by Ann Collette
Dr. Nardia Strydom is head of Family Practice and Community medicine for St. Paul’s hospital (Providence Health Care) and clinical assistant professor in the department of medicine at UBC. A practising family doctor, teacher, mentor and leader in the field of family practice, her work is both her joy and her passion.
Why did you choose family practice?
I love the variety. When I was in medical school, I was interested in almost all specialties, so I chose family medicine. It’s the one field where you get to do it all.
Why is family practice so vital to health care as a whole?
Family practice is the foundation of medicine. Ninety-five per cent of the medical care patients receive is from family doctors, while only five per cent is delivered in hospital. We also know that when patients have a family doctor, they have better long-term health outcomes.
What role do family doctors play at St. Paul’s?
Family doctors work in 12 different programs and clinics at St. Paul’s, including addiction medicine, palliative care, medical in-patients, the infectious disease Clinic and even orthopaedics. We care for patients and families in our community-based offices, linking community care and care at St. Paul’s.
Tell me about St. Paul’s Office of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships?
As physicians, we have medical expertise and ideas, but we donít necessarily have the skills or connections to take new health care concepts to the next level, and that’s what the office of innovation will do. Shauna Turner and her team will lead us through the process of thinking differently, connecting us with potential partners who can help us shape new approaches. For example, what new concepts do we need to actualize to deliver better care for seniors? The Office of Innovation is key to taking health care to the next level, and we look forward to this partnership.
Of which of your professional accomplishments are you most proud?
I have worked in the same family practice for 19 years. The continuity of care, the relationships and trust that this represents is what I am proud of. I continue to feel so fulfilled and so satisfied by my everyday work. I love my job!
What do you do for fun?
I love being active and working in my garden. I also love food. Cooking and spending time with friends and family at meal times is a huge part of my life.