Well-known medical contributor Dr. Marla Shapiro brings the latest medical news and health stories to viewers every week as the medical contributor to CTV’s Canada AM and CTV News. A warm and compelling speaker, she brings this same focus to her on-stage presentations, sharing health advice and information that everyone can use in their daily lives. Below, Dr. Marla talks about what it was like to be appointed to the Order of Canada*:
Where were you when you found out you were appointed to the Order of Canada?
Last May, I was in Spain speaking at a conference when I received a message from the office of the Governor General. I tried to call them back but it was the Friday before the long May weekend. I was trying to imagine what the office of the Governor General was calling me about personally! When I spoke with them the following Tuesday, they asked if I would accept the invitation to the Order of Canada, and how could I say no?!
What does appointment to the Order of Canada mean to you?
I’ve always identified as a proud Canadian and to be recognized at this national level is the pinnacle of a career achievement for me. The appointment recognizes long-term work, and I am honoured to play a part in knowledge translation for the Canadian public, my steadfast passion. It’s also an honour to be in the company of others who have received the award in so many different fields such as the arts, language, science and more. It took my breath away to be included in this body of talent.
What do you love most about communicating health information to the public?
I think what I love most about translating medical science news to the public is that health care is really a collaboration between myself and my patient and in the case of media,the viewer or the reader. With so much complex information coming from social media and various sources it can be confusing for the public. It is very rewarding to translate this information and see Canadians decide what it means to them, thereby allowing them to be more equipped as healthcare consumers. Education is the cornerstone of proper healthcare. I treasure my role in making a difference by bridging this gap between medical science and the public through knowledge translation.
For students looking to choose a medical career, why would you encourage them to consider family medicine?
I really feel that a career in family medicine opens doors to limitless possibilities. Whichever interest you want to pursue, you can find a way to do that in family medicine. When I started my family practice, I never would have believed where I would be where I am now and the opportunities I would have.
As a family physician, you work with and impact so many people. You bridge aspects of health care, both emotionally and physically. You become a quarter back of sorts too as you bring together collaborative teams of professionals.
The Department of Family and Community Medicine, and the wider University of Toronto community, is a great place to find training. They have been such an unbelievable support as my career has evolved. They have recognized my creative professional activity and my colleagues have given meaning and value to my work.