It can be no easy task to find a doctor in Northwestern Ontario — so the patients of Dr. Sarah Newbery, in Marathon, might count themselves doubly lucky.

She's just been named “Family Doctor of the Year” by the College of Family Physicians of Canada, and joins nine other doctors in Canada who have also earned that distinction.

Newbery said the award is humbling.

Sarah Newbery

Dr. Sarah Newbery will collect her award as Family Physician of the Year at a ceremony on Nov.5, at the College of Family Physicians of Canada's annual Family Medicine Forum, which will be held in Vancouver. (Supplied)

"This award is a lovely recognition of 17 years of being in the community of Marathon and serving people who live here, with a wonderful team of people at the hospital and the clinic,” she said.

Newbery said she's always wanted to practise in a small community. As the daughter of a rural physician, she saw the difference she could make there.

'Skilled clinicians'

Since 1972, the College has acknowledged family doctors for their outstanding patient care, significant contributions to the health and well-being of their local communities, and their commitment to family medicine, teaching and research.

The award recipients are nominated by their colleagues, community leaders and the college’s 10 provincial chapters.

"It is a pleasure to recognize our award recipients who embody the best in family medicine by being outstanding examples of the four principles of family medicine," says college president, Dr. Marie-Dominique Beaulieu.

"They are skilled clinicians. They honour the patient-doctor relationship. They deliver care as part of a community of health care providers, and they are committed to life-long learning."

Canada's 2013 Family Physicians of the Year are: 

  • Dr. Tom Rimmer, Duncan, British Columbia  
  • Dr. Hal Irvine, Sundre, Alberta  
  • Dr. Werner Oberholzer, Radville, Saskatchewan   
  • Dr. Mark Duerksen, Steinbach, Manitoba   
  • Dr. Sarah-Lynn Newbery, Marathon, Ontario  
  • Dr. Michel Cauchon, Quebec City, Quebec  
  • Dr. Jeanne McNeill, Moncton, New Brunswick  
  • Dr. Kathy Gallagher, Bedford, Nova Scotia  
  • Dr. Robert Kelley, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island  
  • Dr. Roger Butler, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador  

The award presentations will be made during a ceremony on Nov.5, at the college's annual Family Medicine Forum, which will be held in Vancouver.

The College of Family Physicians of Canada represents more than 30,000 members across the country and accredits postgraduate family medicine training in Canada's 17 medical schools.