From a young age, Dr. David Pontin loved family medicine for its capacity to reach beyond his community. This made him want to practise medicine in rural areas to help those in need. He completed his medical training at the University of British Columbia and residency training at Dalhousie University. In 2005 Dr. Pontin worked as a rural emergency doctor in eastern Canada for a year and then returned to British Columbia for more training.
Dr. Pontin spent the first 12 years of his career in Yellowknife as a family doctor practising emergency care and later transitioned to practising full-time family care. He now teaches as an assistant professor at the University of Alberta and is the site director of the university’s Yellowknife Residency Training Site.
In July 2020 Yellowknife became a full-time learning site. Dr. Pontin actively endorsed this initiative, which was almost 10 years in the making. He also led a residency program in Yellowknife to address challenges the territory faces to recruiting and retaining family physicians and other specialists. The program involved a partnership between Northwest Territories health and social services authorities and the University of Alberta Department of Family Medicine.
This year, with support from PracticeNWT and in partnership with PEER (Patients, Experience, Evidence, Research), Dr. Pontin co-founded the PEER North Conference. The conference aimed to provide a culturally relevant northern educational forum to connect and strengthen relationships among northern health care providers around current, evidence-based, primary care topics of interest.
Dr. David Pontin continues to drive efforts toward providing high-quality health care to northern Canada and bringing evidence-based care to all northern patients.
Canada’s Family Physicians of the Year –
The Reg L. Perkin Award
Since 1972, the CFPC and the Foundation for Advancing Family Medicine have honoured family physician members who exemplify the guiding principles of family medicine. Initially, one award recipient was selected to receive the Family Physician of the Year (FPOY) Award each year. Since 2002, 10 family physicians have been recognized annually—one representing each CFPC Chapter.
Canada’s FPOYs are chosen by their peers, other health care colleagues, and community leaders for:
- Providing exceptional care to their patients
- Making meaningful contributions to the health and well-being of their communities
- Dedicating themselves as researchers and educators of future generations of family doctors
FPOY recipients must exemplify the four principles of family medicine:
- Be skilled clinicians
- Be community based
- Act as a resource to a practice population
- Recognize the central importance of the doctor-patient relationship
CFPC Chapters review nominations and select the FPOY for their respective provinces. The provincial FPOYs are honoured at their respective Annual Scientific Assemblies or Annual General Meetings. The national FPOYs are honoured at the annual CFPC Family Medicine Forum.