Improving Indigenous Health Status To The Highest Attainable Level

The President’s Message

Dr. Darlene KittyWachiya (hello) and welcome to the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada (IPAC) website, which shares our vision, mission, resources and activities. Our aim is to collaborate with physicians in training and practice, other health professionals, communities, agencies, and governments to ultimately improve Indigenous health.

IPAC has been through a period of transition which has enabled us to reflect upon the past and future directions of this organization, and consider our objectives and priorities. Past successes have included the development of medical school admissions toolkits to increase Indigenous health professionals in training; mentoring activities to support Indigenous medical students, residents and physicians; and the creation of curriculum to improve competencies in Indigenous Health for all health professionals. From our National Mentorship Forum and Annual General Meeting held in January 2013, we have become rejuvenated and energized to focus on the priority of mentorship. Role-modeling activities remain important to sustain and evolve in supporting those in medical training and those who hope to become physicians. For example, the recently released IPAC Role Model Book serves to inspire Indigenous youth and students to pursue medicine as a career.

Many of our members remain engaged with medical schools and residency programs, teaching others on the social determinants of health, the historical and political context and cultural elements which influence Indigenous health status. Cultural competency and cultural safety form the basis of this knowledge which will help health professionals to effectively care for Indigenous patients, families and communities. IPAC is building upon previous initiatives, such as the Admissions Guide, Core Competencies and Curriculum toolkits, to ensure that Indigenous physicians are being recruited and trained and that Indigenous health issues are being taught at all levels of medical education.

IPAC continues to actively collaborate with the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the College of Family Physicians of Canada and Indigenous communities to carry out these initiatives across the country.  We encourage you to explore our website and contact us at info@ipac-amic.org or our office for more information.

Sincerely,

Dr. Darlene Kitty
President