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BC Covid19 Math and Stats modelling lecture May 14, 2020
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BC Covid19 Realtime modellingThe "bcCOVID-19 group Lecture: Real time modelling of the COVID-19 epidemic - perspectives from British Columbia" was delivered as a Zoom lecture and was recorded. The first speaker Caroline Colijn provides an interesting explanation of the use of mathematical modelling and how this is being used to develop data driven policies. Her presentation includes some graphs that are quite useful.

Congratulations Dr Granger Avery named to Order of Canada
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Dr Granger AveryCongratulations to Dr Granger Avery who has been named to the Order of Canada. 

Dr Avery is an exemplary physician and visionary who has made a positive impact as a medical leader to improve health care for Canadians.

Will we see changes to copyright laws in Canada?
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2019-06-21 Vancouver, BC

Canadian copyright laws were updated in 2012. Now, in 2019, two Canadian Parliamentary Standing Committees delivered reports with recommendations on changes to copyright laws in Canada.

Will we see any changes to the copyright laws in the near future?

Federal Government seeks intervenor status in B.C. health care court case
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Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver - April 26, 2016.

Below is a link to the Globe and Mail article from April 13, 2016.

Hopefully, the debate around the court case, involving Dr. Brian Day's private Cambie Surgery Centre and the BC Provincial Government with a trial scheduled to begin June 6, will not become polarized with views of exclusivity between public and private health care but instead what we could and should do to make public health care more effective so that escape valves, like private care, are less needed without eradicating access to private care by individuals should they need it.

How far do individuals have to go? If the public system delivers the needed service great. If not, is there private care here at home in Canada or do people have to go to other countries?

Not the only nail in the coffin of democracy at the Canadian Medical Association
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Not the only nail in the coffin of democracyDr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver BC - August 11, 2021.

In less than two weeks, on August 22, 2021 the Canadian Medical Association will hold its AGM as a virtual meeting with proposed bylaw amendments that some doctors say will be the end of democracy at the CMA. While the proposed bylaw amendments deserve to be defeated by physician members, it is not the whole story. This is not the only nail in the coffin of democracy in the CMA and in the medical profession throughout the country and the provinces.

Larry saves the Canadian healthcare system - a musical satire
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Dr D. Naismith, Vernon BC, Jun 22, 2022

Larry saves the Canadian Healthcare System imageThis is an enjoyable musical satire. Each episode is five minutes or so and covers different aspects of the healthcare system from the crisis in lack of family doctors to overcrowded emergency departments, patients in hallways and more. An interesting take on the Canadian healthcare system problems and the production is well done judging from the first four episodes released.

are you sure you want to drive this car ?
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You are done driving your bicycle, as you have successfully completed your race car driving school.

You decide that it is time to buy a car and put your training to use, driving people around, to feed your family, pay your student loans, mortgage etc …

You go to the only car dealerships available, all state owned dealerships, and you have no choice as they have a state sanctioned monopoly.

Burnout and Resilience
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Vancouver BC - Oct 19, 2011.

burning candleA talk on burnout in doctors at a recent conference in Vancouver provided good information and stimulated further exploration.

During questions the speaker said the prevalence of burnout in doctors is 20 percent and tends to occur in pockets or clusters.

The talk focused on burnout resulting from lack of recognition while caring for others. Although burnout can also result from lack of recognition from colleagues and co-workers, lack of resources, and degree of bureaucracy.

Burnout can also occur in other aspects of our lives besides our work.

Good news from the talk is research shows that when individuals examined their level of burnout and attended to the risk of burnout they were not only able to reduce their current risk but their future risk of burnout continued to remain less and even improved further over time.

Don't get swept away by the spin on health care
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medical spin2016-08-22 Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC

We better be careful not to get swept away by the spin of BC Liberals pre-election buzz.

And when it comes to the spin on health care they're not alone.

