A unique physician scholarship program
is off to a great start! The Nova Scotia Allergy and Environmental Health
Association (NSAEHA) has established a scholarship program to address the
drastic shortage of Nova Scotian doctors trained in environmental medicine.
This spring, two local GPs will attend
intensive medical education courses on environmental medicine thanks to
the Dr. E. Bruce Elliott Scholarship. Dr. Craig Ferguson of Bridgewater
will attend a week-long program, and Dr. William Harvey of Elmsdale will
attend a three day program. The courses, organized by the American Academy
of Environmental Medicine (AAEM), are accredited by American and Canadian
medical bodies, and are the only training in this field available in North
"Many physicians who would like training
in environmental medicine are not even aware it exists in the form of 5-day
courses," said Karen Robinson, chair of the NSAEHA treatment committee
and a major force behind the scholarship project. "Through this program
we hope to increase the number of doctors trained in this field and to
raise awareness of the courses' existence."
"In my time as president of the NSAEHA,"
said past president Frank Metzger, "I saw first hand the desperate need
for treatment for environmental illnesses. I have seen how completely
this disease can devastate people's lives. The most frequent enquiry received
by NSAEHA over the years has been 'Where can I find a doctor who understands
my illness?' Metzger continued, "The shortage of specially trained doctors
in this field became even more severe with the death in 1999 of Dr. Bruce
Elliott. Hundreds of his environmentally ill patients still have no doctor
Robinson credits the project's success
to generous support from many sources. The AAEM has been a major supporter.
The Halifax Camerata Singers donated copies of their CD, "Songs from Home",
which are being sold to benefit the fund, and many individuals have made
donations. "We are still a bit short of our goal for this year," says Robinson.
"We hope that donations will continue to come in. The program will
continue next year, and we hope to be able to support other doctors in
gaining this valuable training."
The sooner environmental health problems
are diagnosed and treated, the more likely a person is to recover. The
Dr. E. Bruce Elliott Scholarship is a critical tool to help Nova Scotian
children and adults find physicians who can help them on the road back
Donations for the
physician scholarship fund in environmental medicine can
be sent to NSAEHA, Box 31323, Halifax,
N.S. B3K 5Y5 Please specify the
donation is for the "NSAEHA/Elliott
scholarship". Tax receipts will be issued for donations of $10.00 or more.
Donations can also be made through the United Way, by specifying the NSAEHA/Elliott
Scholarship under donor options.
"Songs from Home" CD to benefit scholarship
the AAEM courses can be found at www.aaem.com/
or by faxing