering leaving the profession.
- In a survey conducted by BCCFP in 2022, 40% of those with a family doctor are concerned they will lose their doctor to retirement or practice closure.
- Of those without a family doctor, 19% cited that the reason was because their family doctor had closed their practice. This is twice the percentage from 2019 (9%).
2. Family doctors are the foundation of the health care system. Investing in family medicine means better health outcomes for British Columbians.
- As the main point of contact for access into the health care system, family doctors play a central role in the early identification of disease and improved management of chronic illness.
- Evidence shows that having a family doctor who knows you and cares for you over time results in better overall health outcomes, higher patient satisfaction, and fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits.
- 93% of British Columbians believe continuity of care improves their health and want an ongoing relationship with a family physician.
3. A family doctor’s work doesn’t end when the last patient leaves our office
- There has been a significant increase in the amount of non-clinical work required of family doctors – from completing forms and managing referrals to sifting through an ever-increasing input of patient data on challenging electronic medical record platforms.
- Up to 25% of a family doctor’s week is taken up with administrative work. This is time that could be spent providing direct patient care.
4. We are losing family physicians to other parts of health care
- BC is graduating more family medicine physicians than ever before, but because of the current conditions of work, many are steering away from comprehensive family practice.
- This is also true of later-stage physicians, as we see a growing trend of family doctors moving from primary care to other areas within health care. While these doctors are providing other important services – such as urgent care, working in hospitals and other settings – their absence from working in community-based practices make it harder than ever for the public to find a family doctor.
5. It’s not an easy problem to resolve, but the longer we wait, the worse it gets
- Health care is complex, and the issues are not going to be solved overnight. To create a sustainable health care system, family doctors are asking the Province to invest in the foundation on which the health care system rests – primary care provided by family physicians.
6. Investment in primary care needs to include investments in family doctors
- Research shows that the best outcomes are achieved when patients receive ongoing, collaborative, team-based care led by a family doctor.
- UPCCs and NPs have a role to play in improving health care capacity, but they should not be used in place of an ongoing relationship with a doctor.
The above information is also available in a print-friendly PDF. To print – click on the image below. Once the PDF is open, left click and print.