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The Piikani Nation - Profiles: Dr. Lindsay Crowshoe

Dr. Lindsay Crowshoe

Dr. Lindsay Crowshoe has been instrumental for Aboriginal healthcare reform in Alberta.  While he is only 34, he has already become a well-regarded medical doctor and academic, and has received a prestigious National Aboriginal Achievement Award (2001) for his efforts.

Dr. Crowshoe practices primary care medicine on the reserve two days a week. He has a full-time faculty position teaching Aboriginal health research at the University of Calgary; this is a role that includes creating an admissions policy for students entering medical school and helping develop a model for health service delivery to Aboriginal communities.  He also works with the Calgary Health Region once a week where he is helping to establish the medical component of an urban Aboriginal health centre.

Dr. Crowshoe has addressed the lack of organization in the delivery of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal healthcare, and the undefined relationship between doctors and other service providers essential for patients’ well-being including social workers, policymakers, lawyers, and child welfare workers.

Since launching his medical practice, Dr. Crowshoe’s two central questions are: “How do I make a difference as an individual practitioner if I’m so disconnected to other service providers?; and, how does any doctor who gives each patient 10-15 minutes per visit begin to discover the overwhelming complexities of some cases?”  Dr. Crowshoe is a humanitarian who focuses solely on healing the patients’ mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

The importance of ethics plays a significant role in Dr. Crowshoe’s practice.  “I have seen the biases every day in my practice,” says Crowshoe, “and if I can help increase the capacity for healthcare, for when practitioners see an Aboriginal person, hopefully they can follow the same path of ethical treatment.”  Crowshoe’s attitude about healthcare and humanity is exactly what Alberta needs.  It is important to bridge the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people especially when it comes to such a crucial topic as healthcare.  Dr. Lindsay Crowshoe is reaching that goal one patient at a time.

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