A Summerside ears, nose and throat doctor is being recognized by the P.E.I. French Health Network for offering French language services.
Dr. Kristian Macdonald has received the Etoile Sante for October 2017, part of a campaign to promote, recruit and make people aware of health professionals who offer French language services in the province.
There are three ear, nose and throat specialists in P.E.I., but Macdonald is the only one who speaks French. He started practising at the Summerside Medical Centre this past summer.
Macdonald grew up in Charlottetown. His mother, Claudette, is Acadian and taught French immersion. After graduating from the French immersion program at Charlottetown Rural, Macdonald started his post-secondary studies at UPEI.
“I’ve always wanted to be a doctor,” says Macdonald, “but for various reasons started my career as a pharmacist. I studied science for two years at UPEI before completing my studies in pharmacy at Memorial University. After working as a pharmacist in P.E.I. for two years, I decided to enroll at the Dalhousie Medical School.
“What I like about otorhinolaryngology (the study of diseases of the ear, nose, and throat) is that it involves both medical and surgical components. I begin a consultation process with my patients and, when necessary, follow them into surgery. I also get to see patients of all ages. I love my work.’’
According to Macdonald, around five to 10 per cent of his patients speak French.
“Sometimes I find out by overhearing them talk to each other, for example if a mother speaks to her child in French; other times I hear the hint of a French accent. They are generally surprised, happy and relieved to learn that they can speak their first language and be understood. This is especially true with kids.”
Macdonald’s name was submitted to the P.E.I. French Health Network’s Étoile Santé campaign by a grateful mother.
“When he heard me speaking French to my son, Dr. Macdonald immediately switched to French,” said the mom in her application. “What a wonderful surprise that was. He was also very attentive; we are lucky to have such a great doctor.”