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  April 2021  

Did you know that?


Even without vaccines at your clinic, family physicians can play an extremely important role in the vaccine program. There is much controversy about the vaccines, many people are looking for the opportunity to choose a vaccine or are hesitant about any vaccine. We are trusted by our patients so let’s talk to our patients, answer their questions, and promote vaccine confidence so that as many people as possible can be vaccinated. This is our way out of this pandemic.




COVID Pressures:

As I write, Ontario has just reported the highest number of new cases per day, ever. London Middlesex reports a high number as well, but more concerning is the incidence of two unrelated Brazilian variant cases in our community. Now, more than ever, we need to pay attention to provincial restrictions, stay at home except for essential outings, wear masks if unable to maintain physical distancing, wash hands frequently, and encourage people to get vaccinated when it is their turn.


We are being warned that this third wave could overwhelm the hospital and there may be a challenge finding enough doctors and nurses to cope. Family Physicians with privileges should keep in mind that they could be redeployed to the hospital to help in overwhelming circumstances. Please watch for further communication from me on this.


Vaccination Clinics:

The list of potential physician vaccinators maintained by the Citywide Department of Family Medicine continues to grow and is now >400 in number. Many doctors on the list are frustrated having not being called to participate to date. The Middlesex London Health Unit contacts the physician from the list as needed to complete a contract, complete training modules and Covaxon training. It does take some time to work through the process and for a physician to eventually be invited to schedule shifts at the clinics.  Please be patient as this process plays out. Please do not contact Sheena Blasing at the family medicine office about your waiting to be scheduled. Sheena will document the pertinent information to include you on the potential physician vaccinator list, provide you with the MLHU’s physician contract and document your viewing of the security video, but all other contact must come from the health unit. The Agriplex mass vaccination clinic continues to focus on physicians with hospital privileges at LHSC, but all other vaccination clinics do not have this requirement. Please be patient and your chance will come.


Psychiatric consultations:

No doubt you have noticed that your patients’ mental health is suffering as the pandemic persists and is getting worse as restrictions continue. Sixty percent of people with established mental or emotional issues report worse symptoms under pandemic conditions. Referrals for psychiatric consultation are increasing as are the wait times to be seen, now over one year for adults. The Department of Psychiatry is planning to reach out to family physicians to gather information and consider possible solutions such as:

  1. Increased use of e-consultation to a local psychiatric group;
  2. Telephone hotline for quick consultations; and/or
  3. Educational outreach to family physicians to facilitate local management options.

Further discussion of this with our psychiatric colleagues will take place at the Family Medicine Connections meeting on May 5 at 7:45 a.m. via ZOOM. Please plan to attend.


Our People Survey 2021:

This LHSC survey has a deadline of April 30 and is your chance to speak up about your working conditions, patient safety, hospital policies, senior leadership, and work life balance. The survey takes about 10 minutes and can be accessed through the link sent to you on your LHSC email.


Family Physicians at Parkwood:

Special thanks go out those family physicians at Parkwood Institute, in Veteran’s Care, Complex Care, and Palliative Care, who look after their patients and regularly take on extra work as patients are transferred from LHSC to make room for COVID patients in the acute care setting. If this becomes an overwhelming situation for physician coverage, we will be calling for volunteers to step up to provide the extra coverage required during the pandemic. Please let us know now if you would be available, if needed, for this setting. Contact Sheena.Blasing@sjhc.london.on.ca  to put your name on the volunteer list.


Beyond the Pandemic: Critical Topics in Primary Care:

The Citywide Department of Family Medicine is pleased to offer a series of four virtual CME sessions in place of our usual Annual Clinical Day for 2021. We have recruited exciting speakers for the series, listed below. Each session will be followed by a short Faculty Development session designed to update and enhance your teaching skills. Please check out the list of sessions here and put the dates into your calendar. There will be no charge for these sessions, that are Mainpro+ certified.

  • May 12 – Dr. Gary Joubert presents, Building confidence in the Family Physician’s virtual assessments of pediatric conditions
  • June 9 – Dr. Inderdeep Dhaliwal presents, Approach to Long Hauler Syndrome assessment associated with COVID-19
  • July 7 – Dr. Maryna Mammoliti presents, DBT Skills in everyday life for Family Physicians and Update on Eating Disorders

London Middlesex Primary Care Alliance:

We are pleased to announce that an Executive Council has been chosen/elected to represent primary care at the Western Ontario Health Team and in other local primary care initiatives such as the vaccine roll out. You can check out the executive at the LMPCA website.




April 20, 2021


COVID-19 Vaccination Primary Care Town Hall

7:00 – 8:30 p.m. via Zoom – presented by London Middlessex Primary Care Alliance.

Register Here.


May 5, 2021


Family Medicine Connections

7:45 a.m. via Zoom


May 12, 2021


Beyond the Pandemic: Critical Topics in Primary Care

7:00 – 8:30 p.m. via Zoom – Building Confidence in the Family Physician's Virtual Assessments of Pediatric Conditions

Dr. Gary Joubert, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician, London Health Sciences Centre


Future Events


Visit the Department of Family Medicine website for all upcoming events.