We are IH is a recognition campaign to spotlight Interior Health employees and medical staff – through pictures and stories.
|Name: Doug Neufeld (he/him)||Job Title: Physician|
|Years of Service: More than 40 years||Worksite: Cariboo Memorial Hospital|
|Community: Williams Lake||Ancestral Territory: Secwépemc (Se-huep-m) / Shuswap Interior Salish|
|Favourite Quote:||“If they can do it, why can’t I?”|
Dr. Doug Neufeld doesn’t believe in leading a boring life, on the contrary, he is a man that goes by his daily motto: “Go seek adventure!”
As a young child, Doug moved around quite a bit with his family – starting of in Kitimat B.C., where he was born. At the age of two, they moved to Kingston, Ontario; at age five, to Vancouver; back to Ontario (Toronto) at age 10; to Montreal at age 12; and at age 15 they landed back in B.C. in West Vancouver. After finishing med school and completing his internship, Doug together with his wife, Cindy, and their newborn son Jesse, move to Williams Lake.
Moving around so much, definitely opens your eyes to colourful challenges and an array of changing surroundings. You can almost see the world through a different lens; no wonder he describes himself as a multi-faced individual who has a tremendous love for medicine, including indigenous medicine.
When asked what inspires him about his work and the career he has chosen, he energetically replies:
“I enjoy the people. I make it my goal to treat everyone as an individual and respect them for being their own person.”
“Before I started my career as a medical professional, First Nations did not receive enough acknowledgement (there were still residential schools when I started), but it is wonderful to part of the change and the acknowledgement and respect they are receiving now – to be part of the change, and to be able to make a connection. I am growing old with the elders, I met some of them when in their 50’s, now they are in their 80’s. I am very privileged to be looking after four generations of families. In 2007, I delivered a baby of a baby whom I had delivered 17 years prior – wrap your head around that,” he smiles.
“These patients are not only my patients – they are my friends.”
Apart from his full time devotion to helping people, Doug enjoys building things from scratch in his off time – construction is one of his favourite pass times. You also won’t find this doctor on a golf course, but rather boating somewhere on a beautiful mass of water in remote nature.
Doug has many proud moments with Interior Health, but one of his most memorable moments takes us back to 1996 when Doug was the Chief of Staff (COS) at Williams Lake’s Cariboo Memorial General Hospital. During this year, he helped design the new Emergency Room for the hospital. Doug also represented other physicians in rural areas by being very involved in the origins of rural retention and building MOCAP (Medical On Call Availability Program). With fewer doctors available in remote areas, this program was much needed to ensure that doctors where paid when on call. It also helped remote doctors to not be working all time or be on call all the time.
Doug’s wife moved to Vancouver Island three years ago and he is looking forward to moving down there permanently as well. This will open a new book of adventure, as he plans to explore the island every chance he gets – while working part time, of course.
Doug’s nomination keeps the We Are IH loop going:
“I nominate Dr. Aris Azid, Vascular Surgeon based in Kamloops, B.C. Aris is and has been an essential medical contributor for many years. as the only vascular surgeon. He was my senior resident at med school, and does the major surgeries on my patients.” – Dr. Doug Neufeld
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