Meet our Trailblazer - Dr Nadine Caron - Canada's first female First Nation's General Surgeon

Picture Courtesy of Prince George Citizen

Picture Courtesy of Prince George Citizen

Our Trailblazer Dr. Nadine Caron

As I listened to her interview yesterday morning on the CBC The Current, with Laura Lynch, I was inspired and felt we all needed to know about her. Excerpts were also taken from the Prince George Citizen.

Canada’s first female First Nations general surgeon is Prince George’s Dr. Nadine Caron, who has won the 2016 Royal College Dr. Thomas Dignan Indigenous Health Award, presented on June 21, National Aboriginal Day. Dr. Caron is recognized as a role model and for her success in co-creating the University of British Columbia Center for Excellence in Indigenous Health.

She is a general and endocrine surgeon who works in the city and teaches at the UNBC’s Northern Medical Program as an associate professor.  She said, “Receiving the Dr. Thomas Dignan Indigenous Health Award is an incredible honour.”  “thanks you for having this award, for realizing the importance of what this award means and for your support of Indigenous health.”  Dr. Caro, graduated top of her class and she now uses her time to mentoring Indigenous youth and students who enrolled in the UBC and UNC programs. She embodies and values her culture and has incorporated her knowledge and about Indigenous medicine to influence change that would develop a curriculum at UBC for Indigenous Health.

Dr. Nadine Caron is a shining example of for others, especially Indigenous girls and women, to aspire to higher education and careers in science and medicine.” Dr Caron, said she is optimistic about the future of Indigenous health care. The said there is work to be done. “Sometimes I’m so optimistic …And then on other days I experience things in the hallways or I hear things that are unintended to be heard and you just hang your head…..And so I think in the end it’s just like anything else. We’re not there yet but we don’t even have the right to stop trying to be there.” During her interview with CBC, it emerged that Dr. Caron instigated mandatory training in cultural competency and cultural safety for their medical students. Dr. Caron see this is as a leading role in terms of how post-secondary institutions can take responsibility for the professionals that they’re training. It’s a role that addressed the prevalent racism in the medical profession that Dr. Caron has personally experienced. She said’ “I remember this one time. It was many years ago.. And a surgeon came in. And he has just finished a long case. And he sat down and said like “phew, if I never operate on another Indian it’ll be too soon,” Dr. Caron tells Laura Lynch. Dr Nadine Caron, said the Truth and Reconciliation Commission made a number of recommendations around Indigenous health care recognizing traditional healing practices. She believes that traditional healing practices and Western medicine an co-exist

Information of this article was researched and gleaned from the Prince George Citizen and CBC Interview with Laura Lynch, The Current.