The Mission Attachment Clinic fills a gap long identified as a priority by local doctors. It helps many of the region’s residents, particularly vulnerable patients, such as those with mental health challenges or complex care needs, get access to primary care and linked to a family doctor.
The clinic is staffed by a team of up to nine doctors, representing nearly one-third of the community’s GPs.
“A lot of people can’t get the depth of care they need in a traditional 10-minute appointment, especially if you’re seeing them for the first time. Our appointments are longer so we can take the time to get to know our patients and the health situations,” says Dr Peter Barnsdale, a Mission Division of Family Practice board member. “It’s something doctors can be proud of. It’s a real team effort.”
“All our doctors work here in addition to their regular practices,” explains Dr Carol Pomeroy, the Division’s Board Chair. “Every doctor that’s worked at the clinic has taken on new patients when they’ve had room in their practice.”
Linda*, an 80-year-old senior with complex medical needs, was nervous about her ability to find a new doctor and worried the full spectrum of her needs could not be properly addressed at walk-in clinics. Linda was both surprised and thrilled when the doctor at the attachment clinic offered to take her on as a patient in his practice.
She describes it as feeling like “being adrift in the ocean on an inner tube, when suddenly someone shows up and throws you a line.”
*Name changed by patient request
(below) Dr Carol Pomeroy, Mission Division of Family Practice Board Chair and attachment clinic physician.