Vernon is grappling with a massive doctor shortage.
“In the next 10 years, we’re losing quite a few doctors to retirement,” explained Tasha Gagne, a practice improvement coach with Doctors of BC. “The amount that are leaving in the Vernon area versus the amount coming in is not going to even out, so it is a huge struggle.”
Gagne also mentioned the issue at the walk-in clinic in Superstore, where they can barely find enough doctors to run its clinic.
Which is why, in part, Gagne decided to organize the Walk with your Doc event.
Medical office assistants, physicians, physios and other members or the public were walking Polson Park on Wednesday, as part of the event put on by Doctors of BC.
The walk in Vernon was one of several happening around the province, in an effort to boost awareness on the benefits on walking.
“It’s not just the physical aspect, it’s the mental,” said Gagne. “Think about when you are having a bad day. Just getting outside, getting fresh air makes you feel so much better.”
Prior to the walk, attendees were treated to a dynamic stretching routine, spearheaded by Concept Physiotherapy co-owner Kimberly Brandle.
“A dynamic warm-up can help prepare the body for physical activity,” she said. “You would be surprised how many of your muscles are utilized during a walk.”
Brandle also noted the importance of dosing exercise, where in lieu of a doctors prescription for pills, its a prescription of exercise.
“Something like 30 minutes a day, three times a week for walking,” said Brandle. “Then they can follow up with their doctor three weeks later, and maybe the ‘dose’ can be upped to six times a week.”
While physicians tout the importance of walking for patients, it is also vital for doctors themselves, as they tend to get spread so thin and pulled in so many directions during work.
“We actually had some doctors that were supposed to come today,” Gagne said, “but they couldn’t take the time off as they needed to see their patients.”