Canadian Medical Association

Halifax; Rhodes Scholar; Dalhousie University, 1973; family medicine. Died March 19, 2021, from injuries sustained in a pedestrian-vehicle accident, aged 75. Survived by his partner, Cathy Cervin, 3 children, 4 grandchildren and 2 stepchildren. “Family medicine was the bedrock of David’s long and impactful professional career. He was dedicated to the worth and value of compassionate, patient- and relationship-centred care. An avid reader and original thinker, he embraced narrative medicine, the deep understanding of the person with their unique story, beliefs and values, as the path to healing in the day-to-day work of family doctors. He began to practise in Fredericton in 1973, and joined the Department of Family Medicine at Dalhousie in 1978 as a leader in continuing medical education and care of the elderly. Although he held many other posts, he kept his Dalhousie faculty appointment for the rest of his life. As professor and head of Dalhousie Family Medicine from 1987-95, he led and taught through understanding and gentle challenge. His motto: ‘When we tell a person something, we remove their chance to discover it themselves.’ He asked astute questions, and encouraged and supported people to discover their own answers. Kind, humble and patient, he delighted in the achievements of those he mentored. A timeless sense of duty, instilled by his parents, shaped his approach to life and work. David was always ready to lend a hand, and most happy when he felt he was contributing. His commitment to making a difference moved him to lead many influential committees at the College of Family Physicians of Canada, take on the role of hospital chief of staff in Cumberland County, and to lead primary care reform and create a health human resource plan for the province of Nova Scotia. When Dalhousie Family Medicine needed him, he came back from retirement to be interim head from 2017-2020. David touched all who knew him, and transformed the lives of the countless people he mentored and taught.”

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