Dr Lucy Candib - WONCA Five-Star doctor

Dr Lucy Candib of the USA is WONC'As Five-Star doctor for 2013-16. She received the award at the WONCA Prague conference from Professor Rich Roberts (picture).

She was nominated by colleague, Dr Cheryl Levitt. In her letter of nomination, Dr Levitt said “Lucy is a 5 Star doctor, a serving physician who has practiced for 35 years and who in addition to providing regular family physician comprehensive service including obstetrics, also provides innovative services to her community, to her colleagues in other countries such as Ecuador and through WONCA, and performs academic work (teaching, research, quality assurance) of exceptional quality and relevance. Lucy serves as a role model to family physicians throughout the world and her work extends well beyond Worcester, Massachusetts.”

Dr Candib addresses the attributes of a five star doctor as follows:

* A care provider

Dr Candib is a family physician who has taught and practiced family medicine, including obstetrics, at the Family Health Center of Worcester since 1976. She works three days a week at the health center and spends two days on other academic pursuits. She works with a vulnerable population in a community health centre environment, she practices comprehensive family medicine including obstetrics, she is passionate about patient-centred care and continuity of care, she teaches medical students and residents, and she mentors a following of young physicians. Also, Dr Candib integrates regular scholarship and writing into her busy routine and she writes about a broad range of topics raising issues well before they became commonly discussed in family medicine.

Although Dr Candib’s interests cover deeply theoretical perspectives of feminism and family medicine, her clinical expertise extends well beyond this topic. She has implemented innovative group visits for English and Spanish speaking patients with diabetes at the Family Health Center, and researched the use of massage therapy for low income women in chronic pain. She has developed novel exercise programs for health center patients at the YWCA and YMCA of Worcester, and continues working in community activities around the issues of obesity and exercise for low income and Latino families.

* A decision maker

Dr Lucy Candib, MD, is Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and a faculty family physician at the Family Health and Social Service Center in Worcester, MA, USA. This community health center is a residency training site within the University of Massachusetts Family Practice Residency Program.

Dr Candib’s paper “Ways of knowing in family medicine: contributions from a feminist perspective” in Family Medicine 1988; 20:133-136, and later her book called Medicine and the Family: Feminist Theory and Family Medicine are seminal influences on scores of family doctors. She is a pioneer in family medicine, she simply and effectively described the plight of women and helped generations of family doctors understand the unique contribution that women make to the discipline by integrating feminist theory with modern concepts of family medicine.

She has lectured widely on the topics of sexual abuse and violence against women. Over her career, she has also focused attention on the concerns of women trainees and practitioners in her work with family practice residents. Dr Candib has delineated thirteen principles she calls the "Tenets of Women's Health." for the Women's Health Project at the University of Massachusetts residency program.

Dr Candib has recently co-authored, with Dr Sara Shields, a new text on Woman-Centered Care of Pregnancy and Birth (Radcliffe Medical Press, 2010. It applies the powerful, proven model of patient-centered care to pregnancy and birth - an expansion beyond previous applications to various chronic illnesses.

* A communicator

Dr Candib has written dozens of peer reviewed papers, two well regarded books and taught many students and residents. She is a highly sought after speaker on topics such as women’s health, feminism and family medicine, cross cultural medicine and family medicine in developing nations, rape, sexual abuse and domestic violence, contraception, depression screening, post-traumatic stress disorder, somatization, sexual problems, incest, exercise, and working in cross disciplinary setting with physiotherapy.

* A community leader

Dr Candib is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, from Worcester State College in 2006, and the Community Health Center Physician of the Year Award from the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers in 2006.

In 1995, Dr Candib received a Fulbright grant to teach family medicine in Ecuador and spent a year as a visiting professor at Pontifica Catholic University.

In 1993 she received the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) Excellence in Education Award, which recognizes leadership within STFM in support of teaching, teaching, research, curriculum development, or other aspects of medical student or resident education. Dr Candib also received the Outstanding Primary Care Research, Generalist Physician Initiative Award in 1997, from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Dr Candib won the Fulbright Senior Specialist Award to consult at the National University of Loja, Ecuador, in 2004 and 2005; and was selected in 2003 as one of forty six generalist physicians in the National Library of Medicine exhibit: Changing the Face of Medicine - Celebrating America's Women Physicians.

* A team member

Dr Candib is a wonderful team player, reliable, responsive and supportive. She has excellent inter-professional relationships with her colleagues, and is admired by them enormously for mentoring, teaching and leadership. As attested by her colleague, Suzanne Cashman, a public health practitioner and academic, Dr Candib is a role model, who walks the talk, engages with colleagues and has built a team that has gained notoriety as a model for health care centres.

Dr Candib lives with her life partner, Richard Schmitt, with whom she has raised her now adult children Addie and Eli.

WONCA congratulates Dr Lucy Candib on her award as WONCA Five Star doctor 2013-2016.