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A Message from the President – World Family Doctor Day

Read May 2021 eNews

Recently I had the great fortune to directly observe a medical student obtaining a history from a patient of a fellow Alberta family physician in a clinical education setting. The patient was distraught, struggling to cope under challenging circumstances which had presented multiple times before. During the interview, through tears she said to my student, “I didn’t know what to do, so I came here to talk to Dr. A. She always helps me.”

After this patient encounter, my student and I proceeded to review the patient’s situation while we were waiting for Dr. A. In addition to the medical considerations, we discussed the strong patient-doctor relationship that the patient and Dr. A share, which is clearly appreciated by this patient. My student took note of the important role that Dr. A plays in the patient’s life and her presence when needed. This patient’s family physician obviously means the world to her.

Among so many stresses and strains in our local, provincial, and global environments these days, I am encouraged by our positive impacts as family physicians at the patient level. I am even more encouraged that our learners are witness to the appreciation of family physicians directly from their patients.

As World Family Doctor Day 2021 approaches on May 19, 2021, I hope we have the chance to reflect on our own experiences being appreciated for the work that we do. As you know, and as your ACFP strives to make others aware, a family physician’s role is key to the health of an individual and contributes to the health of their communities in turn. Our work with patients creates ripple effects, the positive impacts of which can be felt on a broad scale.

I hope we all take the time to celebrate our good work and the work of our discipline on World Family Doctor Day, and share the message with others too. Feel free to use these materials prepared for you by your ACFP, and please do so with pride.


  • #FamilyMedicine and the #PrimaryCare Community play an important role our lives. On May 19 #WorldFamilyDoctorDay, celebrate your family doctor by sharing your story with @abfamdocs, thank your family doctor, or tell them why they rock. #FamilyDocsRock
  • @ABFamDocs together with multidisciplinary #PrimaryCare teams are the building blocks for a healthier future! #FamilyDocsRock #WorldFamilyDoctorDay @WoncaWorld
  • Building back after the pandemic will take efforts on all levels. Family doctors are key to resilient health systems. We need everybody on board! #WorldFamilyDoctorDay #WFDD2021


Tag us (@ABFamDocs) on Facebook or Instagram in your selfies on the day or add our WFDD2021 Frame to your Facebook profile!


Print this poster and place it in your clinic, office, or home! Send us a photo of where you hung yours.



Share a video from the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)! 

Thank you for your continued work with patients and learners, and for the resulting positive ripple effects. You make a world of difference. 

Sudha Koppula, BSc, MD, MClSc, CCFP, FCFP
Alberta College of Family Physicians

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