On behalf of the ACFP, I offer sincere condolences to the family, friends, colleagues, and patients of Dr. Reynolds.
The unimaginable circumstances in which Dr. Reynolds lost his life are something I never anticipated having to consider in the settings in which we work. In addition to the grief surrounding the loss of a dedicated and caring colleague, there is also shock and anger in the way in which he died. Physicians deal with challenging patients in many settings and circumstances but do not expect or plan for someone entering our clinic with such malicious intent.
There are numerous accounts of the care, compassion, collegiality, and humour that Dr. Reynolds brought to his relationships with patients and colleagues and of his commitment to his family including his young children. He will undoubtedly be missed by many.
As a profession, I understand this has brought up questions about how we approach challenges with patients and how we consider the safety of ourselves and our colleagues, particularly in community clinic settings where there may not be defined protocols or response systems to an immediate threat. I don’t have any answers to offer in that context today but do acknowledge that many will feel a need to discuss and consider this further.
For anyone who wants to make a donation to the family of Dr. Reynolds to support them in this time, please visit the Walter Reynolds Memorial Fund. The ACFP has made a donation as have many others. For anyone who is personally struggling, I encourage you to reach out to the Physician and Family Support Program.
Vishal Bhella MD, CCFP
President Alberta College of Family Physicians