The same spin seems to be coming from the leaders of the medical association DoctorsOfBC. Is this the result of being co-managers of BC healthcare for almost a decade through the GPSC and other initiatives?

Is it any surprise they are all so complimenting of each other?

What are we to believe? That they have a plan? That it's going to work, someday, soon?

Yes, the plan to spend tax payer dollars is happening. Billions of dollars and hundreds of millions over budget. So where are the results?

We are in grave danger, we have taken people out of the picture.
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Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - October 17, 2022

It’s about learning, knowledge, sharing and understanding so we can make our society and the world better.

We are in grave danger. Soon those with memories of how things were different will be gone. We will be left at risk of believing the way we do things is the only way.

We have taken people out of the picture. We have become leaders of entities, not leaders of people.

Health Records and Privacy (Humour?)
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If you haven't already seen this, here is a somewhat humorous piece from the American Civil Liberties Union

http://www.aclu.org/pizza/images/screen.swf

You can also check out their home page for other interesting news stories,

http://www.aclu.org

Requirements to be Deputy Registrar at College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSBC) – Is something different?
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Z. Essak, MD – Vancouver, BC – 2015 Apr 23

medical regulation shield imageThe College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC is looking to hire a new Deputy Registrar with the deadline for applications of April 30, 2015 fast approaching.

Is there something different about the experience required in this job posting – “a career opportunity in medical regulation”?

The proven experience and qualifications all candidates should have begins with, "minimum 10 years of senior administrative experience in a complex health-related organization (e.g. regulator, health authority, association, etc.)"

Also the requirements, while including "medical degree preferred", are open to others with "master of business/health administration or law degree also accepted".

Is this a sign of changes or a shift underway at the College (CPSBC)?

The future of medicine and health care in BC and Canada: Where are we going?
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Norman Rockwell Doctors Office2016-07-21 Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC

What is the future of medicine and health care in BC and Canada? Where are we going?

While everyone is out having fun in the summertime, the Government and other organizations, use the time to put out information they know few people will have time to see or digest. Much like they also use the busy time of Christmas and the winter holiday season to slip through items. Some people may just consider it prudent timing, others may see it as deliberate avoidance of proper public consultation.

What do Family Doctors do?
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Family doctor with patient combo, Norman Rockwell painting and photoDr Carmen Eadie, Vancouver BC, Sep 4, 2022.

The biggest problem with being a Family Doctor is that no one knows exactly what we do. We are involved in so many aspects of a person’s life that the lens is not clear to other people.

Are medical errors the third leading cause of death or disability and what can we do to protect ourselves?
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TEDx Stanley ParkDr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver BC - March 4, 2018

The TEDx Stanley Park event at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver on Saturday March 3, 2018 was incredible with 13 (a bakers dozen) memorable and inspiring speakers and 4 brief, fun energerizer programs to keep the audience engaged. Two of the presentations addressed medical errors.

With cancer as the leading cause of death and heart disease as the second leading cause, medical errors are referred to by some as the third leading cause of death and disability.

Whether errors are third or not, it makes sense that anything that helps to reduce or prevent medical errors is worth pursuing. Every error that can be prevented has direct benefit to individuals and their families.

News Items

Last chance to save BC's crumbling health care system may rest with the silent majority of physicians defeating the PMA
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Opinion

Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - November 27, 2022.

The BC health care system continues to show larger cracks as it crumbles. Are patients and doctors to believe that the BC NDP Government and the Association of the Doctors of BC have a plan to fix it? You better think again. There is nothing in the Physician Master Agreement (PMA) that is going to fix our health care system. It is not going to restore longitudinal care. It doesn't even pretend to offer a GP for everyone, or even access to timely specialist care or surgery.

While patients are confused as to what will save health care, are doctors blinded by the glitter thrown in their faces? The only hope in sight is if the silent majority of physicians, the seventy percent who don't usually vote, decide this week to cast their vote against the PMA, to Vote "NO" to the PMA, and send a strong message to Government and their own leaders this is not a good fix.

