Bell’s Palsy

Mona Lisa syndrome: solving the enigma of the Gioconda smile via Discover.

Bell palsy accounts for 80% of cases of unilateral lower motor neuron facial paralysis

It has an annual incidence of 20–30 cases per 100 000 population and can occur at any age; median age at onset is 40 years. The cause is unknown, although the herpes simplex viral genome is detected in the facial nerve endoneurial fluid in 79% of cases. Patients with Bell palsy should receive corticosteroids within 48 hours of symptom onset, regardless of severity

Treatment with a total of 450–500 mg prednisone over 10 days has a number needed to treat of 8 to achieve a House–Brackman score of grade 2 or less after 4 months for patients with severe or complete paralysis. Antiviral medications can be considered in severe cases. Eye protection (sunglasses, eye patch, lubricating tears or ointments) should be used routinely to prevent corneal abrasions, ulceration and keratitis. Other options for persistent symptoms include facial physiotherapy for weakness, botulinum toxin injections for facial asymmetry and surgery to facilitate eyelid closure.

More on the treatment of Bell’s Palsy via CMAJ.

UBC Family Practice Postgraduate Awards 2022

Congratulations to our Abbotsford-Mission graduating residents and faculty!

This award is funded by the Lloyd Jones Collins Foundation for outstanding Scholarship Project as chosen by Family Practice scholarship committee. The Lloyd Jones Collins Foundation, under the directorship of Dr. Goertzen and four associates, granted its first annual Resident Research Awards in 1999 and continues to generously support family medicine residency research and faculty development.

Recipients: Dr. Richard Low & Dr. Clare Chiu
Site: Abbotsford Mission
Research Project: Procedural skills of newly graduated Family Physicians

This award is offered by the Department of Family Practice Community Geriatrics to second year residents who demonstrate excellence in scholarly projects related to care of the elderly. The award is to support research and scholarship that contributes to geriatrics within the discipline of family practice.

Recipients: Dr. Casey Hicks, Dr. Diane Bosc, Dr. Jas Hans, Dr. Michal Jurkowski, & Dr. Michelle Ou
Site: Abbotsford-Mission
Research Project: Storytelling in Medicine: the process of creative writing, sharing stories and reflective practice

This award is offered by BC College of Family Physicians to each training site to best resident presenters of their scholar project at local Scholarship Days.

Recipients: Dr. Casey Hicks, Dr. Diane Bosc, Dr. Jas Hans, Dr. Michal Jurkowski, & Dr. Michelle Ou
Site: Abbotsford-Mission
Research Project: Storytelling in Medicine: the process of creative writing, sharing stories and reflective practice

Congratulations to Dr. Casey Hicks for being nominated for the Morton Dodek Award in Family Medicine and Dr. Thanh Luu for being nominated for the Peter Grantham Award for Teaching Excellence!

Canadians concerned for Americans who may lack abortion access in wake of top court ruling

“‘It’s not just sending women’s rights backwards, it’s like sending the whole country backwards in so many ways.’

In Windsor, Ont., Pat Papadeas said the ruling was going to hurt marginalized people and it was taking the U.S. in the wrong direction.

‘I’m saddened, I’m angry and I feel a lot of despair,’ Papadeas told CBC News near the border city’s waterfront, which sits across from neighbouring Detroit.

The news was just as upsetting to Mohini Datta-Ray, the executive director of Planned Parenthood Toronto, even though it had been expected.

‘I cried for 45 minutes,’ Datta-Ray said Friday. ‘Those of us who work at the reproductive justice movement obviously saw it coming down the road … but it is still devastating.’

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the U.S. court ruling ‘horrific,’ tweeting that his heart goes out to the ‘American women who are now set to lose their legal right to an abortion.’

Canadians concerned for Americans who may lack abortion access in wake of top court ruling via CBC News.

Health Canada authorizes Evusheld for the prevention of COVID-19

“Health Canada authorized Evusheld (tixagevimab and cilgavimab) for the prevention of COVID-19. After a thorough and independent scientific review of the evidence, the Department has determined that Evusheld meets Health Canada’s stringent safety, efficacy and quality requirements.

The drug is approved for use in adults and children (12 years of age and older, weighing at least 40 kg) who are not currently infected with COVID-19 and have not had recent known contact with someone infected with COVID-19, and:

  • who are immune compromised and unlikely to mount an adequate immune response to COVID‐19 vaccination; or,
  • for whom COVID-19 vaccination is not recommended.

Patients should talk to their healthcare provider to determine if Evusheld is appropriate for them. Evusheld is not currently authorized to treat COVID-19 infection, nor is it authorized to prevent infection in people who have been exposed to the virus.”

Health Canada authorizes Evusheld for the prevention of COVID-19 in immune compromised adults and children via Health Canada.

Gladiolus, Graduation, & More!

Congratulations to our family medicine physicians on their recent graduation. You all received a small pouch of gladiolus bulbs from me. As I promised, here are the instructions for planting and caring for these stunning flowers. Plant them now!

