Saskatchewan

Moose Jaw's singing doctor named Sask. Physician of the Year

A unique Saskatchewan family doctor from Moose Jaw, known for singing in the office, has been named 2017 Physician of the Year by the The Saskatchewan Medical Association.

Dr. Volker Rininsland started Moose Jaw's family medicine residency program

Dr. Volker Rininsland has been practising medicine in Moose Jaw for over three decades, with a well-known smile on his face. (Contributed by the The Saskatchewan Medical Association.)

A unique Saskatchewan family doctor from Moose Jaw, known for singing in the office, has been named 2017 Physician of the Year by the The Saskatchewan Medical Association.

Dr. Volker Rininsland was presented with the award as part of the SMA's Representative Assembly meeting Friday evening at the Saskatoon Inn.

"It's very unexpected and it's humbling," said Rininsland in a release from the SMA. "I'm humbled because there are so many colleagues in the province doing so many good things. To be selected is a huge honour."

Dr. Mark Brown, who has worked with Rininsland since 2001, nominated his colleague for the award.

Is laughter the best medicine?

Brown said Rininsland, who is known locally as the singing doctor, entertains people with his "medical songs" while operating his practice, including obstetrics and covering the ER.

"His entertaining nature can lift a room with laughter and positivity," wrote North Battleford physician Dr. Janet Tootoosis in her nomination letter.

Besides being entertaining, Brown said Rininsland is also a great mentor and medical leader in the medical community.

The 34-year veteran in medicine started the family medicine residency program in Moose Jaw where he is the program's site director.

"I've pretty much held every job that you can and tried to serve the medical community," he said, "Five years ago I became what I call a reluctant academic when I agreed to help start a family medicine training program and then heading it, and that's been very successful.

His entertaining nature can lift a room with laughter and positivity- Dr. Janet Tootoosis 

Dr. Kevin J. Dautremont said his dedication as a doctor earns him the award.

"Besides being a full service family physician in the truest sense of the word, he has devoted countless hours to the city and the health district, including fundraising, health promotion, volunteer activities," he said.

Patient Brenda Humphrey said this dedication was shown when her grandmother had multiple strokes and Rininsland rode in the ambulance with her on every trip to Regina.

"He didn't have to do that but was keeping his promise that he would treat her as his own," Humphrey writes. "Dr. R has been our family physician through five generations.While doctors must take an oath to the highest degree, Dr. R.'s personal commitment to his patients is extraordinary."

"His empathy, understanding, courage, knowledge, humility, humour, but most of all love for healing, is what makes this man worthy of this honour."

Born in Austria, Rininsland's family relocated to Lanigan when he was 10.

The doctor took up his family practice in Moose Jaw over three decades ago after graduating from the University of Saskatchewan in 1981.

Since then, Rininsland has served on SMA committees, was the president of Five Hills Regional Medical Association and the Saskatchewan chapter of the College of Family Physicians of Canada.