Since her days as a medical student, Dr. Joy Russell’s heart has always been in family medicine and the opportunity to care for patients throughout their lives. She has worked in a private family practice for 33 years while also serving as a preceptor for residents, medical students, and nurse practitioners at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Health Clinic in Vancouver.
Since 2010 Dr. Russell has worked with the Vancouver Division of Family Practice, a not-for-profit society funded by the Doctors of BC and the Government of British Columbia, to bring family doctors together to identify opportunities to improve the delivery of local health care. Dr. Russell has been involved with its Continuity of Care committee since 2011, and has participated in the Pathways project—a Web-based resource that aims to streamline the referral process.
Dr. Russell believes the best part of her job is the privilege of working with her patients and colleagues to provide care and support to patients from cradle to grave. A patient of a multi-generational family all under Dr. Russell’s care used the words of a 13th-century poet-philosopher when asked to describe her work as a family doctor: “ ‘Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.’ Fortunately for my family, it is abundantly clear that Dr. Russell was made for the profession of family medicine.”
Dr. Russell is passionate about her medical practice, about teaching and learning, and about her patients. She feels this award recognizes that committed, hard-working family doctors, of whom there are many, play a valuable and unique role in their communities and the lives of their 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.