Why I Chose Medicine

Rhythm of Life Davidicus Wong 3
Family doctors treat the whole community:
everyone is our patient

MAY 28, 2014

In this week’s column, Dr. Davidicus Wong speaks to how as a child he was inspired to enter medicine.  

I chose family medicine because I love stories – not fairy tales, fantasy and fiction but the narratives of everyday people living their lives. Nothing is more engaging or authentic; no bestselling novel, blockbuster movie or reality TV show can match.

Physicians are privileged to listen to the personal stories of our patients – the history of their experiences and the joys and challenges of their relationships, and we are entrusted to become a part of these stories as we, understanding each person’s personal values, guide them in making the most appropriate choices for themselves.

At a recent strategic planning session for the Burnaby Division of Family Practice, I invited all board members to share their stories. Why did they choose medicine as a career? Why did they choose family medicine as a specialty? Why did they choose to practice in this community, and why did they join the Division of Family Practice?

Medicine chose me when, in Grade 6, I was hospitalized for inflammatory arthritis and was moved by the nurses and doctors who cared for me as a person and not just the disease. I wanted to help others to cope with challenging and uncertain circumstances and see and treat them as whole people.

I chose to work in my community because this was my hometown. I went to school here, played in most of the parks and spent countless hours in our libraries. To work here was to give back to the community that has given me so much more.

I chose to lead the Burnaby Division of Family Practice because this non-profit organization’s purpose resonated with my personal calling. When I talk to patients and my children about finding their calling – what they were meant to do with their lives – I identify their calling as the intersection of their talents, passions and values with the needs of the world. What do you love to do and how can you use your talents in the most meaningful way to meet the needs before you?

Our mission is to engage, support and mobilize family physicians in co-creating a network that will support the well-being of all members of our community. At the heart of our mission – at the core of all that we do – is the well-being of every patient.

Family physicians care about their patients and they share the unique perspective of seeing the whole person.

They also understand that through the resources of their community – and through new partnerships our organization has developed with others interested in improving the health of our community – we can help provide the care each patient needs.

Our organization and the GP for Me initiative ask all family physicians to expand their circle of care. Family doctors are used to making the patients they personally treat their primary concern. We are asking them to think beyond their own practices, and ask, “Who are our patients?” The answer is, “Everyone is our patient” just as everyone is our neighbour, our brother or sister.

As a group we are engaged in the care of everyone in our community, especially those who do not yet have a family physician and are not receiving the care they need.

Our organization is involved in multiple initiatives that will ultimately enhance access to primary care, the health of our community and the patient-doctor relationship. Every family physician can shape the story of our community.

Throughout B.C., family physicians are organized into Divisions of Family Practice, working together to improve primary care in their communities.

On Monday, June 2, I’ll be speaking at the Metrotown branch of the Burnaby Public Library on “The Patient-Doctor Relationship: making the most of each visit with your family doctor.” For more information, please phone the Metrotown branch at 604-436-5400 or register online at http://www.bpl.bc.ca/events.

Dr. Davidicus Wong is Physician Lead of the Burnaby Division of Family Practice. His Healthwise column appears regularly in the Now newspapers.



About Davidicus Wong

I am a family physician. I write a weekly newspaper column, Healthwise for the Vancouver Courier, Burnaby Now, Royal City Record and Richmond News.
This entry was posted in Burnaby Division of Family Practice, patient-doctor relationship, Your Calling and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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