the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada


President’s message

Margaret Tromp, MD
Picton, Ont.

Correspondence to:
Margaret Tromp

Can J Rural Med 2019;24(1)
Winter 2019


This summer, we lost Aretha Franklin. Her hit song, R-E-S-P-E-C-T,   became a powerful anthem with strong ties to the civil rights and feminist movements.

Recently, issues related to respect have surfaced in discussion on the RuralMed listserve. There has been discussion of interactions between rural docs  and  consultants  when the services of the consultant are needed for emergency patients. Some rural physicians have had telephone interactions where they felt that there was not a good understanding of their limitations of resources, and their medical decisions were judged to be inadequate.

There was also discussion of how, as rural physicians, we need to learn to value ourselves and our families so that we can set some limits on our medical commitments. We work in relatively small groups and are called upon to assume many roles, both medical and administrative. It is important that we remain cognizant of balance. We need to conserve the energy needed to nurture our most important relationships-those with our families and close friends.

The Society of Rural  Physicians  of Canada has several initiatives that can help with the challenge of respect. First, the RuralMed listserve allows SRPC members to discuss these issues and to exchange ideas with their rural colleagues. At our yearly Rural and Remote conference, workshops are led by rural doctors who share their practical experience and knowledge with their colleagues. We are aware that doctors who work in similar environments as we do are most aware of our challenges and are excellent teachers.

The SRPC executive is involved in initiatives with other Canadian medical organizations to increase understanding and promote rural practice. We have worked with the College of Family Physicians of Canada on the Rural Roadmap1 and are continuing to implement   its   recommendations. For example, Action 6 of the Rural Roadmap is to… “Support the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in identifying and equipping specialists with generalist competencies required to support rural communities.”

The SRPC is also a member of the Canadian Medical Forum, a forum of 10 medical organizations who meet three times a year to discuss issues of common interest. At our last meeting, we discussed specialist services in rural Canada. We learned that rural rotations are being introduced into Royal College training programs across the county.
The SRPC will continue initiatives that increase the perceived value of rural medicine, as this will invariably improve healthcare services for rural populations.

1. Available from: ENG.pdf. [Last accessed on 2018 Sep 16].

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