Rural Doc Makes Ontario’s Family Physician of the Year

Nov 14, 2016

CFPC and OCFP Announce 2016 Award Winners: DFCM Faculty Recognized

Faculty member Merrilee Brown is Ontario’s Family Physician of the Year, awarded by both the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) and the Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) this fall. The awards recognize excellence in patient care, contributions to the community and dedication to research and education for future family doctors. Brown has been a rural family doctor in Port Perry for over 18 years and active in teaching rural family medicine for over two decades. As CFPC wrote, “Dr. Brown exemplifies the skills of a strong rural generalist practitioner in the truest sense. Her wide clinical scope includes intrapartum care, emergency medicine, house calls, hospital inpatient care, and palliative care.”

Just a few of Brown’s leadership activities include working with the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada since 2006, Educating Future Physicians for Ontario (EFPO) and the Rural Ontario Medical Programme Foundation as a board member to meet community needs for preceptors and trainers. 

Brown’s involvement at DFCM brings an invaluable rural lens to faculty development. Her efforts include delivering professional development to rural preceptors in their communities. By allowing faculty to learn where they live and overcoming the need to visit the city, Brown has provided rural doctors opportunities to maintain and develop teaching skills that they may not otherwise. Beyond this role, for the past ten years, Brown has also organized a rural educators day with DFCM faculty at the Family Medicine Forum, and was integral to the development of the Basics workshop series for faculty.

In an age of specialization, Brown recognizes that it is a challenge for doctors to keep a generalist approach – particularly in rural communities where the needs are varied and evolving. Merrilee’s own career reflects this variety: she continues to practice intrapartum care, emergency medicine, house calls, hospital inpatient care, and palliative care. She believes general practitioners provide good, cost-effective care because they know their patients through multiple contexts of care and encourages family physicians to practice as broadly as they can, and to take advantage of mentorship to fill in their knowledge gaps.

"When my colleagues told me they were nominating me for the award, I laughed and stated that they don't give out the Reg Perkin award just for taking good care of people - but apparently they do! I really want to thank my colleagues for nominating me and the CFPC for this award - it's an honour."

Other DFCM Faculty have also received national and provincial awards this year. Congratulations everyone!

CFPC Honour Roll Recipients

Early Career Development Awards
Dr Danyaal Raza, Toronto
Dr Jeremy Rezmovitz, Toronto

Patient’s Medical Home 60/20 Caring and Compassion Grants
Dr Purti Papneja, Toronto

W. Victor Johnston Oration
Dr Rick Glazier, Toronto

CFPC Scotiabank Family Medicine Lectureship Award
The Honourable Jane Philpott, PC MP, Markham
Minister of Health

Collaborative Mental Health Care Award
Dr. Kristina Powles

The Northern, Rural and Remote Family Practice Marco Terwiel Award
Dr Dominika Jegen

Family Medicine Resident Leadership Award
Dr. Richard Osborne 

OCFP Award Recipients

Community Teacher of the Year
Dr. Jeffrey Weissberger

2016 Awards of Excellence
Dr. Michael Roberts
Dr. Pauline Pariser

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