Also did you know…

“Bulb extracts of Gladiolus dalenii reportedly used in the treatment of fungal infections in HIV/AIDS patients in the Lake Victoria region were tested for antifungal activity using the disc diffusion assay technique. Commercially used antifungal drugs, Ketaconazole and Griseofulvin (Cosmos Pharmaceuticals) were used as standards. Dichloromethane (CH2CL2)/Methanol (MeOH) in the ratio 1:1. Soluble extracts showed antifungal activity against Aspergillus niger. Direct bioautography on silica gel Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) and appropriate spraying agents were used to identify the active component in the extract. The activities of both the extracts were higher than that of Griseofulvin. CH2CL2 soluble extract in addition showed ability to delay sporulation in A.niger. The active group of compounds in the extracts was identified as alkaloids, which offer immense potential for development of new and valuable pharmaceutical products.”

Learn more on the “Antifungal Activity of Crude Extracts of Gladiolus Dalenii van Geel (Iridaceae)” via Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med.

Teach for Us!

Some of the many benefits of teaching as a physician include:

  • Learning alongside residents and staying up to date with current medical practices
  • Cultivating relationships that can lead to locums and new practice partners
  • Feeling the personal satisfaction of helping someone else develop into a competent and confident family doctor and ensuring that the medical profession is in good future hands
  • It’s a fun and healthy challenge

There are a number of roles physicians can play in supporting resident learning, including:

  • acting as a preceptor to directly supervise and assess resident’s clinical training
  • volunteering to assist with periodic training events such as practice SOOs, SAMPs, and OSCEs
  • performing site-level faculty roles in particular areas of interest (ie. curriculum, assessment/evaluation, scholarship, behavioural medicine, faculty development)
  • taking on program level leadership positions, such as Lead Faculty, Site Director, or Program Director

If you’d like more information about teaching for Family Practice, start by contacting the program­ at

Already joined us and have some questions? See our FAQs.

Learn more via UBC Department of Family Practice, Postgraduate Program.

Surfing Courses & The Wellbeing of Young People

The geometry of tube shape can be represented as a ratio between length and width. A perfectly cylindrical vortex has a ratio of 1:1, while the classic almond-shaped tube is nearer 3:1. When width exceeds length, the tube is described as “square”. Wave-shape-intensity.svg.

“Involvement in positive leisure activities is a key way for young people to develop resilience and social and emotional skills. This paper outlines the evaluation of a six-week surfing intervention, the Wave Project, which aimed to boost wellbeing and confidence among 84 young people aged eight to 18, all of whom faced mental health issues or social exclusion.

The intervention resulted in a significant and sustained increase in wellbeing. One year later, 70% of clients regularly attend a surf club and many have become trained as session volunteers. Parents and referrers noticed an increase in positive attitude and better communication, as well as improved self-management and behaviour at both home and school. It is concluded that the Wave Project provides a demonstrable and cost-effective way to deliver mental health care, mentoring and social integration of young people. Further service evaluation of accessibility and long-term outcomes is also recommended.”

Learn more on The positive impact of structured surfing courses on the wellbeing of vulnerable young people via Community Practitioner.

Digital Health Innovation Series 2022

Join BCCHR and WHRI every month as we dive deeper into a different aspect of conducting digital health research.

The BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute (BCCHR) and the Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI) are collaborating to host a digital health education series.

On Thursday, July 7, between 12:00-1:00 pm, join us for an exciting rapid fire panel discussion.


  • Understand the value of academic research from an industry perspective and how to engage with digital health companies for collaborative research partnerships.
  • Identify challenges and facilitators for collaborating on digital health research related to funding, product or intervention development, and more.
  • Learn about companies in Canada innovating in digital health interested in partnering for digital health research.

To learn more and register, please visit here.

Doctors Without Borders

“But perhaps above all, it was Black intellectuals who made Europe their pilgrimage. Du Bois went to Germany in 1892 after finishing his degree at Harvard College not because of his race but because of the intellectual opportunity. ‘Any American scholar who wanted preferment,’ he said, ‘went to Germany for study.’ Langston Hughes’ father urged him to go to Switzerland for college and learn French, German, and Italian all at once. (Hughes went to Harlem instead, though later he would try his hand at filmmaking in Russia.) Black newspapers reported how French universities were ‘open for business’; in 1955 James Baldwin estimated five hundred Black Americans were walking the streets of Paris ‘studying everything from the Sorbonne’s standard Cours de Civilisation Française to abnormal psychology, brain surgery, music, fine arts, and literature.’

Another ‘problem group’ for medical schools, Jewish students, had long looked to Europe for an education. (The dean of the Yale School of Medicine in the 1920s instructed his admission committee, ‘Never admit more than five Jews, take only two Italian Catholics, and take no blacks at all.’) Officials from medical schools in Michigan and Alabama complained that if they admitted all the qualified Jewish students, the school would be so full of ‘undesirables’ that there would be no room for local students. In 1932 almost two thousand American Jewish students were studying medicine in Europe, mostly in the UK, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland.

Black Americans followed, particularly after World War II. (Others had traveled the path long before. James McCune Smith, the first African American to earn a medical degree, had done so in Scotland in 1837. Black women, too, made the trip; Sarah Parker Remond, born in 1826, studied obstetrics in Florence and practiced in Italy for over twenty years.) It was a win-win situation for the students and the countries that accepted them. A 1932 Philadelphia Tribune article titled ‘French Universities Would Welcome U.S. Negro Students’ quoted an official French report on the rising number of American students in the country: ‘They return to their country and are excellent missionaries for our ideas, our books, our surgical instruments, our pharmaceutical products and health centers.'”

Doctors Without Borders: On the Black doctors who received their medical degrees and a new sort of freedom in Europe via Lapham’s Quarterly.