First team begins work under province’s new Family Medicine model

A group of four doctors in Oromocto has become the first team to work under a new Family Medicine New Brunswick model which is intended to provide patients with enhanced access to family physicians.

“This approach will result in improved patient access to care and enhanced chronic disease prevention,” said Health Minister Benoît Bourque.

Doctors Naomi White, Stéphane Paulin, Tim Snell and Kristen Brown are the family physicians who comprise the team. They care for about 4,800 patients and work in two separate locations, but are able to share patient records when needed through the Provincial Electronic Medical Record.

“This is a dedicated team of physicians who already represented the values of Family Medicine NB – patient access, collaboration, and the use of health technology – but with Family Medicine New Brunswick, they now have a model that helps these doctors deliver better patient care,” said Dr. Dharm Singh, president of the New Brunswick Medical Society. “I look forward to following their success and to continue to see modernization in our health-care system.”

Developed by the New Brunswick Medical Society in partnership with the provincial government, Family Medicine NB aims to improve patient access, increase collaboration between physicians using technology, and create a better work-life balance for physicians. Participating physicians will work in teams in order to improve service to their patients, including after-hours.

The model is expected to aid recruitment efforts by offering young physicians a modern way to practise while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

“Horizon Health Network believes that family medicine teams are a step in the right direction, as they will help to retain physicians and improve access for patients,” said Dr. Édouard Hendriks, the health authority’s vice-president of medical, academic and research affairs. “Today’s announcement is encouraging and we hope to see other teams form across the province.”

A recent national survey indicated that 98.9 per cent of family medicine residents expect to be able to practise in a team environment, and only 9.8 per cent prefer to be paid through a traditional fee-for-service compensation model.

More information on Family Medicine NB is available here.

Bruce Macfarlane, communications, Department of Health, 506-444-4583.
Marcelle Saulnier, New Brunswick Medical Society, 506-462-4649.