Chair's Message

It was a pleasure to attend the Windsor Campus Celebration of Excellence dinner on March 19. This was held on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Windsor Campus, an auspicious occasion for sure. Congratulations to all the award winners, including family medicine faculty members, Dr. Albert Schumacher, Dr. John Day and Dr. Sherri Bergeron.

Training medical students in Windsor is one of the factors which has positively influenced the family medicine training program in Windsor. Dr. Dale Ziter is the academic Director for Family Medicine in Windsor, and he has been there right from the start. His enthusiasm and his ability to engage and recruit high quality family medicine preceptors is largely responsible for the success of the program. And what a success it has been. Dr. Ziter advised me that approximately 75 per cent of the family medicine graduates from the Windsor program have set up practice in Windsor and surrounding area, essentially eliminating the family doctor shortage in Windsor.

I was also in Windsor to attend the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry retreat. During the retreat we heard from several community hospital CEOs  from communities such as Stratford, Listowel, Strathroy and Newbury, who are anxious to participate in the training of medical students, and especially family medicine residents as it provides recruitment opportunities for those communities.

Our own data on family medicine graduates from our program, accumulated and analysed by Dr. Tom Freeman, shows that approximately 60 per cent of our graduates stay in Southwestern Ontario.

Despite the successes of retaining a good number of graduate family physicians in our area we also heard that there is still a need for well-trained generalist family physicians who embrace the broad practice scope of family medicine, and will provide some or all of the following services: office/clinic work, emergency room, hospital care, obstetrical care, house calls and long term care. Some communities require enhanced family medicine skills such as GP-anesthesia.

It is incumbent upon our family medicine training program to promote generalist training and to utilize the rich resources that exist in Southwest Ontario communities as much as we can.

As always, I welcome your feedback and suggestions at