Dr. Cathy Risdon is Professor and Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster aiming to help reinvigorate a sustainable, inclusive learning and practice environment for current and future family medicine learners and providers. For Risdon, breaking down barriers and honouring different viewpoints is key to building a successful department capable of training top-quality family doctors and attracting skilled staff and faculty.
She was the first holder of the David Braley-Nancy Gordon Endowed Chair in Family Medicine, mandated to develop innovations in education, clinical service and research relating to the doctor-patient and interdisciplinary team relationships. She co-created the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine’s Professional Competency Curriculum, a two-year course to teach professionalism, communication skills, advocacy, ethics and reflective practice. Following the ten-year term of her Endowed Chair, she became Associate Chair, Academic within the Department of Family Medicine, as well as the co-lead for the McMaster Family Health Team.
Dr. Risdon has completed a Doctorate of Management in Organizational Change at the University of Hertfordshire where her research explored themes of excellence and improvisation within curriculum design and implementation. She has conducted training and consultations across North America for primary care and community-based agencies wishing to improve their capacity for effective team and interprofessional collaborations. Her expertise in facilitation was used to design and deliver on the successful Hamilton Health Team submission. She is an expert in health system integration and primary care and is one of three Canadians who has been inducted as a Fellow of the Academy of Communications in Healthcare in recognition of her contributions to curricular design and facilitation.
A McMaster graduate (class of ’92), Dr. Risdon’s clinical practice has included a varied inner-city population with a focus on vulnerable populations.
After more than 30 years in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster, Dr. Risdon is still amazed at her good fortune in working with such terrific people. “We have extraordinary people engaged in our mission of service, teaching, and discovery. It’s my privilege to do all that I can to help them thrive.”