D.A. (Gus) Grant, AB, LLB, MD, CCFP, ICD.D, Registrar & CEO
An extraordinary Year
I write as COVID-19 vaccinations are being administered around the province. Although still six feet apart, it is tempting for all of us to exhale a measured sigh of relief, albeit from behind our three-ply masks.
In reflecting on this most extraordinary year, I am grateful for the leadership demonstrated by physicians, marked by clear, consistent communications. The profession and the public have been kept current with public health guidance. Unlike other jurisdictions, we have been spared from the harmful disruptions of physicians speaking out against good science, whether it be against masking, vaccinations, or other necessary restrictions. The public has benefitted from the unity of medical voices.
In reflecting on this most extraordinary year, I am grateful for the leadership demonstrated by physicians, marked by clear, consistent communications.
I am grateful for the many successful collaborations, of which two deserve special mention. In the early days of the pandemic, Health Canada and the regulators developed a process to allow for the remote prescribing of controlled substances. This effort kept many of our most vulnerable patients stable. Faced with the challenges of physical distancing, many stakeholders came together to bring virtual care into the mainstream. With the tremendous embrace of physicians and patients, the medical system was enabled to provide safe and effective access to care.
For most physicians, it has been a year of unparalleled change and stress. Physicians have long felt the call to silently soldier through challenges in service to patients. This code of stoicism within medicine gives rise to physician isolation and burnout. As such, I am grateful for the focus and energy being brought to issues of physician wellness by Doctors Nova Scotia and the Canadian Medical Association.
The pandemic has shone a light on many social inequities, with the health and economic burdens of the pandemic most strongly felt by marginalized and racialized communities. There is widespread provincial and national momentum to address health inequities and the underlying forces of systemic racism and implicit bias. While there is much to be done, I am grateful to see this work has begun.
There is widespread provincial and national momentum to address health inequities and the underlying forces of systemic racism and implicit bias.
Finally, I am grateful to the staff of the College, who have risen to the regulatory challenges authored by the pandemic. The stresses on the public and the profession have resulted in a record number of complaints, calls, and concerns. Throughout the year, it has been incumbent on the College to act quickly, reasonably, and flexibly to address the evolving needs of the province. It is a great privilege to work with each and every one of them in service to the public and the medical profession.