Long-time CPS member encourages physician advocacy: ‘Give that little bit extra for better care’
Posted on Apr 28 2014 by the Canadian Paediatric Society | Permalink
Dr. Barry Adams has been a CPS member for nearly 50 years. He has served on the board, including a term as president, and was instrumental in establishing the Canadian Paediatric Foundation, now known as Healthy Generations. Now at age 80, as he looks forward to retirement, Dr. Adams hopes to have more free time to dedicate to the CPS.
“The bringing together of people that dedicate their time for the benefit and the advocacy of children…these are things that you admire about the Society,” he said in a recent interview. “The feeling that you’ve been part of that is very rewarding.”
In addition to his CPS contributions, Dr. Adams has been a community paediatrician in Ottawa for 47 years.
“It’s a good career….Children are very versatile,” he said. “Though they get ill quite quickly, they get better quite quickly too. That’s a benefit of the practice: you see them improve overnight sometimes.”
Throughout his career, Dr. Adams has seen many changes to the field of medicine. The positives include the elimination or dramatic reduction of diseases, thanks to increased vaccination. The negatives include an increase in patients struggling with behavioural or social issues—an advocacy issue he has become particularly concerned about over the years.
Being a father and grandfather has also been a great learning experience, said Dr. Adams. He and his wife Betty Anne have seven children (three of whom work in the health care field), 19 grandchildren and one great granddaughter.
“When parents ask me about my family…I tell them I learned my paediatrics at home,” said Dr. Adams.
As paediatric medicine continues to change, Dr. Adams hopes to see more paediatricians become involved in the CPS and become advocates. It’s rewarding work, he said, and essential for health professionals to strive for better health care for all kids, not just their own patients.
“As well as doing your necessary clinical work, you also need to spend some time in advocacy for better child care across the country,” he said. “You can do that by being involved in different areas, in your community or provincially, but you have to give a little more than what you do in your everyday office or hospital practice and give that little bit extra for better care and better lives for children.”
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