Dr. Geoff Williams, a gastroenterologist in Halifax, is the recipient of Doctors Nova Scotia‘s 2017 Patient’s Choice Award. “My clinical focus is in therapeutic endoscopy, and I am particularly interested in diagnosis and management of pancreatic cancer,” he said. As the only physician in Nova Scotia who performs endoscopic ultrasound (a technique used to biopsy tumours along the GI tract), he sees many patients in the province who have pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Williams also has a large practice dedicated to the management of common GI problems, including diagnosis and prevention of colon cancer, management of Crohn’s and colitis, hepatobiliary diseases and other GI disorders.
“He has been instrumental in bringing me to wellness,” said patient nominator Darlene Metzler, who has colitis. “He has a very busy practice but he always makes time to fit me in if I’m having a flare-up. He cares. He never quits. He makes you feel important.”
“Being recognized by patients is the highest honour I could receive, since it is patient care that is the focus of my career,” said Dr. Williams.
Dr. Williams is the assistant dean of postgraduate medical education at Dalhousie University and chairs a national resident education program (Gastrointestinal Residents in Training). He has received several awards recognizing excellence in teaching.
When not practising medicine or teaching, Dr. Williams enjoys cooking and spending time with his wife Laci, who is also a physician, and their three young sons.
The recipient of this award receives a plaque and $5,000 to donate to a community charity of their choice. Dr. Williams has chosen to donate $5,000 to ARK Outreach, which offers a drop-in centre for street-involved and homeless youth as well as a Sunday supper program for members of Halifax’s homeless community.
The Patient’s Choice Award recognizes physicians who have forged meaningful relationships with their patients and made significant contributions to the health and well-being of their community. The award also recognizes physicians who make significant contributions to medical research and demonstrate leadership in the areas of advocacy, community service and/or medical education.