Canadian Medical Association

Dr. David-Martin Milot

Public health specialist fighting social inequalities at home and abroad

Dr. David-Martin Milot has always had a strong moral compass. In university, he considered careers in both journalism and social work as a way to fight inequity and help the less fortunate. Ultimately, he chose to become a public health physician because of the leadership role doctors can play in society.

"I grew up with a concern for equality, questioning why some people do better than others in terms of their mental and physical health. As a physician, I have the legitimacy to ask those questions and perhaps, I have a louder voice.”

Though he has just started his career as a preventive medicine specialist at Montérégie’s public health unit, on Montréal’s south shore, Dr. Milot’s track record as a leader and organizer in public health is already well established.

Disturbed by the Quebec government’s deep cuts to public health budgets in 2015, Dr. Milot co-founded and is still active in Jeunes médecins pour la santé publique — a group of early-career physicians concerned about the potential impact of the cuts. The group’s mission is to promote investments in prevention in Quebec and to bring prevention issues to public debates.

Since 2012, he has been an active member of Médecins du Monde — an international non-profit that provides emergency and long-term medical care to the world's most vulnerable people, both in Canada and at the international level. Dr. Milot co-founded the group’s youth wing and helped set up a mobile clinic program in Québec and in Victoria, British Columbia, that offers care and services to most disadvantaged populations. Right now, he is expanding the project to other provinces.

“My early career is really modelled on the approach of Médecins du Monde — with the values of humanism and openness to the world and trying to diminish social inequalities in health.” 

Dr. Milot also applies those values to his work overseas.

Fluent in Spanish, he has been involved since 2016 in a project in Colombia to prevent drug use and petty crimes among children and teens. He has also worked in Haiti, helping develop local health services for excluded populations.

At his core, Dr. Milot is spurred to action by the injustice he sees in the world.

“There are so many struggles to fight, so many people to convince about improving everyone's health.”

Dr. David-Martin Milot is receiving the CMA Award for Young Leaders (Early Career) for demonstrating exemplary dedication, commitment and leadership in one of the following areas: political, clinical, educational, or research and community service.