New and seasoned physicians connect at VPSA Meet & Greet

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Ever thought how much easier your job is when you know the physician on the other end of the phone? Or how pleasant it is when you greet colleagues you recognize in the hall? When we join a department, there is a tendency to become “tribal”: to create bonds with those we work with the most and focus on that microcosm. But we joined more than our department and our division. Over 1,900 physicians work at Vancouver Acute and Vancouver Community within VCH. Knowing more of them can make your work easier and more enjoyable.

Both new and seasoned physicians took steps towards expanding their networks at VPSA’s latest Meet & Greet event held February 4 at VGH. This was the third such event VPSA has hosted and included the inaugural “Ready, Set, Go Icebreaker Challenge” in which teams of physicians and VCH leaders worked together to answer VPSA and health authority trivia.

VPSA Co-Chair Dr. Lyne Filiatrault welcomed guests to the event. “As Deputy Minister of Health Stephen Brown reminded us at our last Breakfast with Leaders session, our current health care system is unsustainable. We need to do things differently and we need physicians who are engaged in their work to be part of that.”

Vancouver Acute Chief Operating Officer Vivian Eliopoulos was one of several VCH leaders in attendance.

“Our organization is our house,” she said, “And we need to have open and honest conversations about how we can make it the best possible place to be. There are discussions happening today that didn’t exist in a coordinated way before VPSA was formed and there’s a palpable energy encouraging us all to connect, collaborate and care. But we [VCH leaders] can’t fix what we don’t know is broken. We want to hear from you so we can partner to make improvements.”

VPSA’s Onboarding Committee co-chairs Drs. Emily Pang and Marthe Charles talked about their committee’s ongoing work to improve the credentialing and privileging process as well as simplify the many steps required to start at VCH. Expect this information to be added soon to VPSA’s website.

“These Meet & Greet events,” added Dr. Pang, “are opportunities for our newest physicians to meet with more senior staff and administration, and hopefully helps them feel welcomed and have a chance to ask questions.”

Family and Community Practice physician Dr. John van Bockxmeer joined VCH about six months ago, having moved to Vancouver from Australia. He talked about a mnemonic shared by a mentor: SET.

“This is how I prepare for a new job,” said Dr. van Bockxmeer. “S stands for prepare Self, which you can do by becoming aware of what will be new to you; E stands for Equipment, which can be very different at each location; and T is for Team—a good team will become your support network.”

VPSA President and Co-Chair Dr. Simon Rabkin summed up the evening: “We just hosted the 2019 Hall of Honour and inducted some major stars in the field of medicine who have worked at VCH. There’s a path to greatness here but no one gets there alone. You have to have a support group. I hope you will work with us to help you achieve your potential and help maintain VCH as one of the pioneering health care organizations in the world.”

See photos from the Meet & Greet here.

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