Three new family physicians have begun working with patients at the Sylvan Family Health Centre.
Doctors Darren Bugbee, Jared Patterson and Marc-Andre Filion have all started at the Sylvan Lake clinic and have begun to take on new patients.
Doctors Patterson and Filion both started their career as physiotherapists before making the choice to go back to school to become a family physician.
They both agreed they wanted to expand their practise to help more people.
“I liked that I was able to created a relationship with my patients and could really help them,” said Dr. Patterson.
He continued, saying he would often see patients struggling to find a family doctor to help with different ailments.
Dr. Filion said his experience was very similar, and felt he would be able to do more and help more as a doctor.
While in med school Dr. Filion faced the decision to become a family doctor or an ER doctor, and said he felt drawn to both options.
He chose to work as a rural family doctor, because it gave him the best of both options.
“As a rural family doctor I do have those days where I am working in the clinic, and then I have the days where I work in an emergency-type setting,” he said, citing Sylvan Lake’s Advanced Ambulatory Care centre as an example of an emergency room setting.
“I really get to see a variety of work [as a rural family doctor.”
For Dr. Patterson, he says he enjoys being able to offer the right treatment and care for his patients, because of the relationship he has built.
“It’s really unique to be able to have a patient from the time they are babies right up to a senior,” Patterson said.
He also agreed with his co-worker Dr. Filion, that working as a family physician offers a lot of variety in the patients they are seeing and the work they are doing.
Dr. Bugbee had a different path from his coworkers before making the move to family medicine. He was working in the health field as a scientist working in medical research.
However, his work was isolating and he would go a few days without seeing or working with another person.
“I just love science. But, the thing is the better you are at science, the less you see people… It got very lonely,” Bugbee said.
The personal interactions along with working as a diagnostician and problem solver drew Dr. Bugbee to family practise.
He says the work as a diagnostician is “just fascinating” and he appreciated getting to know his patients and their problems.
“I grew up in a small town, and know what it is like to have one doctor pretty much your whole life. You just get to know a person and their problems much better, which means you can help them better,” said Dr. Bugbee.
All three doctors were familiar with Sylvan Lake and the Sylvan Family Health Centre before accepting a position there.
They all completed some of their training at the centre. Dr. Filion said he worked in the centre during his third year of med school, and Doctors Patterson and Bugbee said they completed part of their residency at the clinic.
What drew them to Sylvan Lake after completing their residency was both the community and the clinic itself.
All of the family physicians said the model at the clinic was made them both want to work there.
“The model they have… it’s a pilot program essentially… but it just allows me to do a better job,” said Filion.
Patterson called the clinic’s model “unique,” adding his time there during his residency made him feel like part of the team.
Bugbee liked that the clinic was set up for teaching, saying he will be able to continue to learn as a doctor at the Sylvan Family Health Centre.
All three doctors are currently accepting new patients at the clinic. Dr. Filion is also accepting pre-natal patients, saying working with babies and pregnancy is “just fun.”
Dr. Bugbee says he enjoys internal medicine, and also hopes to extend his practise to include mental health. He said mental health practitioners in the area are overwhelmed with patients, and hopes to be able to help.