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Dr. Vivien Brown, MDCM, CCFP, FCFP, NCMP | Medisys Health Group | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
MEDISYS HEALTH GROUP

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DR. VIVIEN BROWN
MDCM, CCFP, FCFP, NCMP




"A passionate advocate for women's health."

You're a family doctor in Toronto, but you're also well-known nationally and internationally as a speaker and advocate for women's health. What does that entail?
There's a lot to it, to be honest. I'm Vice-President of Medical Affairs for Medisys Health Group, where we focus on advancing and promoting preventative healthcare. We were recently acquired by TELUS, and our goal is to help make medicine more accessible. The area of virtual medicine is growing, and this is a fabulous time for us to understand the issues and to take personal control of our health.

Virtual health is certainly a cutting-edge area of medicine. What do you bring to it as a woman doctor?
Women physicians spend more time with each patient and statistically have better outcomes. That says volumes about practice and performance. However, women physicians are often not leaders in academia or in government. I work as an advocate on various issues and for women physicians in general. There is bias in medicine, as in other industries, and it is partly through organizations such as the Medical Women's International Association (MWIA) that there are opportunities for women to excel in leadership roles. Much like Facebook COO and founder of Leanin.org, Sheryl Sandburg said, "Women need to 'lean in' and be willing to take chances."

What would be your elevator pitch in what you do?
I am totally committed and involved and believe in prevention as medicine. The decisions we make about our health have long lasting impact and by education we empower women to understand the impact of their choices.

You've already achieved so much, but is there one thing that makes you glow?
Being a self-employed family doctor, enjoying the day to day, but with a focus on teaching and health promotion. It's hard to find that balance and not be overloaded in one sphere or another.

Where would you like to be 5 years from now?
I'm the incoming VP for North America for the Medical Women's International Association, so over the next five years, I am truly excited about having a global impact through the UN and WHO on Women's Health issues.


Photographer: John Trigiani