The Canadian College of Family Physicians has recognized a Fort Saint James doctor as one the Canada’s family doctors of the year.

Dr. Anthon Meyer has been practicing medicine in Fort Saint James for 3 years now. He came to Canada from South Africa 16 years ago and has spent his entire career in rural medicine.

“To be able to put your roots down in a small community like this and show and demonstrate that you can have that high quality medicine, is a really wonderful opportunity.”

Meyer says that he is “humbled” by the award and wanted to point out the strong work the whole medical community has completed in the past few years in Fort Saint James.

“The difference in a small practice like this, is that personal approach.” Meyer said “Really for me it is when you touch the soul of our community and our patients. You get that so much more in these small settings.”

He says he hopes the award encourages young doctors to consider embarking on a career in small town medicine.

“Residents and young family physicians can see that they can have this high quality practice in small communities in BC. I think that is, in my opinion, one of the most important facts that will build programs like this.”

After moving around small town Canada for first part of his career, Meyer says he has found a permanent home in FSJ. “With the support of Northern Health we are getting, for this kind of a program we are building, we are asking a minimum 5 year extension and looking far beyond that.”

He also spoke about aspirations of getting a new hospital built, which he says would help attract young doctors out of school.

Meyer was one of ten doctors recognized across the country, with one selected from each province.