Mr. Speaker, this is family doctor week, during which the College of Family Physicians of Canada also celebrates its 50th anniversary. Therefore, it is with considerable emotion that I rise to pay tribute to a special group of physicians, the backbone of the medical profession: family doctors.
Family physicians are the first contact with most patients when they are ill, tying together multiple and often seemingly unrelated symptoms and signs to make a diagnosis. They are there from the moment of a patient's birth to the time of death and all that lies between, knowing that the milestones in a life are the chance foundations upon which illness or health is built.
A good family physician is a constant in a patient's life, counselling, preventing, treating, supporting, guarding the sacred trust of the relationship and considering first and always the well-being of the patient. As a family doctor for almost 23 years, my patients have allowed me to share their joys and pain, their disappointments and celebrations. Today, on behalf of all family physicians, I thank them for that great privilege.