Is BC NDP new legislation poised to politically interfere with licensing of doctors and health professionals?
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Vancouver, BC - November 24, 2022.

 Health Professions and Occupations ActDoes the BC NDP's new legislation: Bill 36 - Health Professions and Occupations Act, introduced on October 19, 2022, set the stage for political interference in the licensing of physicians and other health professionals? Under sections 519 to 532 of the proposed Act, the Cabinet can make changes to the regulations including disciplinary measures, the composition of discipline panels and the oversight of complaints. In BC, will politics trump science when it comes to health professionals?

The Association of the Doctors Of BC has not alerted physicians and the public of problems and concerns related to the new Act. However, social media has been exploding with comments about the recently tabled legislation.

We are in grave danger, we have taken people out of the picture.
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Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - October 17, 2022

It’s about learning, knowledge, sharing and understanding so we can make our society and the world better.

We are in grave danger. Soon those with memories of how things were different will be gone. We will be left at risk of believing the way we do things is the only way.

We have taken people out of the picture. We have become leaders of entities, not leaders of people.

What do Family Doctors do?
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Family doctor with patient combo, Norman Rockwell painting and photoDr Carmen Eadie, Vancouver BC, Sep 4, 2022.

The biggest problem with being a Family Doctor is that no one knows exactly what we do. We are involved in so many aspects of a person’s life that the lens is not clear to other people.

Dr Ian McWhinney, Canada's "Founding Father of Family Medicine"
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Photo of Dr Ian R. McWhinneyDr Ian R. McWhinney was an English physician and academic who moved to the University of Western Ontario as the first chair of family medicine in Canada where he started the country's first Department of Family Medicine in 1968. He became known in Canada and around the world as the "Father of Family Medicine".

He published over 100 articles during his lifetime and is well known for his influential book, Textbook of Family Medicine. The opening chapter, The Origins of Family Medicine, provides a brief history of medicine including the emergence and need for Family Medicine.

Are band-aids the right Rx to save family medicine?
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band-aid solutionThe $118 million announced consisting of $75 million new money plus redistribution of existing funds as a "stabilization fund" is an interim measure, a one-time handout over 4 months October 2022 to Jan. 31st, 2023, to help family physicians (FP) in the community, both longitudinal practices and walk-in clinics with overhead costs to keep their doors open until January 2023. This first step is intended to buy more time for the government and DoBC to develop a "new payment model" that will be introduced and implemented. According to DoBC President's letter, the new model will be based on compensation determined by a number of factors including time, patient encounters, and attachments/complexity.

Open letter to the President and President Elect of the CMA
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Dear Dr. Smart and Dr. Lafontaine,

Firstly, let us congratulate you, Dr. Smart, on your advocacy for Canadians and Canadian physicians over the past year.  You have spoken well and kindly, placing the issues besetting health care in Canada before Canadians and the Federal government with admirable clarity.

And having known you for many years Dr. Lafontaine, we have great confidence that you will continue this essential advocacy.

Canadian Medical Association 2022 AGM is fast approaching
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2022 CMA AGM bannerThe Canadian Medical Association (CMA) 2022 AGM is fast approaching. It is to be a virtual event held on Sunday, August 21. There is still time to register until Tuesday, August 16.

What will this year's AGM be like? There have been several posts and comments by physician colleagues on the pages of Doclounge sharing thoughts on issues pertaining to the CMA and the upcoming AGM. Does the Annual Report lack important details? Why are there no detailed minutes from the last AGM for review and approval? Are new proposed Bylaw changes good or bad and why so little discussion?

Congratulations Dr Granger Avery named to Order of Canada
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Dr Granger AveryCongratulations to Dr Granger Avery who has been named to the Order of Canada. 

Dr Avery is an exemplary physician and visionary who has made a positive impact as a medical leader to improve health care for Canadians.

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