I was no doubt as surprised as David Allan to see his full-page pre-retirement eulogy written by our old friend and super-mentor Lou Benedet.
I suspect that most of us will rate less than a column in the obit section of the BCMJ when our time comes. I would not in any way detract from David’s sterling service to the Royal Columbian and Fraser Health, but I suspect that there are many similar physicians across the province. They take up the tedious, time-consuming committee and administrative tasks of which there are legion. Most of this work is thankless, often frustrating, and appears to have little influence on the decisions that rule our medical world. We would all choose to avoid these chores, but if the positions are not filled by practising physicians and our voices remain silent we will have even less influence on administration and the health care bureaucracy in Victoria. The point of this letter is twofold.
First, to urge you gentle readers to identify the “Good guys” (and gals if that term is not politically incorrect) in your region. Identify them to your BCMA representative so that they can be nominated for one of the BCMA or CMA awards. I would go so far as to suggest that the BCMA institute a “Good Fellows Award” to recognize a number of those who have given prolonged and honorable service to their medical communities in much the same way as David Allan.
Second, may I urge the younger generation (almost certainly another ageist, politically incorrect term) to take up the burden and consider service to your hospital or medical staff as a part of your duties as a physician?
Please serve on committees when you are asked. Please bring your enthusiasm and fresh faces to department and committee meetings, join and actively support your local medical societies, and replace us gray beards who have served our time.
—John Turner, MB
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