Ongomiizwin – Health Services provides physicians to First Nations communities on a regular basis, including fly-in and drive-in hospitals and nursing stations in northern Manitoba and one location in southern Manitoba.
During these visits, physicians oversee complex health problems, review chronic disease cases, develop treatment plans for continuing care, chart reviews, make referral to specialists, review and renew prescriptions, review lab tests, diagnostic reports and consultant letters.
Regularly scheduled visits from physicians mean patients are able to stay in their community, except when further treatment is needed at a tertiary care facility or community hospital in the city.
Part of the team
Physicians are an important part of a health-care team that serves these First Nations communities, liaising with other interdisciplinary caregivers serving the community.
In addition to serving as consultants to the nurses who are the primary caregivers, they also work with medical specialists, dentists, physiotherapists, mental health care workers and more.
As time allows, they also perform case-related teaching for nurses and act as preceptor for both family medicine residents and undergrad medical learners.
Locum opportunities also exist on an ongoing basis as replacements for vacation and education leaves.
Benefits for practitioners
Working in the northern communities of Manitoba is truly the last bastion of what we think of as family medicine from another era.
Nowhere else can a family physician experience a wide variety of presentations they will never see anywhere else, spend time getting to know patients well, provide continuity of care to many generations of the same family, receive hugs and gestures of appreciation scarce in a fast-paced urban practice.
And at the same time getting back more than you give; the experience of a unique culture, lessons of resilience, hope and resolution from patients, lessons in flexibility, learning how to be a physician with low/no technology and experiencing the wondrous nature of the Canadian landscape.
The family physicians are committed to the provision of primary care, preventive health measures and health education with the approach that community relations, culture and values are often inseparable from patient care.
For more information, contact: