Doctors Nova Scotia welcomes new President
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Doctors Nova Scotia (DNS) welcomes the new 2020–21 president, Dr. Robyn MacQuarrie of Porters Lake, N.S.
Dr. MacQuarrie is an obstetrician and gynecologist at South Shore Women’s Health in Bridgewater, N.S. Since 2015, she has served as the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s (NSHA) northern zone department head of women and children’s health. During her presidency, Dr. MacQuarrie is taking a leave of absence from her role with the NSHA.
Dr. MacQuarrie graduated from Dalhousie Medical School in 2006 and received her specialty from the Royal College of Physician and Surgeons of Canada in 2011. Prior to her medical career, Dr. MacQuarrie completed a master of applied science in biomedical engineering as well as an undergraduate degree in microbiology and immunology, both from Dalhousie University.
In addition to her published research work, Dr. MacQuarrie has presented internationally as an advocate for the inclusion of pregnant women in clinical trials. She is also a proponent of patient rights to assisted dying and provides medical assistance in dying services.
Dr. MacQuarrie acknowledges the last few years have been challenging for physician leaders in Nova Scotia, although last year wrought some positive changes.
“We made some positive headway through contract negotiations on critical improvements so that Nova Scotia can become a place where doctors want to practise medicine,” said Dr. Robyn MacQuarrie, President, Doctors Nova Scotia.
She also acknowledges that there is more work to do.
“I am acutely aware of the many changes that have taken place in the landscape of health services in Nova Scotia and I’m committed to helping doctors find their place and to feel optimistic about their future and their ability to help shape and influence the landscape for their patients.”
She sees the presidency as an opportunity to work with doctors to bring positive change to their lives and how they feel about the hard work they do every day. “I am interested in learning about their issues, finding fair compromises and solutions for doctors whose job it is to care for others,” she said.
In addition to her formal leadership roles, she has maintained her passion as a women’s health advocate. Along with others, she campaigned successfully to improve reproductive rights on Prince Edward Island. She saw the injustice women faced who were forced to leave the island because they could not access abortion.
“At the end of this hard-fought battle, P.E.I. women now have access to the full services of a reproductive care centre, which offers much more than abortion services. This demonstrates how problems can serve as opportunities to provide the services needed by the population, rather than a service in isolation.”
She credits the success to a balance of engaged grassroots organizations, academics, media, government, local health leadership and legal scholars.
Dr. MacQuarrie begins her one-year term today – June 8, 2020.