Featured Doctor

DUKE, Prof Pauline

Canada: Family physician

What work do you do currently?

I have been a family doctor for 34 years. The first eight years of practice were in a rural practice in central Newfoundland.

Since 1989 I have a been a Faculty member in the Discipline of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.The city has a population of about 211,000. I provide clinical work as a family physician in our group practice seeing patients of all ages, including house calls, home palliative care, geriatrics, prenatal and well woman care, encompassing “cradle to grave care”.

All faculty members of our Discipline teach medical students in the undergraduate program of the medical school. We also administer and teach in the Family Residency Program, both in curriculum design and delivery and in clinical supervision of residents.I am also involved in scholarly research activity pertaining to medical education and family medicine.

My research interests and publications have been in the areas of medical education, violence against women and children, sexual assault, refugee health, women's health, HPV and cervical cancer screening, and celiac disease.

What other interesting activities that you have been involved in?

For the past nine years I have been the faculty advisor responsible for medical student supervision and clinical care for the MUN MED Gateway Project, an initiative linking newly arrived refugees to medical care. First and second year medical students are involved in the Project. I serve on the national steering committee of Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care, a national organization of medical doctors formed in 2012 to protest federal government cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program and refugee health care. In the past, I have been a member of a sexual assault medical assessment team, provided care to young people incarcerated in a remand center and have served on a child protection team.

What are your interests as a family physician and also outside work?

Refugee Healthcare is one of my priorities as a family doctor, medical teacher and researcher. Our Discipline of Family Medicine here at Memorial University's Faculty of Medicine, is working to establish a dedicated Refugee Health Clinic. The hope is that it will be multidisciplinary in scope. Mentoring social accountability to medical students and residents is an important priority.

My husband is a social worker and we have three children ages 17-30. We enjoy living in Newfoundland and spend time in the summer in our boat having picnics and watching whales and icebergs.

Is there anything you’d like to say about being a Family doctor in Newfoundland?

Living and working in Newfoundland and Labrador as a family doctor is a real privilege. Patients are friendly, warm and appreciative. As a family doctor, one is able to provide care in many different areas and settings, rural and urban. See here for more information.