Sustaining medical services in smaller communities is challenging at the best of times. Doctors have been working without an agreement for almost two years, and the unstable relationship with our government has made it nearly impossible to recruit and retain physicians to rural areas. The gaps in services are widening provincially, and instead of addressing the worsening underlying issues, government and AHS have dismissed the numerous closures as pandemic or vacation related. Dr. Myhr questions whether maintaining services for rural populations is a priority- especially in light of the February 2020 review of AHS that suggested reductions or closures would save the system money. Dr. Myhr will give an overview of the current crisis and why it should matter to everyone.
Speaker: Sam Myhr, Rural Medicine President for the Alberta Medical Association
Sam Myhr is a family physician in Pincher Creek, where she and her colleagues are true generalists - a now endangered species in medicine. Together they run the clinic, hospital, emergency room, and surgical/obstetrical services for the surrounding area - all while training a constant complement of six medical students/residents. What started as a fight to maintain the broad services her group is proud to deliver has led to multiple regional and provincial advocacy roles. Sam is Vice President of Pincher Creek’s Attraction and Retention Committee, advises government on rural sustainability through various channels, and is the current President of the Section of Rural Medicine for the AMA.