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Story Behind the Person - Dr. Kim Ferguson and the Family Health Team

By Jonathan van Bilsen

The arduous journey to becoming a physician, involves years of education, accumulating substantial debts, and sacrificing personal lives to attain a specific goal—a challenge few can conquer.

Consider the remarkable story of Dr. Kimberly Ferguson, who made a significant career change from insurance sales to practising medicine, a feat few embark upon.

Kim Gibb was born in Orillia, to a salesperson father and a bookkeeper mother. Kim's family envisioned a secure business career for her. However, her childhood dream was always to become a doctor, unlike the girls who typically played nurses during childhood games.

Kim's family moved around, and her childhood included tending to animals, at the family hobby farm in Myrtle. Despite the family changes, she managed to balance part-time jobs during high school, which included being the manager of Caddy Shack, the large golf ball building on Simcoe Street in Oshawa, now demolished. Amidst her professional growth, she also found time to date and become engaged to Randy Ferguson.

While pursuing a business course at U of T, Kim deferred her dream of becoming a doctor. Her career path led her to Tuxedo Royale, in Pickering, followed by a move to Blackstock with husband Randy. However, the regret of not pursuing her lifelong dream lingered.

In 1994, during a vacation in the southeastern United States, Kim had a pivotal conversation with her cousin, reigniting her passion for medicine. Supported by her understanding husband, as well as her son and daughter, she resigned from the insurance business, attended Trent University, and embarked on an undergrad in Biology and Psychology.

Despite facing rejections from four medical schools, Kim persisted. A call to the University of Toronto, in 1997, proved positive and, upon supplying her transcripts, she began her medical school journey.

Balancing the demands of medical school with family life was undoubtedly challenging for the Fergusons. With support from her mother and Randy, Kim managed the hectic lifestyle, which included commuting and staying in Toronto when necessary.

After completing her medical education, Kim chose to return to her roots in Port Perry, where she had grown up. In 2003, she became Dr. Kim Ferguson, and found immense joy in her profession, particularly in caring for obstetrical patients. Kim's excellent attitude and bedside manner have been noted by several individuals.

As a member of the Family Health Team, at the Medical Associates of Port Perry, Kim plays a crucial role in bringing education to local physicians. Her dedication to the well-being of the residents she serves is evident, and she considers herself blessed to be able to do what she loves.

The North Durham Family Health Team (NDFHT) collaborates with the physicians of Medical Associates of Port Perry, to extend medical services in Port Perry and the surrounding community. Situated at 462 Paxton Street, Port Perry, directly across from Lakeridge Health, the team includes a diverse group of family physicians, general surgeons, general internists, and independent health professionals.

A Family Health Team (FHT) is an innovative approach to primary health care, uniting various healthcare providers, to ensure the highest quality of patient care. Patients benefit from access to a range of healthcare professionals within the FHT, such as nurse practitioners, nurses, dieticians, social workers, pharmacists and more. The FHT enhances access to primary care, emphasizing patient-centered services close to home.

Perhaps one of the best kept secrets is the extended evening and weekend hours, which provide access to FHT doctors for urgent issues. Treatment by another FHT doctor ensures continuous communication with the patient's primary doctor. After-hours assistance is available through Telehealth (1-866-797-0000), with a registered nurse offering advice and the patient's doctor receiving a summary the next day.

Family Health Teams leverage funded information technology to securely organize and share health information among professionals. Timely access to high-quality primary care contributes to patient health and longevity. The FHT also offers inter-professional programs in chronic disease management, disease prevention and health promotion, making them a comprehensive and patient-focused approach to healthcare.

The North Durham Family Health Team is committed to ensuring patients have access to timely, high-quality, primary care, medical services in our community.

In addition to individual provider appointments, specialized group programs and workshops, including more than 14 services, are also offered. Services such as Chronic Pain Programs, a memory clinic and a mental health clinic, to name a few.

Thanks to physicians like Dr. Kim Ferguson, our healthcare needs are among the best in the province. For more information about the Family Health Care team and services, give them a call, at 905-985-2895.

Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. His show, ‘The Jonathan van Bilsen Show’, on RogersTV, the Standard Website or YouTube, features many of the people included in this column.

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