Members of the first cohort of specialty-trained emergency physicians to staff the Victoria General Hospital’s emergency department held an informal reunion in February.

The Originals (left to right): John Ross, David Petrie, Pat Croskerry, Connie LeBlanc, Graham Bullock, Mary-Lynn Watson, Sam Campbell, Mike Murphy, Doug Sinclair, Doug Allen, Ron Stewart, George Kovacs, Brendan Carr and Ed Cain.

These 14 now-seasoned emergency physicians convened at LeRouge in Bayer’s Lake to re-connect, some 30 years after they once worked together at the VG. These physicians were among the first specialty-trained emergency medicine physicians to practice in Nova Scotia and, like many pioneers, formed close bonds with each other. 

“Everyone who attended the recent reunion would have had their EM training outside of Halifax,” recalls Dr. Sam Campbell. “The one-year EM training program for qualified family physicians only started at Dalhousie in 1996, which was the last year the VG ED was in operation, and the five-year Royal College EM specialty program did not start until after the move to the new Halifax Infirmary.” 

The former VG emergency physicians were all faculty members at Dalhousie Medical School. Many medical students and off-service residents who are now senior family doctors and other specialists received EM training from this group over the years.

Dr. Ron Stewart instigated the idea of a reunion, and Dr. Campbell took the reins to make it happen, with support from DalEM administrative staff. By all reports, the event was a great success, with many stories swapped and much laughter shared, and a welcome opportunity for connection and enjoyment for everyone involved.

“I hear there was a separate group of VG ED nurses who coincidentally got together just before this doctors’ meeting,” notes Dr. Campbell. “We plan next year to have a combined meeting with nurses, paramedics and docs from the old VG ED!”