Departing physician expresses some concerns

The editor:

To the patients of the Southeast Medical Group, physicians, nurses and allied health professionals of Estevan:

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It is with sincere relief that I announce my resignation as a family physician here in Estevan, effective Dec. 15. Over the last 13 months I have been privileged to work with all of you. Of course, it has come at my own great personal dissatisfaction.

The circumstances around why I have made this decision are multifactorial, encompassing both personal and professional reasons, which have been longstanding since the commencement of my position. Those who are close to me have seen my struggles throughout this time, and I feel it is valuable for you to understand them too.

If you would like to know, you are welcome to ask me in person. You would be correct to trust my own views on the matter, rather than the propagating falsehoods on social media. I'm looking directly at you, Estevan Rant and Rave.

Regarding my cherished receptionist, Ms. Sue-Anne Orser, with whom I, along with Drs. Cormier, Geller and Krickan have entrusted to work with, I plead with you to treat her with respect and humility. We understand you come to a physician's office in moments of vulnerability, confusion, and duress. However, all people deserve to be treated as human beings. No one deserves to be yelled at, sworn at or be called disrespectful insults.

To Ms. Kristin Dupuis, the first friend I made in this city, who works in her role as executive assistant to the St. Joseph's Hospital CEO, I sincerely thank you for your hard work in helping me transition to Estevan. Your efforts in mitigating several unanticipated conflicts cannot be overstated. The hospital and community would be unwise to forget this.

Medicine is a privilege. It comes with the highest sense of responsibility that we as health care professionals are burdened to carry with grace and facility. In this respect, we pursue these duties together. If there is anything I can suggest to anyone committed to see change in this community, it is that we are better heard and valued when we act with a unified, coherent voice.

As you may know, my own clinic of patients has been run as a walk-in setting for the last few months in anticipation of my departure. My last day of seeing patients for any new issues was Nov. 15. To those whom I deem necessary to undergo further care in December, I will arrange for limited follow-up appointments on a case-by-case basis.

My esteemed colleague Dr. Cormier will not assume care of my patients. Rather, he will be accepting patients on a case-by-case basis, with the decision ultimately being up to him. Dr. Geller continues in his role as a family physician with surgical and obstetrical services.

Oh, also I'm not North Korean and neither is Dr. Chou. Both Canadian. Like 100 per cent.


Dr. Neal Cabigon


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