Parenting in Practice

The Parenting in Practice (PiP) working group identifies the needs of physicians, spouses (regardless of gender), and their families. Within rural practice, there are considerable barriers to overcome when recruiting physicians with families, including lack of daycare, onerous on-call requirements (especially for physician couples), and concerns regarding career opportunities for physician spouses. 

This Working Group aims to identify barriers, establish supportive policies that benefit this population, and advocate for First Nations physician parents’ needs.  We believe we can increase awareness and support, promote advocacy, and improve the futures of these rural physicians, their families and their communities. 

Our Achievements

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Successfully transitioned leadership of program

This year, the PiP welcomed a new lead, Dr. Charuka Maheswaran, and developed supporting foundational documents. The creation of vision, mission and values statements and roles and responsibilities will ensure that the group is able to achieve its goal of supporting rural physicians with families so that they can continue to provide care to their communities.  

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Completed a checklist for Parental Leave Navigation

With thanks to the foundational work of Dr. Kirstie Overhill and RCCbc staffer, Kassia Skolski, a launch-ready Parental Leave Navigation Checklist was completed by the PiP working group. The checklist will ease the transition into parenthood and set physicians up for success in starting a practice and establishing their lives in rural communities. 

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Established Facebook group

The PiP working group established a Facebook group to create and connect a strong and supportive virtual community of parents in medical practice. The Facebook group can be leveraged to help reduce the sense of isolation and loneliness that is often a problem for physicians in rural communities, thereby improving retention of rural physicians to continue their longitudinal care of rural patients. 

Making a Difference

Throughout the course of the year, the working group established the Parenting in Practice Facebook group and plans to expand its presence on social media.   

PiP working group member, Dr. Erin Carlson says: “Approximately 100 people joined within the first day and that was just with one advertisement on multiple other parenting group sites.  We now have over 150 members and hope to advertise for more members to join soon.” 

Dr. Charuka Maheswaran, the health lead for PiP, says: “We are now creating a communications strategy aimed at expanding our communication network. It will include a strategy for dissemination of information to policymakers, academics, medical directors, health administrators and other stakeholders and, of course, the community of parents in practice.”  

Team Members

Dr. Charuka Maheswaran
Dr. Charuka Maheswaran
Dr. Erin Carlson
Dr. Erin Carlson
Dr. Andrée-Anne Cromp
Dr. Andrée-Anne Cromp
Kassia Skolski

Kassia Skolski

Former Project Coordinator