North America region annual report

Member organizations of the North American region of WONCA remained strong and active in the past year. All held successful and well-attended meetings in 2014.

Montegut Scholar

Our Montegut scholar for 2014 was Dr Aileen Standard-Goldson, Co-ordinator of the Family Program, University of the West Indies, Jamaica. She attended the Besrour Conference in November 2014 held in conjunction with the College of Family Physicians of Canada Family Medicine Forum meeting. Thanks to the American Board of Family Medicine for sponsoring these scholarships. The Besrour Centre for Innovation in Global Health is a project of the CFPC; this 3rd conference brought together over 70 Family Medicine academics from Canada and 14 other countries around the world as well as administrators from donor agencies such as the World Bank. Dr. Michael Kidd, President of WONCA, addressed the conference.


The newly formed group of young family doctors held an organizing meeting in November 2014; many of the leaders also met at the AAFP global health workshop in La Jolla, as well as at the WONCA Europe meeting in Lisbon. The group has been active in devising the #1WordforFamilyMedicine; this project is easier to view than to explain, so take a look here.

Polaris now boasts over 1000 Facebook followers. The group has also pioneered online international Balint groups. It is planning a pre-conference day in conjunction with the AAFP Family Medicine Global Health Workshop in Denver in October 2015.

> more about Polaris

Region President's activties

Dr Wilson attended the World Health Assembly in May 2014 in Geneva on behalf of WONCA. This was an opportunity to present the importance of family medicine and primary care at a global level. The key role played by primary care in sustainable effective health systems is important to communicate as the United Nations is working towards the new Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr Wilson was able to strengthen ties throughout the region with visits and speaking engagements. She attended the American Academy of Family Physicians FMX in Washington DC in October, bringing greetings on behalf of WONCA to the Board of Directors. She also attended the College of Family Physicians Family Medicine Forum and Besrour Conference, facilitating a panel at that event in November 2014. She was the keynote speaker at the Hawaii Chapter of the AAFP in February 2015. She was pleased to strengthen ties with members of the Caribbean College of Family Physicians through her appointment as the external examiner for the family medicine examinations of the University of the West Indies in June 2014.

Prof Ruth Wilson
WONCA North America region president

Editor's note: Prof Wilson has recently received was named a Member of the Order of Canada for her contributions to improving primary care in Ontario and for her leadership in family medicine. see story