Dialogue Volume 15, Issue 2 2019 - Page 19

COUNCIL AWARD A fierce advocate for her patients Dr. Marie Gear D r. Marie Gear, a family practitioner in Teeswater, Ontario was presented with the Council Award at the College’s May meeting. Dr. Gear recently retired after 39 years serving the people of the South Bruce Municipality and surrounding areas where she ran a busy family practice in Teeswater. She also worked in the Wingham and District Hospital doing in-patient care, anesthesia, emergency room cover- age, obstetrics and surgical assist, as well as working at the hospital’s satellite oncology clinic. Her practice extended to patients in retirement homes and long-term care. Dr. Gear served on numerous hospital committees and as Chief of Staff at the Wingham hospital. She has also been a long-serving board member at the Wingham hospital and then on the Wingham-Listowel Memorial Hospital Alliance board. Along the way, she gained the respect and admiration of the patients, colleagues and residents in her commu- nity. It was, in fact, the Mayor and Council of South Bruce who put forth her nomination, a testament to her being described as the “cornerstone of family medicine” in the community. Dr. Gear has left an indelible mark on her commu- nity by being a fierce advocate for patients and for her commitment to system reform and improvement. She is credited with being instrumental in the development of a comprehensive and connected community health-care system in which primary care givers, hospitals, nurs- ing home facilities and agencies coordinate patient care. Patients point to her acts of professionalism, kindness and her profound effect on their lives as she guided them through both the best and worst of times. We recently spoke to Dr. Gear about her career. Have you always lived in the South Bruce area? Not exactly. I was born and raised in Waterloo. But I spent weekends and every holiday at the family farm near Wingham. So, growing up, I got both the urban and rural experience. When I went to the University of West- ern Ontario for medical school, I continued to spend summers and holidays at the farm and had summer jobs at the Wingham hospital. The local doctors took me un- der their wing as one of their own – gradually increasing my responsibilities to match my medical training. When I finally qualified as a doctor, it was almost inevitable that they asked me to join the medical community upon the retirement of a local physician. ISSUE 2, 2019 DIALOGUE 19