A fierce advocate
for her patients
Dr. Marie Gear
r. Marie Gear, a family practitioner in
Teeswater, Ontario was presented with
the Council Award at the College’s May
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
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