Healthwise: Doctors help shape stories

I chose family medicine because I love stories – not fairy tales, fantasy and fiction, but the narratives of everyday people living their lives. Nothing is more engaging or authentic.
Physicians are privileged to listen to the personal stories of our patients, and we are entrusted to become a part of these stories as we, understanding each person’s personal values, guide them in making the most appropriate choices for themselves.
At a recent strategic planning session for the Burnaby Division of Family Practice, I invited all board members to share their stories. Why did they choose medicine as a career? Why did they choose family medicine as a specialty? Why did they choose to practise in Burnaby, and why did they join the Burnaby Division of Family Practice?
Medicine chose me when in Grade 6, I was admitted to Burnaby Hospital for inflammatory arthritis and was moved by the nurses and doctors who cared for me as a person and not just the disease. I wanted to help others to cope with challenging and uncertain circumstances and see and treat them as whole people.
I chose Burnaby because this was my hometown. I went to Parkcrest Elementary and Burnaby North, played in most of the parks, learned to swim in the Kensington outdoor pool and spent countless hours in the Burnaby Public Library. To work in Burnaby was to give back to the community that has given me so much more.
I chose to lead the Burnaby Division of Family Practice because this non-profit organization’s purpose resonated with my personal calling. The Burnaby Division’s mission is to engage, support and mobilize family physicians in co-creating a network that will support the well-being of all members of the Burnaby community. At the heart of our mission – at the core of all that we do – is the well-being of every patient.
Our organization and the GP for Me initiative ask all family physicians to expand their circle of care. As a group we are engaged in the care of everyone in our community, especially those who do not yet have a family physician and are not receiving the care they need.
Our organization is involved in multiple initiatives that will ultimately enhance access to primary care, the health of our community and the patient-doctor relationship.
On Monday, June 2, I’ll be speaking at the Metrotown branch of the Burnaby Public Library on The Patient-Doctor Relationship: making the most of each visit with your family doctor. For more information, call the library at 604-436-5400 or register online at

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Dr. Davidicus Wong is physician lead of the Burnaby Division of Family Practice. His Healthwise column appears regularly in this paper. You can read more about achieving your positive potential in health at

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