Team-based care attracts new physician to South Okanagan-Similkameen region

Dr Danielle Weisgarber established her practice at the Rosedale Medical Clinic in Summerland in large part because it provides team-based care. 

"Being relatively new to family practice, it's super appealing to work in this type of environment," says Weisgarber, a University of Saskatchewan graduate who completed a 2-year family medicine residency. "It's nice to work in a team and the group is lovely. Once they had a spot for me I could not turn it down!"

Working at the Rosedale Clinic means that Weisgarber has coverage if something comes up, and that physicians in the office can support and learn from each other.

These networks extend to include specialists, which is one of the attributes of a patient medical home. "We have a very lovely balance of being a big enough community that we have specialists, but not so big that you don’t get to know them."

Weisgarber says that many physicians are seeking a better work/life balance. "The days I am not working in the clinic, I worry about my patients, their tests, etc. The model at Rosedale allows me to have support so that, when needed, I can step back and take care of myself, without my patients suffering."

Weisgarber says it's hard to be disciplined about work/life balance but is grateful that this type of practice allows her to do so.

Rosedale's team-based care includes seven (soon to be eight) physicians as well as MOAs, an office manager, a registered nurse, and an LPN. Having nurses in the clinic is extremely valuable as they can take phone calls and do procedures, allowing physicians to work more efficiently.

Some may be detracted by overhead costs; however, Weisgarber adds that it's worth it to work in a well-run office and have extra clinical support.

A team-based approach to care in the community, such as having coordinated support from providers including home care nursing and community-based social workers, is important to Weisgarber. For this to work, good communication and knowledge of community resources is essential.

"Penticton has one of the better medical set ups compared to many places," adds Weisgarber. That's why I like working here."