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World Family Doctor Day

World Family Doctor Day_2024

On May 19, 2024, we celebrate World Family Doctor Day.

A family doctor is trained in a specialty of medicine called Family Medicine. This involves looking after the entire family, advocating for good health, promoting disease prevention, diagnosing, and treating medical conditions in all ages. Family doctors provide integrated, comprehensive individualised care for all members of the family, from conception to end of life. We integrate the physical, social, psychological, family dynamics, and community-related factors into the overall care of patients.

As we celebrate World Family Doctor Day let us reflect on the theme “Healthy Planet, Healthy People”. Climate change is having a great impact on our health and environment. The earth is experiencing adverse environmental conditions and extreme weather, rising temperatures, destruction of habitats and natural resources, and unpredictable access to affordable and healthy nutritious food, all of which have consequences on human health. We are seeing an increase in (i) communicable diseases e.g. mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue with severe complications (ii) non-communicable diseases associated with poor diet and food insecurity, and lifestyle-related illnesses such as obesity and diabetes which predispose to heart disease – a leading cause of death (iii) respiratory illnesses from increased dust clouds associated with dry weather conditions and air pollution, (iv) effects of heat exposure such as heat exhaustion, dehydration from extreme water loss in hot conditions relative to inadequate fluid replacement,  (iii) mental health disorders such as depression and stress-related illnesses.

Family doctors are advocating for a healthier and sustainable planet and people. We can each play our role by helping to protect our planet and taking action to protect our health. A Healthier You – A Healthier Planet!

Dr. Joanne Paul-Charles
Family Medicine Physician

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