Chow is Family Doctor of the Year
Dr. Carlyle Chow (MD’68) has been a part of the community of Baddeck, Nova Scotia, for 48 years, providing exceptional medical care as a family physician.
The Dalhousie Medical Alumni Association (DMAA) is happy to recognize the innovation, passion for the profession, and years of service of Chow as this year’s recipient of the Family Physician of the Year Award.
Originally from Trinidad, Chow and his family moved to Canada where he entered Dalhousie’s Medical School in the 1960s.
“My education at Dalhousie University was very rewarding,” said Chow. “At the time, we did a rotating internship at different hospitals and I was first introduced to Cape Breton after doing obstetrics in Sydney.”
After graduating from medical school in 1968, Dr. Monty Macmillian first introduced to the idea of practicing medicine in Baddeck. “
We came to Baddeck at a good time,” said Chow.
During his first years of practice he started from scratch. “At the time MSI was non-existent and patients paid with what they could afford. Incomes were smaller and people didn’t visit doctors as often,” explains Dr. Chow.
In addition to serving the people of Baddeck, he continues to help the First Nation communities of Waycobah and Wagmatcook. For many years he’s provided health care screening, illness prevention, diabetes care, and other services with the support of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.
Unemployment and housing continue to present challenges within the communities. “When I first arrived, large families were living in two bedrooms. Today, they have adequate housing,” said Chow.
In 1995, Chow helped to fundraise enough money to build a new hospital. “My goal was to get more care to the community of Baddeck by pulling resources together into one sector,” said Chow.
Chow encourages medical students to consider practicing in a rural community.
“People look to you for advice. You get to see families grow up and you really get to know the town. It’s the only place for people to go. It’s good for physicians and for patients,” he says.
For many years, he and his wife Vera have housed students and residents during training. Many of the students returned to Cape Breton and are now specialists in a variety of areas.
Dr. Chow’s medical contributions have impacted many Nova Scotians.
In 2009, Doctors Nova Scotia presented him with the Senior Membership Award which is bestowed to a physician who in addition to practicing for many years, is also widely respected and held in high regard by his or her fellow physicians throughout the medical community and the province.
In 2010, the Cape Breton District Authority recognized his leadership and tireless work and presented him with the Dr. M.A. Naqvi Outstanding Health Care Professional of the Year Award.
Jocelyn Adams is the Communications & Events Coordinator for the Dalhousie Medical Alumni Association