WONCA North America Region report 2015-16

Ruth Wilson, region president (pictured at right with Dr Pauline Williams-Green, past president of the Caribbean College of Family Physicians and above with women family doctors from the Caribbean region) reports:

Member organizations of the North American region of WONCA remained strong and active in the past year. All held successful and well-attended meetings in 2015.


The young family doctor group under the leadership of Dr Kyle Hoedebecke held a pre- conference meeting in Denver Colorado in September 2015 prior to the American Academy of Family Physicians FMX. It also held a successful meeting in Tobago in conjunction with the Caribbean College of Family Physicians, on World Family Doctor day. Polaris now boasts over 2000 Facebook followers. Among other accomplishments, the group has pioneered online international Balint groups

Montegut scholar

Our Montegut scholar for 2015 was Dr Shastri Motilal (pictured) from Trinidad and Tobago. He attended the Polaris pre-conference meeting and the Global health Conference of the AAFP. Thanks to the American Board of Family Medicine for sponsoring these opportunities. Dr Motilal says “I wish to again thank you for affording me the opportunity of attending this conference. It was an amazingexperience meeting so many other Family Physicians and I know I have forged links that would last a lifetime. The information I gained from this conference would not only benefit me but also my patients,my students in training and the overall development of Family Medicine my region.”

Regional President’s activities

Dr Wilson was able to strengthen ties throughout the region with visits and speaking engagements. She attended the American Academy of Family Physicians FMX in Denver in September, bringing greetings on behalf of WONCA to the Board of Directors. She also attended the College of Family Physicians Family Medicine Forum and Besrour Conference in Toronto. A highlight of the Besrour conference was the discussion of the newly launched primary care performance measurement initiative.

She was pleased to strengthen ties with members of the Caribbean College of Family Physicians through her appointment as the external examiner for the family medicine examinations of the University of the West Indies in June 2016.

On behalf of WONCA, she attended the WHO High Commission High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth: Health Professional Associations’ Consultation‏. She also organized the program for the 9th International Conference on Person Centred Care through the life course in Geneva in April. This meeting was co-sponsored by WONCA. A number of prominent family physicians presented their work, including Chris van Weel, Ted Epperly, Victor Ng, Susan Phillips, Glenn Brown, and John Parks. The meeting included a special session at the WHO on the health workforce needs for the future.

Photo: Paul Grundy, IBM’s Global Director of Health Transformation and champion of the patient centred medical home with Ruth Wilson at the WHO

She also attended and spoke at the Family Medicine Postgraduate Update as well as providing a keynote address at 2nd national Conference of Family medicine and Primary Care, both in New Delhi in November 2015.