The Yukon Medical Association has a new president.
Dr. Ken Quong was chosen at the association’s annual general meeting on Friday.
Quong is no stranger to the role. He was previously elected president in 1997.
Since then he has worked closely with the association, particularly as a negotiator with the Yukon government.
“He’s much more experienced than I was when I started off,” said Dr. Rao Tadepalli, the outgoing president, who served in the role for nine years.
“I am so thankful for him stepping up to the plate. It is a hard, grilling job to be the president. It takes quite a bit of time and effort and it was time for me to move on. I’m glad Dr. Quong stepped ahead and said, ‘Rao, if not anything, I’ll get you a break.’”
“I was saying to Rao this morning that, he talks about this as being the end of something, the end of his being president, but really it’s just the beginning,” said Quong. “I was president in 1997, I was first involved with the YMA when I arrived here in 1993. And so, all of us who are interested in shaping the future of the medical community, we remain involved.”
Quong is a born-and-raised Yukoner. His family moved up in the 1940s to work on the construction of the Alaska Highway.
He graduated from medical school at the University of British Columbia in 1987, and worked in Nunavut (which was part of the Northwest Territories at the time) and B.C. before returning to the Yukon.
Quong said that one of his priorities as association president will be to attract Yukoners who have left for medical school back to the territory.
“There are approximately 18 Yukon medical students and residents out there right now, and it’s going to be my priority to work on recruiting all of them, or most of them, to come home. Because I think when people come from here, they have a sense of what it’s like here, they fit in easily, the community knows them, they know the community and it’s a good fit.”
He would also like to see comprehensive education of the medical community on the history of residential schools and how it has impacted aboriginal communities in the North, he said.
“I think it would be amazing to achieve some level of greater understanding of the residential school experience amongst the physicians,” said Quong.
“I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I have an opportunity here that I don’t want to miss.”
Tadepalli was elected Friday to represent Yukon on the board of directors for the Canadian Medical Association.
He will formally take on that role next August at that association’s annual meeting.
Contact Jacqueline Ronson at email@example.com