It’s not uncommon for VPSA to host Meet & Greet events for the most recent physicians to join our community of care. The September 2020 event, however, was the first time our newest members were greeted virtually via a Zoom get-together. It was a great event thanks to the organizational skills of VPSA Onboarding Task Force members Drs. Marthe Charles and Sophia Wong with 60 attendees.
“Over 100 physicians have joined this year and we felt it was especially important to make them feel part of a community,” said VPSA Managing Director Dr. York Hsiang. “The pandemic has isolated us more than ever and we believe it is critical that we continue to take steps to break down silos between departments and divisions. We want to get the message out that we are here to support our members, particularly in physician wellness.”
The evening began with a trivia game icebreaker, with guests randomly assigned to breakout rooms. Each team included new and senior physicians, allowing for participants to build their networks and have a bit of fun. The evening then turned to a series of guest speakers outlining their area of service and ways their organizations support physicians.
Dr. Nadia Zalunardo, chair of the Vancouver Acute Medical Advisory Council, spoke first.
“Many physicians—not just new ones—aren’t familiar with VAMAC,” she said. “Our purpose is to advise the chief operating officer and medical directors about the quality of care in Vancouver Acute and Vancouver Community. If I had to give new physicians one tip it would be that the longer I do medicine the more I realize it’s a team sport. We train as individuals, but we treat complex patients with many care providers. The more we can work as a team, the better.”
Vice President, Vancouver-Richmond, Community Laura Case also had welcoming words for our newest members.
“We’re all super approachable, so talk to a colleague, talk to a manager or a medical director,” she encouraged. “Reach out to your executive and get the support you need.”
Vancouver Acute Senior Medical Director Dr. Marcel Dvorak congratulated the newest hires for being selected to work at VCH.
“This is a momentous accomplishment; you all underwent a rigorous search and selection process before being offered a position,” said Dr. Dvorak. “We hear a lot these days about patient-centred care. You can rely on the medical affairs function to take care of our medical staff so you, in turn, can put patients first.”
VCH’s two associate vice presidents of Medicine, Quality & Safety, Dr. Chad Kim Sing and Dr. Don Griesdale, were also on the agenda.
“You’ve joined a phenomenal organization,” said Dr. Kim Sing. “High-performing medical organizations need to focus on quality of care and our physicians need to be part of that. Get involved with your department, your division, our organization. I hope to see you grow as clinicians and as leaders.”
“There’s a tremendous level of care in our organization,” added Dr. Griesdale, “as well as a renewed interest in physician leadership and getting you engaged and having a voice.”
Dr. Matthew Chow, the president elect of Doctors of BC, spoke about the role of Nicole Harris, the organization’s regional advisor and advocate for VPSA members. Nicole supports physicians in the communities where we live and work. She is our first point of contact in seeking services and support from Doctors of BC.
“You are joining at a unique time… a time when we need our doctors to be at their best,” he added. “Take advantage of VPSA’s wellness initiatives and be on the lookout for one another. We’re not superhuman or invincible.”
The evening closed with comments from VMDAS and VPSA President Dr. Eric Yoshida.
“I wish I’d had events like this when I joined VCH,” he said, “as our speakers have helped bring everything into perspective. You have joined an institution that has been around for 114 years and that is a pillar for health care in BC. You were selected because you are innovative and intelligent and work hard. Over your careers, you will save many lives. Be proud to be here; congratulations!”