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2021 Exceptional Facilitator Award Winner Spotlight #1

James Lai, Family Physician in British Columbia

1. Please tell us about yourself and your practice:

I have practiced family medicine in Vancouver since 1986, first in a large clinic with FPs and specialists until 2003 then in a small group practice to date. Throughout my career, I’ve strived to be engaged in full-service practice in my urban setting including hospital work and obstetrics. I also enjoy teaching medical students and residents as well as participating in initiatives with my local medical associations to improve primary care.

I am an avid runner which helps me burn up the calories I get from regularly eating out at favorite local restaurants (re-discovered after the pandemic shutdowns) with my wonderful wife Josephine who has provided me unwavering support over the last 36 years and counting. I have 2 grown children that I am very proud of: my son Joshua who is a practicing neurologist and my daughter Jocelyn who is a Juilliard-trained pianist working on her doctorate in piano performance.

2. Please tell us about your PBSG group:

My current PBSG group has 6 members including myself. All of us are FPs engaged in full-time practice. We meet twice a month in the morning for an hour before we start our offices. We switched from meeting at my office to meeting on Zoom since the pandemic started last year. Although we miss seeing each other in person, we’ve been able to maintain the same comfort level and ability to learn as we work through the modules. All of us look forward to our meetings because we are able to both challenge and support each other with our practices in a safe and collegial setting that is one of the hallmarks of the PBSG program.

3. Please tell us what you enjoy about being a facilitator:

I joined PBSG in 1996 and consider it one of the best decisions I’ve made in my medical career. My role as a facilitator has enabled me to effectively and efficiently tackle my own practice gaps while challenging my group members to do the same. But what I enjoy and value most is the precious relationships we’ve built together through the years, as colleagues, mentors, and friends. I’ve also had the privilege of serving as a facilitator trainer for the PBSG program since 2007. Meeting and working with the passionate PBSG Program Team and enthusiastic trainees from across Canada continue to be highlights of my association with the program.