Polaris

Polaris

North America region young doctors

Announced on World Family Doctor Day, May 19, 2014, Polaris is the newest Young Doctor movement in WONCA.

Since its inception, WONCA has promoted various supportive environments for junior family medicine or general practice physicians. Such backing became even more evident with the introduction of regional young doctors' movements (YDM), the first being the Vasco da Gama Movement in 2005. Since then, each region has slowly but surely adopted its own version of the YDM – all regions except North America.

Several barriers, including strong national family physician academies, large distances, and limited knowledge of WONCA’s existence, stood in the way of such a movement in this part of the world. Initial interest after the 2010 WONCA World Conference in Cancun generated momentum for a North American YDM; however, the aforementioned barriers proved too formidable at the time.

At the 2013 WONCA World Conference in Prague, a renewed energy and desire for a North American YDM emerged. Furthermore, the timing for such a Movement proved perfect, secondary to continued global interconnectivity and the need for improved healthcare systems – among many other factors. The generation of physicians entering the profession today reached maturity in an increasingly globalized world where junior physicians more than ever want to "think globally and act locally."

With key support from the Caribbean, American, and Canadian professional family physician associations as well as the WONCA North America Regional President, Dr Ruth Wilson, the region launched its WONCA North America YDM in a strategic manner on May 19 – World Family Doctor Day.

The Movement’s formal name is Polaris, representing the brightest stellar body in the celestial sky seen by all those within the Northern Hemisphere. This star has served to lead travelers and seafarers during their journeys for centuries.

As generation gives way to generation, it is our hope that the Polaris and all YDMs together can help guide the profession forward into a bright future.

Kyle Hoedebecke, MD and John Parks, MD

Convenor / Chair

Margarete Ezinwa MD, MPH (US)

Dr. Ezinwa received her medical degree from University of Auckland, New Zealand, before completing residency training in Family Medicine at Franklin Square, and Preventive Medicine at Johns Hopkins including fellowships at the World Health Organization, and the National Institute of Health. 

Currently as Assistant Professor at Loma Linda University she combines her passions for assisting patients in lifestyle change and teaching the next generation of family physicians equitable global, local and lifestyle medicine.

Dr. Ezinwa lives with her husband, four children and mother in California where they love to swim, read and enjoy life together.

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