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Career Profile

Marcia Anderson (she/her)

Physician and Vice-Dean Indigenous Health, Social Justice and Anti-Racism
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba
Portrait de Dr. Marcia Anderson
Portrait de Dr. Marcia Anderson
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I am a medical doctor and I work to help create culturally safe healthcare that is free of racism.

About me

I was born/grew up in: I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

I now live in: I live just outside of Winnipeg in Manitoba.

I completed my training/education at:  My Bachelor's degree is from the University of Winnipeg. I went to medical school at the University of Manitoba and did my specialty training at the University of Manitoba and University of Saskatchewan. I did my Master's in Public Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

What I do at work

In my medical practice, I see patients with heart problems. In addition to this, I work in public health (for example assisting with COVID-19 responses). I also support efforts to make health professional education safer spaces and health professionals more able to provide culturally safe health care that is free of racism.

When I see patients in my clinic, I use skills in anatomy and physiology to assess them and plan treatment. My background in biochemistry helps me understand how different medications work to help people with cardiac problems. It also helped me understand physiology when I was in training.

In my public health work, I rely on knowledge in Infectious diseases and even engineering. For example, understanding respiratory droplets versus airborne spread and the importance of ventilation is more engineering than biology. In all of my work, the social sciences are also INCREDIBLY important. Areas including critical feminism studies, Indigenous studies, and sociology help inform my work. In the work I do, it is important to understand what creates health and health care gaps. This help ensure that biomedical knowledge can lead to equitable outcomes for diverse people and communities.

My career path is

When I was younger, I knew I would be a doctor. However, I wasn't really aware of all of different opportunities or areas of practice. I didn't see myself taking on the role of a leader in this area. When I decided to become a doctor, I never thought I would only spend a small amount of time each week seeing patients.

I had opportunities to travel in medical school. This allowed me to work with different people. It also allowed me to explore how I would best be able to contribute to the field. I had people who believed in me. They gave me opportunities to be a leader and supported my development as a leader. One example of this support was paying for leadership development courses. Now I try to pay it forward. I encourage people and support them in their leadership development too.

I am motivated by

My favourite days at work are when I get to be out in community settings. I love doing community-based and grounded work. I enjoy it when I get to meet with my close colleagues. I enjoy having creative discussions about how to serve our communities better. I also enjoy it when I get to spend some time writing. I also support learners and colleagues on their journeys. I also really like seeing patients. It is very motivating to listen to their hearts and make recommendations that improve their health and quality of life.

How I affect peoples’ lives

I'm really lucky to have work that allows me to use my gifts in service of the communities I care about and am part of. In COVID-19 for example, it was very fulfilling to lead a process that gave us the ability to collect Racial, Ethnic and Indigenous identifiers and use that data to inform vaccine planning. This information helped improve the outcomes for people from diverse BIPOC communities

Outside of work I

I have two kids. Most of my time outside of work is spent with them. We like to spend time outside together. Swimming in the summer and skating or tobogganing in the winter. We like to travel. I like to work out, read books, cook, and spend time with my friends.

My advice to others

Follow as many different options as you can. This includes where you work, volunteer or study. Vary the places where you travel and the hobbies you pursue. Also, vary the community events you attend. Anything that gives you an opportunity to explore your passions, build relationships, think creatively, serve communities, and broaden your horizons will ultimately make you a better doctor.

I am indigenous

I am Cree-Anishinaabe. My Dad is registered with Peguis First Nation, and we also have family roots that go back to Norway House Cree Nation.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Drama
  • Literature and Language arts
  • Math
  • Physical Education/Health
  • Science
  • Music
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Enjoyed doing things on my own
  • Liked helping people
  • Played on a sports team
  • Was motivated by success
  • Wanted to be in charge
  • Engaged in volunteer activities
  • Liked reading
  • Felt great satisfaction in getting good grades
  • Always knew exactly what I wanted to do

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