Dr. Breanna Davis of the Associate Medical Clinic in Prince Albert was named the 2021 SMA Physician of the Year during the organization’s 2021 Fall Representative Assembly (RA) on Friday. Davis is a family doctor who also works in the Sturgeon Lake First Nation. She was amazed to receive the award in what has been a challenging year for physicians.
“I’m very surprised, very shocked and a little uncomfortable given all of the people who have stepped up in the last year,” Davis said. “I feel a little bit guilty that it can’t go to every single one of them.”
Davis graduated from the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine in 2007 and completed her family medicine residency in 2009 in Prince Albert. She lives in Melfort and credits the commute each day to PA with helping her succeed.
“Part of it for me is that the time is really useful,” she explained. “In the morning I get to wake up and have a cup of coffee and at the end of the day I get to kind of decompress before I go home to my family, so I actually appreciate that driving time,” she said.
“It’s a nice drive and I get to sort of just relax and catch up with friends and family on Bluetooth or listen to an audio book or just do something a little different before I get home to my kids.”
Her commute didn’t go unnoticed by her colleagues. The award nominators, which included patients, colleagues, and students, cited it as an example of dedication to her patients.
“Despite marrying and moving 100 kilometres away to Melfort, Breanna continues her practice in Prince Albert, including obstetrical care,” reads an SMA press release. “She made this choice to keep continuity with her patients. This is another example of Breanna’s commitment to the patient-physician relationship.”
Davis also acts as lead for the COVID-19 Assessment Centre and hospitalists. She coordinates physicians in both programs, which were established in response to the pandemic. She explained that her role broadens the base of what is happening out of the centre.
“There is obviously nursing administration as well, but I set up the schedule for clinicians and participate in meetings about the direction of where we are going and helped through our multiple moves over the last 18 months,” she explained. “I mostly just became involved when we started seeing higher acuity. The request is that we did more stuff in the assessment centre, and that is when they
She has also been continuously involved in teaching and mentoring medical students and residents.
“That is probably the biggest compliment, to hear from students and patients that I have struck a chord with them and that’s a big honour,” she said.
In Sturgeon Lake, she alternates shifts at a clinic every other week. She said the important aspect is working as part of a team bringing care to the community.
“I think it’s a different job all together,” she explained. “In Prince Albert I’m a doctor in a family office but in Sturgeon Lake I kind of go out with a team.”
The team includes a family physician, pharmacist, a home care nurse, a diabetic nurse, a pre-natal nurse, a cultural support worker and a podiatrist.
“It is a different experience and it is such an honour to be part of a team providing patient care,” Davis said.
Nominators for the Physician of the Year award praise Dr. Davis’ focus of her patients and willingness to do whatever she can, anywhere at any time, on their behalf.
“She genuinely cares about the lives of her patients. I saw her laugh with them, cry with them, and simply be what they needed,” wrote a resident physician in support of Dr. Davis’s nomination.
“I do not believe you could find a better candidate for the SMA Physician of the Year, especially during the pandemic, than Dr. Breanna Davis. She is an inspiration, and I would be proud to be a family physician who is half as amazing as she someday.”
Davis has also received the Award of Excellence from the College of Family Physicians of Canada in 2016, the Clinical Teacher of the Year for Prince Albert by the College of Medicine 2015 graduating class, and Community Teacher of the Year by the Saskatchewan College of Family Physicians in 2014.
“The recipients of these SMA awards have shown extraordinary leadership during the pandemic by taking on new roles and advocating for their colleagues,” Dr. Eben Strydom, SMA president and a Melfort physician said in a release.
“Their leadership is needed now more than ever as the province remains in the grip of the most devastating wave of the COVID-19 pandemic to date.”
Awards for SMA physician, resident and student leader of the year were also announced at the Representative Assembly, which was held virtually.