New physicians welcomed on board

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Over 150 physicians have joined the Vancouver Community of Care team in 2018 and, for many, it’s been a learning process navigating the many channels before settling into their new positions. To help them build their networks, the Vancouver Physician Staff Association (VPSA) reached out to our new and senior physicians and invited them to a Meet & Greet event this past September 17.

“The Facility Engagement Initiative believes that relationships are at the core of everything we do,” VPSA Facility Engagement Initiative Co-chair Dr. Lyne Filiatrault told the assembled guests. “It’s natural to assume that you’re joining a group when you start a new role, but the reality is it’s much more: you’re joining a community. VPSA has 1,900 members who work at VGH, UBC Hospital, GF Strong, and the Vancouver Community. Getting to know one another can be a challenge but your network is your most valuable asset.”

VCH President and CEO Mary Ackenhusen and Vancouver Acute COO Vivian Eliopoulos attended the VPSA Meet & Greet and chatted with the guests.
“Our new physicians are joining us at an exciting time,” said Mary. “What we’ve done in the past is not going to be what makes us successful in the future. Technology is changing how we provide health care and we need to build on our strengths and become a different organization. We need to be more nimble… a learning organization that is innovative and creative. How we make that shift is what My VCH is all about.”

“Today’s event is about engagement and we’re grateful to the Facility Engagement Initiative for helping our organization to focus on that,” added Vivian. “Engagement means action; how we can change and improve. Our goal is to have our new physicians become ‘lifers.’ You’re part of our future. I encourage you to reach out and connect; engage with your leaders.”

Physician buddy system

“There are so many new things to get used to when you start a new job including, for many of you, learning a new city,” VPSA Onboarding Committee member Dr. Sophia Wong told the crowd. “And Vancouver is not always the friendliest place. That’s why we’ve started a buddy system. Senior buddies can answer your questions about VCH. It’s up to the buddies how often they want to interact.”

The VPSA buddy program matches new physicians with more senior ones in different, but complementary, specialties.

New physician feedback

The Meet & Greet was heralded across the board as a great way to connect with other staff.

“It was excellent; we got to meet some of the change makers and hear from them about our direction,” said Dr. Robin Patyal, who works in Family Practice and aspires to be a change agent himself.

Drs. Charmaine Silveira Da Graca Costa and Panagiotis (Taki) Galanopoulos also work in Family and Community Practice.

“It was nice to meet the community,” said Dr. Da Graca Costa. “I’ve worked for VCH for four months and felt a bit lost when I started so it’s nice to meet people.”

“As outpatient doctors, we can feel somewhat disconnected,” said Dr. Galanopoulos. “That sense of collegiality can be missing sometimes and that’s what we can get through attending events like this.”

Dr. Robyn Palmer is a new face in Emergency Medicine. “It was good to learn about the resources that exist for new physicians and to put names to the faces of people I’ve talked to on the phone,” she said.

VPSA will be hosting another Meet & Greet in January 2019. Stay tuned for details.

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