“It takes a village to practice medicine.”
With those words, neurologist Dr. Silke Cresswell welcomed physicians and their guests to a joint Vancouver Physician Staff Association (VPSA) and Vancouver Medical, Dental and Allied Staff Association (VMDAS) networking evening at the UBC Beaty Biodiversity Museum. The September 27 event was held to honour the partners, spouses, parents, children, friends and colleagues who support our work in what is at times a very demanding career.
Dr. Cresswell is keenly aware of the sacrifices she and her physician husband have made.
“Our children see a lot of positive things to our being physicians but they’ve both told me that there’s an emotional cost as we work long hours and are away a lot,” she said. “It’s really our amazing nanny who runs the show at home. We are all supported by many individuals as well as our colleagues.”
The networking event was also designed to cultivate a sense of community in the workplace, which ultimately has a tremendously positive effect on patient care.
“VPSA activities,” added Dr. Cresswell, who is a member of the association’s Community Building & Wellness Committee, “bring us together so we can connect. It is only as a community that we can have influence and affect change.”
Dr. Anna Borowska echoed those sentiments. “Events like this won’t solve everything but they do help boost morale,” she said.
Dr. Jonathan Squires and his husband, Dan Dumsha, spoke about what it means to live with a physician and be their supporter. “Our top secret: compromise and communication,” they agreed.
Unfortunately, VPSA misjudged the catering needs for the evening. The association apologizes for this misstep and will do its best to ensure this does not happen again. Despite this, most feedback from physicians and their supporters was positive.
“The evening was a great success and my wife was able to meet several of my colleagues,” said anesthesiologist Dr. Himat Vaghadia. “I believe the VPSA Facility Engagement Initiative is a good thing and, as word spreads, we will gain in participation and engagement.”
“Make this a regular event please!” wrote another guest. “My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this social event; we both appreciated the sense of community and especially enjoyed mixing with other physicians and supporters in a friendly, non-pretentious atmosphere.”
“Thanks very much for putting on a great evening that really helps build community among physicians and with our supporters,” said another.