St. John’s family physician Dr. Susan King has been appointed Medical Director for the NLMA Physician Care Network (PCN). In her role as Medical Director, Dr. King will develop, implement and manage the Association’s physician health programs, as well as the policies and procedures that govern the PCN.
“I am very excited about the NLMA’s new initiatives in physician care and I look forward to actively contributing to the improvement of health and well-being of the physicians of our province and of the medical profession,” said Dr. King.
The PCN offers programs and educational resources that are tailored to help physicians and their families deal with issues related to emotional well-being; stress and burnout; time management; compassion fatigue; access to primary care; disability; education; finances; legal matters; parenting and childcare; retirement; grief and loss; and, many other everyday concerns. It also provides services to physicians who are at risk of, or suffering from, substance use disorders, psychiatric disorders and/or other personal and mental health problems.
As the new Medical Director of the PCN, Dr. King will report directly to the NLMA Physician Wellness Advisory Committee and, ultimately, to the NLMA Board of Directors. She will also work with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador to ensure that the strategy and content of NLMA’s current and future physician health programs effectively address emerging trends, policy issues and needs of the medical profession.
“I have been in active medical practice for over three decades and I have experienced the pleasures, the joys and the challenges of attending and caring for the sick and dying and their families. I have worked in various settings and with various compensation arrangements including salary, fee-for-time, contractual and fee-for-service. I know personally of the difficulties all physicians face every day as we strive to provide the best of care to our patients and for our communities,” said Dr. King.
“With a seemingly unending workload we often put ourselves and our families last. At times, looking after our own health needs and caring for our loved ones seems to be impossible; achieving work life balance remains but a dream. With diminishing resources and rising need for services, the challenge of providing quality care to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador will increase. To effectively meet these challenges and serve our citizens, we need a medical profession that is healthy, happy, vibrant and resilient. The NLMA Physician Care Network is the pivotal catalyst needed to achieve this,” she added.
Dr. King graduated from Memorial University’s Medical School in 1980 and went on to work as a full-time emergency room physician at the Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Centre. In 1986, she began full-time family practice, also serving as the staff health physician for the Janeway and on a casual basis at the General Hospital and at the Leonard A. Miller Centre. Today, Dr. King practices full-time at Eleven Elizabeth Family Practice clinic in St. John’s.
Dr. King is also a past chair of the former NLMA Physician Heath Committee and the former Professional’s Assistance Committee. She also served as the NLMA representative to the Canadian Physician Health Network. In 2003, Dr. King was elected President of the NLMA and was involved in numerous physician health initiatives during her term. She also actively participates in physician health conferences and she has written many columns in the NLMA’s Nexus newsletter that addressed issues related to physician health and well-being.
Dr. King can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the programs of the Physician Care Network, visit the wellness section of the NLMA website.