One of the greatest compliments a person can give another is to suggest that they be a leader. Dr. Annette Begalke, by all accounts, is an exceptional family physician – the kind our health system needs – and she has made a big impression on her patients and colleagues alike.

One of her colleagues wanted to highlight the exceptional work that Dr. Begalke does every day.

“Dr. Begalke is the epitome of the family physician. She works relentlessly for her patients. Her standards of care and professionalism are exceptional. Her goals are evident in every action she takes – to be a patient advocate, to care for both the patient in the context of their family and social circumstance. To go above and beyond is a phrase ideally suited to her work ethic. 

"She singularly makes a difference to her patients’ well-being. In a system where teams are what we strive for, she has the capacity to see what is needed and deliver for her patient, even when the health care team is scant. She does this with a warm heart, impeccable clinical acumen and the ability to be the greatest asset to her team. 

“When I consider what the health care system needs, Dr. Begalke comes immediately to mind. She cares for innumerable patients with the highest complexity, provides for needs that the system will overlook and relentlessly navigates the system for her patients’ best interests. Her kindness to colleagues and the ability to see through the health care system and navigate it for her patients is exceptional. The drive she has is an inspiration to all colleagues who come in contact with her. 

“Dr. Begalke is humble and quiet, but she has the most amazing mind that offers practical and innovative solutions to health care quandaries, and it would be to the medical profession and the health care system’s benefit to see her in leadership, when her very full life as a doctor, wife, mother, daughter and friend will allow. To consider her as a mentor is my most humble privilege. 

“I nominate Dr. Begalke for this Shine A Light award most sincerely and enthusiastically.”

Dr. Begalke follows in the footsteps of her grandfather – a path that allows her to care for patients in all stages of their lives.

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Dr. Annette Begalke

How long have you been practicing medicine?

I have been practicing family medicine for 12 years.

Why did you choose to focus your practice on family medicine?

I knew from a very early age that I wanted to be a physician, and family medicine was an area of medicine that stood out to me from the beginning.  My first exposure to family medicine came from my grandfather, who was a family physician in Europe. He would often tell me stories about his career, about patient encounters and about the relationships he was able to establish with his patients. During my clerkship, I enjoyed many areas of medicine and found it difficult to narrow my focus to just one. Family medicine allows me to incorporate all areas of medicine that I enjoy into my daily practice. From prenatal care to end-of-life care, from doing small procedures to solving complex medical scenarios, no day in family medicine is the same. 

What do you find most satisfying about your work?

The most satisfying part of my work as a family physician is the long-term relationships that I am able to establish with my patients. It is very rewarding to support patients through good times and bad, to treat families across multiple generations and to watch families grow, and provide patients with a medical home base to come back to for management of both acute and chronic medical conditions.

About The Shine A Light Program 

The Shine A Light Program recognizes and profiles AMA member physicians who are making a difference by: 

  • Spearheading projects that improve patient and/or community life
  • Diligently following/tracking patients to ensure coordinated care
  • Working long hours and adjusting schedules to meet patient needs
  • Contributing to Alberta’s vision of a high-performing health care system
We’re looking forward to your nominations and to shining a light on physicians who put Patients First® in everything they do.