|October 2010, Issue 8|
Our Family Medicine faculty tell me that they love to teach because when they teach, they learn. Of course there are many other reasons why we choose to teach and chief among them is the opportunity to pay forward or give back what’s been shared with us as medical learners.
I’m incredibly proud of our excellent teaching faculty at the DFCM. There is so little time to reflect on why you teach when you are busy doing just that, or treating patients, or studying, doing paperwork or learning a new EMR system. So I’d like to share, perhaps remind you, what you've told me about why you teach.
Teachers are influencers. We are role models clinically, professionally and academically. Our behaviour, attitudes and interests influence our students’ professional choices. Our clinical methods and preferences become part of their medical experience. The way we set up or participate in a practice, its culture and services, the families and community it serves, these all become part of the trainees’ landscape of career possibilities. It is gratifying to see your contributions guide future family physicians.
Working with a young person is rejuvenating to a physician some years into their practice. The passion, energy and commitment of a trainee can refresh physicians and remind them of their own enthusiasm as learners. And when we, as teaching physicians, look back at our training we can take pride in our years of study and practice. We’ve learned and now we can share.
Trainees these days have grown up and learned in a world with the Internet. They are confident using computers in the office and help us, their preceptors with technology. On Teaching Practice site visits this summer, several preceptors told us that residents were helping them become more efficient using their EMRs.
Training new doctors is an investment in health care. With each trainee, Family Medicine preceptors perform the crucial work that brings more doctors to communities across the province. As they train, residents are exposed to a variety of settings. Having positive experiences learning in the suburbs, or in an inner city setting, perhaps in a community practice or at a remote rural site will, we hope, favourably influence a trainee’s choice of location for future practice. And without even knowing it, the teaching physicians could potentially be engaging in succession planning for the future of their own practice.
By teaching we advance the discipline of Family Medicine. DFCM faculty influence how health care is delivered in our province by designing curriculum and programs across the spectrum of medical education including faculty development and CME. DFCM faculty and programs provide a rich and diverse learning experience for our students and residents. Our faculty members break new ground in areas such as inner city health, HIV/ AIDS, addictions medicine, global health, palliative care and immigrant and aboriginal health. We also provide leadership in health policy and primary care renewal.
Your teaching has enormous impact advancing high quality, patient-centred care every day. It is integral to Family Medicine’s commitment to provide patients with quality, comprehensive care.
Thank you and here’s to the teachers!
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