I am humbled by the opportunity to speak on your behalf for the next year through BC Family Doctors.  We are here to advocate for you and the fundamental role of family doctors.

As family doctors, we want to be seen, heard and valued. I have practiced as a family physician in Canada for more than 30 years. I am currently practicing in West Kelowna. While I have been seen, sometimes more often than I want, I have not been heard as often as I would like.

I am still finding ways to deal with the sense of powerlessness I feel within the system I serve.  Although I validate myself as often as I can, it has become increasingly difficult to feel valued as a longitudinal care provider. I am sure the same feeling applies to many of you, regardless of where and how you have chosen to deliver patient care.

I believe that a well family doctor is better able to facilitate the health and wellbeing of their patients, resulting in better healthcare and a much better healthcare system. My focus, without apologies, is the wellbeing of BC family physicians. You are all excellent patient advocates, working hard every day to serve your patients, so I do not feel the need to duplicate your work.  I will need your help, though, to properly advocate for you.

The practice of medicine is a life choice that is not without significant challenges and personal sacrifices. We all understand this. We are often rewarded by the opportunity to do meaningful things in the lives of those who entrust us with their care.

We are a group of people with diverse opinions, experiences and realities. However, our desire to advocate for the wellbeing of those we serve is a thread that binds us as members of a medical community.

But we are only human! It is time to discard the superhero capes that have been thrust upon us and remember that we suffer from the same afflictions as those we serve. It is not selfish to ask for fair treatment and remuneration. It is our recognition of the humanness of our patients that makes us care so much. So, my dear colleagues, I encourage you to embrace your humanness as well and discuss it with the people you serve from time to time. We all need to care for each other, similar to how we care for our patients.  

As we move forward together this year, I have two questions for you:

  1. As we facilitate the wellness of others, who facilitates ours?
  2. While we advocate for others, who advocates for us?

I hope that, over the course of my service, the answers to these questions will be more obvious. And of course, you may already have answers for me – please send me your thoughts about this or anything else on your mind.

I will leave you with the words of Dr. Marin Luther King Jr., a man who understood the importance of change and the tools to make change happen: “There is power in numbers and there is power in unity.”

What unity means to me is acting in unison while respecting our different opinions.

Thank you for the opportunity to be of service.

Dr. Toye Oyelese
President 2021-2022
BC Family Doctors 

sgp.president@doctorsofbc.ca


Past Presidents

Dr. Jennifer Tranmer20202021
Dr. Karen Forgie20192020
Dr. Ramneek Dosanjh20182019
Dr. Wendy Amirault20172018
Dr. Ernie Chang 20162017
Dr. Ken Burns20152016
Dr. Lawrence Welsh20132015
Dr. Tracy Monk20122013
Dr. Peter Barnsdale20112012
Dr. Ralph Jones 20102011
Dr. Joanne Young20092010
Dr. Steven Goodchild20082009
Dr. Bryan Norton20072008
Dr. Bill Rife20062007
Dr. B. Jean Clarke20052006
Dr. Frank Healey20042005
Dr. Phil Asquith20032004
Dr. Catherine Clelland20022003
Dr. David Attwell20012002
Dr. David H. Geen20002001
Dr. W.J.R. (Bill) Cavers19992000
Dr. Carole Williams19981999
Dr. James Rhodes19971998
Dr. Heidi Oetter 19961997
Dr. A. Jack Burak19951996
Dr. Al Kallas19941995
Dr. Keith Phillips 19931994
Dr. Peter Boronowski19921993
Dr. Ken Kolotyluk19911992
Dr. Jack Albrecht19901991

Section of General Practice under BCMA prior to 1990

Dr. Brian Taylor   
Dr. Claude Morin 

BC Family Doctors