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Who We Are: Dr. Courtney Field

“I love teaching because residents bring what they learn in their specialty rotations… They keep me on my toes” – Dr. Courtney Field, Assistant Clinical Professor, Halton

A doc from the block

The practice of family medicine has turned into a homecoming for Courtney Field. She’s a family doctor in the community where she grew up, working in and around the hospital where she was born.

“I have patients who went to school with my parents,” she says. “I always knew I wanted to come back to Burlington. I had such a great childhood here.”

Courtney holds a part-time faculty appointment with the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University and is the Faculty Development Site Coordinator for the Halton teaching site. Her full time practice with Halton McMaster Family Health Centre is located close to the shores of Lake Ontario, handy to Joseph Brant Hospital where she shares 24-hour call with about 14 other family doctors and clocks one or two shifts a month as a hospitalist.

Busy days include dinner with her husband Sam and their children, Eve and Darius, but they don’t always end there. She moves on to patient records and other paper work after the kids are in bed.

Being a family physician is worth the effort, she says. “I want that lifelong connection with people. That’s the huge appeal of family medicine.”

Early on, she intended a career in research. She completed a Masters degree in neurophysiology from Western University, “but I wasn’t long in the lab before I realized I wanted to see people on my job.”

In 2010, she graduated from the University of Ottawa medical school. Completing residency at McMaster University, she was placed with the Stonechurch Family Health Team, an experience she describes as “wonderful.”

Lessons of teaching

“My love of teaching started with residency. I had great teachers and mentors at Stonechurch and I wanted to provide that mentorship to future residents,” she says.

“I love teaching because the residents bring what they learned from their specialty rotations. They ask why you did something, which makes you really think about whether what you did is the best option for that patient. They keep me on my toes,” she says.

She also works upwards of eight hours a month at the Halton Sexual Health Clinics, and hopes to expand her practice to include some services recently suspended due to funding cuts, like an IUD clinic.

“Family doctors can fill that gap because our patients trust us,” she says.

By: Elizabeth Meen

McMaster University Department of Family MedicineMichael G. DeGroote School of Medicine