Team-based approach helps new physician settle in Keremeos

Dr Ifeju Omojuwa is thrilled to finally be settled in Keremeos and feels very welcome in his new community.

He first moved with his family from Nigeria to Calgary in 2013 to complete the process to practice medicine in Canada. During this time, Omojuwa flew back to Nigeria for three-month stints to keep his Nigerian practice current. Ultimately, this hard work has been worthwhile and he and his family are enjoying life in rural BC.

Since establishing himself at the Keremeos clinic, Omojuwa has been focusing on integrating and building an understanding of the community, which is key to his practice.

Omojuwa points out that medicine and its practice in Canada and Nigeria are distinct. "The expectation of doctors is different. I talk to a lot of patients about welfare issues, housing issues. In Nigeria we don’t typically get involved in these types of psychosocial issues.”

Omojuwa says although it took time to gain an improved understanding of community culture and addressing patient needs, a team-based and interdisciplinary clinic has helped him settle smoothly into practice in Keremeos.

In particular, Omojuwa recognizes the unique value of the Community Worker, who assists and connects patients with psycho and social needs to community resources. This not only helps patients but provides peace of mind to physicians that their patients' needs are being met in the community.

He also notes how valuable it is to have an LPN working alongside physicians. “For instance, the patient comes in and the LPN has already put on the blood pressure cuff and takes the blood pressure. That gives me more time to do other clinical things."

According to Omojuwa, these resources, along with other allied professionals that work as part of the Keremeos team, help provide good patient care and allow the physicians to better work at top of scope and feel more satisfied at the end of the day.

Omojuwa feels grateful to be working at the interdisciplinary clinic, noting that a number of international medical graduates that he knows who came to Canada, feel isolated and aren't in systems that are as supportive. "I so appreciate the support of the other doctors here, and the nurses and the MOAs. The best thing for me is the teamwork."

He looks forward to continuing to serve the community in the future. "Already I feel like I should give a lot back to the community. I am looking forward to being here for the long term.”