Agassiz doctor wins prestigious My Family Doctor award

Dr. Rachel Collins has been a full-time physician since 2015

Dr. Rachel Collins

Agassiz’s own Dr. Rachel Collins finds herself in elite company.

Dr. Collins was the Fraser Health region’s winner of the My Family Doctor award from the B.C. College of Family Physicians (BCCFP). The BCCFP announced the awards on May 13, ahead of Family Doctor Day, which takes place on May 19.

Dr. Collins has practices as a full-time family physician for the past five years, moving to Agassiz in 2017. She is a faculty member for the Chilliwack residency program and has particular interest in fighting obesity, helping those living with the condition and recently starting a weight reduction clinic in Agassiz.

Dr. Collins said she considers herself “extremely fortunate to do this job.”

RELATED: Agassiz Community Health Centre to offer walk-in appointments

”What I enjoy most about family medicine is the relationship that is built up over time with the patient and the variety of medicine you see from day to day,” Dr. Collins said. “I feel incredibly privileged to be the person patients look to for guidance through what can often be the most challenging and difficult situation they will ever face. I enjoy the humorous interactions I have with many of my patients every day.”

Dr. Collins and four other physicians from across the province were selected out of more than 300 B.C. nominees. The other award winners include Dr. Peter Lutsky of Vancouver Coastal Health, Dr. Patricia Olsen of Island Health, Dr. Mark Szynkaruk of Interior Health and Dr. Kalen Geddes of Northern Health.

RELATED: Agassiz Community Health Centre expands walk-in hours

In a statement from the BCCFP, an unnamed patient expressed gratitude and deep appreciation for Dr. Collins and her even-keeled, caring approach to medicine. The patient said they have continuing complicated health issues that came about when traveling overseas.

“Through [my medical issues,] I have had Dr. Collins beside me at every step, working with specialists; ensuring I understand everything; providing me with all the information she comes across; and bringing me the most human and caring support imaginable,” the patient said. “She makes me feel that we are team navigating a system, a mysterious illness, and a life-changing event together.”

In addition to announcing the recipients of the My Family Doctor awards, the BCCFP acknowledged all the medical staff members delivering care during the pandemic.

“B.C.’s family doctors play a central role in the early identification of disease, improved management of chronic illness and helping people stay well,” said Dr. Jeanette Boyd, family physician and president of the BCCFP. “By developing trusting relationships with individuals and families over time, family doctors provide effective, high quality, continuing care that often spans a patient’s lifetime.”

The BCCFP reminds patients everywhere they can still make appointments with their family doctor over the phone, by video and in person. Appointments via phone and video help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. If you need to see a doctor in person, they can help you do this safely.

The BCCFP is a not-for-profit organization advocating for family medicine with more than 6,000 members across B.C..

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