I remember back in the 1980s – I was in the waiting room in a family doctor’s office waiting for my pilot medical. The room was not the cleanest, with broken or neglected furniture, and some kid with bubonic plague was coughing up a lung beside me. There has to be a better way, I thought. That was the moment when YBW Aeromedical Clinic was born. It took several iterations, and twenty years of saving and planning – but my goal of creating a purpose-built clinic of, by and for pilots eventually came to pass. I wanted a place devoted to the medical needs of pilots, where their concerns were understood, and where they knew they would be dealing with an experienced team who “got it”, and whose sole focus was aviation. As you walk in our door I want you to think “I’ve come to the right place.” The many pilots who place their trust in our Clinic are testament to the concept. As our numbers – and services - continue to grow, we are in danger of becoming victims of our own success. Some things are changing because they have to, so I thought I would write this explanation to clear up any concerns and share our future plans with you. As I’ve joked with lots of you – I’m working on freedom 92 so no – not retiring any time soon. I love what I do, there’s just too much of it to do. I find myself overwhelmed with consults and medicals.
A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to be joined here by Dr. Mindy Gautama, a very capable family physician with an aviation background (her husband flies for WestJet and their daughter is in flight training. They own a 172). Then about a year later, the opportunity arose to open on Saturdays, using the services of another experienced family doc and CAME, Dr. Scott Forsyth (currently doing his own flight training). I have watched their practices carefully – and they embody the “pilots first” attitude that is the cornerstone of YBW Aeromedical. They are eager to increase their clinic time at the same time as I’ve been swamped with pilot addiction work as we attempt to create ARC – Aircrew Recovery Canada, and more pilots enter our formal recovery program. Add to this some of my consulting work with airlines and ALPA and there are not enough hours in the day! So something has to give.
Accordingly, I’ve been fortunate in that Mindy and Scott have agreed to take over more of the day-to-day YBW Aeromedical Clinic operations and pilot medicals as of February 1, 2024. I am still very much involved seeing pilots in addiction recovery and dealing with complex cases, but I would ask your understanding if you can’t get an appointment with me as you used to. I am confident that Mindy and Scott will ably look after your aeromedical needs and we will all continue to earn your trust in our clinic. I may be filling in for them as they have other responsibilities too – so I may see you for your medical in the future – but no guarantees.
Thank you for all your support through the years, and welcome on the next phase of our journey.
Bren Adams MD