News at Medicine - January 2020 - Decades of dedication to family medicine

Decades of dedication to family medicine
January 28, 2020
Born to physician parents, Dr. Ean Parsons grew up hearing how satisfying it was to practise in rural, remote Newfoundland. “I had heard stories from family of the satisfaction of medical work in rural, remote Newfoundland. I wanted a challenge and to be able to be as independent, flexible and resourceful to my patients as possible.”

Rotations with family medicine role models in Twillingate and Brookfield Newfoundland confirmed his decision.
Dr. Parsons’ dedication to family medicine has earned him a Family Physician of the Year award from the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) for 2019.
As an associate professor in the Discipline of Family Medicine, Dr. Parsons also practices at the academic family practice unit in St. John’s. He says his practice has aged with him, which has given him an increasing interest in care of the elderly. In addition to doing house calls, he’s also involved in Family Medicine Postgraduate Medical Education as the physician liaison with Memorial’s program in Iqaluit and is completing a stint as assistant program director of family medicine.
“The best part of my job is talking with patients and forming relationships, especially long term ones leading to continuity of care. I have a patient today from my first practice in Yellowknife 36 years ago!”
“Helping to solve the puzzle that is the patient’s need, diagnostically, therapeutically or supportively as they journey through their illness or challenges in life is extremely satisfying.”
Dr. Parsons’ teaching responsibilities include undergraduate anatomy and sports medicine. He covers a broad scope of practice in family medicine and offers sports medicine clinics at the Veterans Pavilion and the Miller Centre in St. John’s. He also works with local athletes and served as a team physician for Canada at the 2004, 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games. He, in fact, still plays volleyball with the same team that has played together since 1977.
Commended for his enthusiasm and passion for family medicine, he has received Memorial University’s Gus Rowe Teaching Award—which recognizes excellence in family medicine education—several times. Dr. Parsons has also made contributions to academic family medicine at the national level through the CFPC. Of particular note are his contributions to ushering in competency-based medical education through his work on the Triple C curriculum. He is also a member of the CFPC’s Sport and Exercise Medicine Committee.
But Dr. Parsons is most proud of “the privilege of teaching future Newfoundland and Labrador doctors and family doctors - the future of our medical care. Seeing former students in practice is very rewarding.”
Dr. Parsons received a bachelor of medical science in 1979 and his doctor of medicine in 1981. He then completed his family medicine residency at Memorial in 1983 with many rotations in rural Newfoundland. He received earned a diploma in sports medicine from the Canadian Academy of Sports and Exercise Medicine in 1990, and certificate of added competence in sports medicine from CFPC in 2016.
Since 2002, 10 family physicians have been recognized annually—one representing each CFPC Chapter- who collectively provide exceptional care to patients, contribute to the well-being of their communities and have committed themselves as researchers and educators to future generations of family doctors.

Photo: Dr. Nicole Stockley, past president of NL Chapter CFPC, presenting the award to Dr. Parsons at the Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter of CFPC event in Sept. 2019.