Dr. Sofia Nastis is a family physician in Toronto, Canada. She met with us to talk COVID-19, virtual healthcare, and future planning.
Written By Sydney Cowie August 4, 2020
From the onset of the pandemic, frontline hospital staff bravely put their communities' needs above their own. As a token of our gratitude, we’ve provided 430 Ontario healthcare workers (and counting) with free Wills. But there’s so much more to this story than a statistic, like the story of Dr. Sofia Nastis, a family physician from North York, ON.
Why do you Will? I Will to protect my husband and new puppy, Gilligan.
Dr. Nastis is three years into her family medicine practice, with special interests in preventative medicine, obesity management, and virtual care. With the pandemic forcing patients to stay home, the demand for virtual care grew at a rate which may not have happened otherwise.
This small silver lining allowed Dr. Nastis to make significant headway in her virtual practice, connecting with patients from the safety of their homes using an online platform called OTN. Initially, she was a bit concerned that some of her older, less tech-savvy patients may struggle with the move to online care. But one patient in particular, a 70 year old diabetic patient to be exact, proved that technology isn’t just for the younger generation. Throughout quarantine, this patient has been able to use OTN to continue their ongoing appointments with Dr. Nastis without a blip.
The benefits of virtual care extend beyond today’s context. Many appointments for both acute and chronic conditions can be performed at home and easily managed without the hassle of visiting a doctor's office.
In speaking with Dr. Nastis, it’s clear how grateful she is to be able to see her patients in a new light, as their whole selves in their own home, alongside everything that makes them who they are.
“It’s really nice to see my patients’ homes. In family medicine, we often talk about treating the ‘whole person,’ So it’s great to see them in their natural habitat.”
While the silver lining is there, finding a balance between managing the safety of her staff, patients, and herself is an ongoing juggling act. As long as the curve trends down in Ontario, Dr. Nastis’ team will take more in-person appointments to make sure people stay on top of their health.
That being said, with the OTN network, patients can gauge their own comfort level with in-person visits and opt to try something new and embrace this digital age!
“Something I’ve been excited to see come to fruition is having diabetes appointments via virtual care. These appointments often don’t need to be done in person and patients really enjoy that they can manage many medical conditions from the comfort of their own home.”
Whether people need healthcare services or not during this time, Wills and end-of-life plans have quickly become top of mind for many Canadians, Dr. Nastis included. With a newfound sense of urgency, she created her Will with Epilogue.
Prior to this, Dr. Nastis didn’t feel the urgency to make a Will, although she knew her and her partner should have one. By removing the barriers of cost and in-person appointments with a lawyer, she could cross this big item off her to-do list as well as provide peace of mind for her family.
“As soon as I was done my Will, I felt a huge sense of relief. I’m a Type A, list-making type of person so it felt amazing to cross it off my list. It gave me a huge sense of security to know that everything was sorted out for now, and I could go and update it anytime as my situation changes (like when my husband and I got our new puppy, Gilligan!)”
Creating a Will may seem daunting, but it’s simply a matter of sitting down and getting your wishes on paper. These decisions take time to think over and call for difficult conversations with loved ones, but they also open an important internal dialogue: Who do you trust with the responsibility of being an executor? What age will they be, assuming you pass away at an appropriate life expectancy age? The answers to these questions will vary for everyone, but the important thing is that we ask them now while we can provide the answers.
That’s exactly what Dr. Nastis did. She expressed a great sense of relief once her Will was witnessed and signed. With so much out of our control these days, getting her wishes officially down on paper was a comforting moment in all of the chaos.
Everyone's got a reason to make a Will. Make your estate planning documents today in about 20 minutes and protect the future of the ones you love most.