First Nations Tour

August 2018


Part 1

It took Kirsten Hudak and I most of a day and three planes to fly out to northern Ontario’s First Nations communities: Toronto to Thunder Bay to Sioux Lookout to Keewaywin and North Caribou Lake First Nations reserves. Roughly the same amount of time it takes to fly across the country from Toronto to Vancouver, BC.

I knew a smattering of First Nations history from school. Kirsten prepared a more thorough memo for me, detailing the historical and political landscape for the First Nations in Ontario. None of it prepared me for what I witnessed.

We were guided on…

DocTalk: Managing Extreme Heat

DocTalk is a series of guest posts from physicians about important issues.

Managing Extreme Heat
August 24, 2018

By Dr. Farhan M. Asrar 

Canada has been in for scorching temperatures throughout summer and the heat alerts/warnings seem to continue. So far, there have been over 100 heat warnings across Canada that have been impacting people’s health and lives with deaths also occurring in certain parts of Canada. It is important for Canadians to be more aware of the impact extreme heat can have on health, identify signs, know how to take adequate steps, and plan your summer plans accordingly.

Additionally, it is imperative to…

Letter: Why doesn't Ontario have an integrated digital health record?

Independent Free Press
August 19, 2018
Section: Opinion

Other health systems around the world have it. Other provinces do too. So, why doesn’t Ontario?

With all its industry and innovation, its larger tax base, its special health tax and larger federal health transfer, why doesn’t Ontario have an integrated digital health record?

An integrated digital health record means that patient medical information moves with them as they go from one part of the health care system to another. From their family doctor’s office, to the local pharmacy, to a hospital, to a nursing home, to home care, to a walk-in clinic or a…


May 25, 2018

It’s a perfect spring morning: sunny, breezy, warm. It’s also the first day of arbitration for Ontario’s doctors.

I’m sitting in a large conference room, split in two, one half for the audience, the other for the judges and lawyers. The chairs reserved for government guests are packed with what look like Ministry employees. In contrast, the OMA’s seats are largely empty. I’m not surprised — just barely past 9 am, most doctors I know are well into their work day seeing patients. 

My attention is focused on a U-shaped arrangement of tables where the OMA reps sit…

How did we get here?

May 18, 2018

“How did we get here?” a journalist asked me. “What happened to make health care this way?”

It’s a question many are asking as they sit and wait for 12 hours in the Emergency Department. As they lie uncomfortably on a hallway stretcher for days before a hospital bed becomes free. As they wait at home in uncertainty and pain for months to years before a specialist can see them. As they go from walk-in clinic to walk-in clinic because they have no family doctor, though they’ve been looking for years. 

How did we get here? Ask…

About Me

Dr. Nadia Alam

At heart, Nadia Alam is a scrappy small town family doctor and anesthetist. She is married to her best friend, a joyful mom of four, a published writer, and President of the Ontario Medical Association.