posted on May 29: Cathy Risdon named first David Braley and Nancy Gordon chair


[img_inline align=”right” src=”” caption=”Cathy Risdon”]Cathy Risdon, an assistant professor of family medicine, has been appointed to the David Braley and Nancy Gordon Chair in Family Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

David Braley, president of Hamilton-based Orlick Industries Ltd. and
his wife Nancy Gordon, a registered nurse who trained and practised in
Hamilton hospitals, provided $1 million for the establishment of the chair.

In her new position, Risdon will focus on finding new ways to educate
family doctors, identifying ways for family physicians to better
communicate with their patients and strengthening the role of family
doctors as the cornerstone of the health care system.

She hopes to build research partnerships with other university faculties with expertise in the doctor-patient relationship and an established interest in evaluating medical education.

Within this overlay of areas, there are endless opportunities to do
innovative and scholarly work, Risdon said. The doctor-patient
relationship is really about personal and professional integration. The sense of being able to be a healer involves harnessing one's humanity to the fullest and integrating that with professional training and a body of knowledge.

William Orovan, acting dean and vice-president health sciences, hailed Risdon as “an excellent communicator, collaborator and caring
personal family physician.

This appointment confirms the importance of her work, creating a centre of excellence which exemplifies the values of family medicine.

Risdon practises patient care with McMaster's Family Practice Unit.
Previously she was a resident, fellow, medical director and education
co-ordinator at the North Hamilton Community Health Centre.

Risdon completed both her undergraduate and residency programs at
McMaster. Since joining the department in 1996, she has been active in
teaching and program design focusing on population health and primary
care, communication skills, primary care of HIV patients and inner city health care.

Risdon is a founding co-planner of the undergraduate MD program's
professionalization and physician self-awareness (PPSA) curriculum,
which was piloted in September 1999. The PPSA curriculum is an
innovation co-created by Risdon and her colleagues from Chaplaincy (Lori Edey) and Thoracic Surgery (John Miller) which seeks to integrate reflective practice, therapeutic relationships, ethics and communication skills. Her involvement in McMaster's MD program includes responsibility for co-planning a new 10-week post-clerkship unit to start in January 2003.

Risdon co-authored a handbook of caring for gay and lesbian patients
that will be published next year.