Two local physicians have been recognized for their outstanding dedication to improving healthcare in rural communities.
Huntsville general surgeon Dr. Roy Kirkpatrick was recently awarded the Rural Specialist Merit Award by the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada (SRPC). Each year the SRPC recognizes people and organizations that have made a significant contribution to rural medicine in Canada. The Rural Specialist Merit Award specifically is presented to a specialist who lives and works in rural Canada and has demonstrated a long-term commitment to serving their community. They are recognized for providing care for rural patients and supporting rural generalists.
Kirkpatrick has been an active faculty member at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) since its inception. He has been very active with educating medical students and residents in all specialties, including general surgery and family medicine from NOSM and other Canadian medical schools. In addition, he is recognized as an exceptional and rational consultant to his family medicine colleagues.
According to the nomination letter submitted by his colleagues, Kirkpatrick is incredibly kind and patient, and this comes across in all his encounters. He is a strong advocate for all medical learners and demonstrates this through his leadership positions at NOSM, and his work as interim general surgery program director, general surgery site director, and currently as the section chair for surgery. He is also the lead of the Local Education Group in his Huntsville community and has been involved with the Resident Wellness Committee at NOSM.
Kirkpatrick was elected to the council of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) in 2019, and has also been appointed the Regional Advisory Committee chair for Ontario and Nunavut for the RCPSC.
Over the years he has volunteered for organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, CUSO, and the Canadian/Norwegian Red Cross Emergency Reserve Unit. He has volunteered internationally, as well as offering locum services in Baffin Island, Moose Factory, and several other Northern Ontario communities.
According to his peers, Kirkpatrick is the ultimate role model for medical learners, reflecting what a true rural specialist can accomplish through clinical work, advocacy and teaching, and he embodies what a dedicated and passionate rural specialist is.
When reached by Doppler for comment Kirkpatrick said he’s humbled and flattered. “It’s very nice when an organization that you’re with recognizes what you’re doing,” he said.
He referred to the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada as a very passionate group of people who advocate on behalf of doctors who work in rural areas of the country while trying to make healthcare better for people who live outside of major urban centres.
Kirkpatrick has been with the organization for five years and said he found it fascinating to meet many of the people involved with the organization. “I’ve learned a lot from them and hopefully I’ve shared a little bit of the things that I’ve learned.”
He also gave a shoutout to the doctors in the community involved with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, which he said has been repeatedly recognized for its work in preparing doctors for rural areas.
Dr. Malcolm Wilson
Dr. Malcolm Wilson has been bestowed the title of Associate Professor Honorarius of NOSM, a result of his passion for teaching and dedication to internal medicine.
Although no longer actively engaged in teaching, Wilson is one of the select few NOSM faculty who will maintain their faculty title and privileges because of his teaching, mentorship, and leadership at NOSM.
Wilson is a graduate of the Queen’s University MD program and has been working as a general internist in Huntsville for more than 30 years. During this time, he was the site coordinator of NOSM’s Internal Medicine Post-Graduate Training Program in Huntsville and the academic and evaluation coordinator for the Internal Medicine Post-Graduate Residency Training Program. Over the years, he has taught numerous medical students and internal medicine residents from NOSM and other schools across Ontario.
At Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare, he has held leadership roles as the medical advisor to the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, and co-chair for the Antibiotic Advisory Committee, while in the community he helped lead the cardiac Heart-to-Heart Program.
Wilson has also added community research to his resume, working on projects to improve medical care in Northern Ontario.
When reached by Doppler, Dr. Wilson was humble and detailed his work to arrive at an understanding of why he’d been honoured.
“It’s certainly nice to be appreciated by the Board of Directors at NOSM for my involvement, although teaching has its own rewards,” he wrote, adding that it was “exciting to be involved with NOSM ‘from the ground up’ in 2005. I had previously taught at Western 8 years before relocating to Huntsville in 1988. Shortly after, I became involved with the Northeastern Ontario Medical Education Corporation in Sudbury (NOMEC), NOSM’s predecessor and the Northeastern Stream residency (NESR) program affiliated with the University of Ottawa. This was very helpful in launching the NOSM Internal Medicine residency training program years later.”
But, “I don’t know what all the fuss is about,” he noted. “Just doing my job.”
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