Dr. Vivian Ramsden
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

2020 Family Physician of the Year winner Dr. Vivian RamsdenDr. Vivian Ramsden is a registered nurse with a master of science in community health administration and wellness promotion from the California College for Health Sciences. Her PhD is in the interdisciplinary areas of medicine, curriculum studies, and education from the University of Saskatchewan. Today she lives in Saskatoon, where she is director of the Research Division for the Department of Academic Family Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan.

Having begun her nursing career in a 75-bed hospital in northern Alberta, she became a generalist while rotating through every area of the hospital. Her experiences while working with other medical professionals as a team inspired her to help improve the lives of patients. However, realizing she could not change many of the outcomes when patients were diagnosed with a disease, Dr. Ramsden began to focus on research in prevention and wellness.

She established a program of research grounded in the principles and strategies of primary health care. This includes working with individuals and groups in underserved communities in Canada and in southern India to address their health needs in the context of socially accountable research that is designed, developed, and created with and by the community, with programs resulting from this engagement.

Dr. Ramsden says she is always awed by the fact that at first encounters neither the patients nor the health care practitioners and staff realize the expertise each brings to the table. Engaging in and facilitating participatory health research often results in meaningful change—people gain a sense of confidence in their ability to facilitate change, begin to see personal success, and are then able to build on what they know from their own lived experiences.

Family Medicine Researcher of the Year Award

This award, named in memory of Dr. Donald I. Rice, CFPC Executive Director from 1965 to 1985, recognizes an outstanding CFPC family physician member for their contributions to teaching, vision, and leadership in the discipline of family medicine.