Dr. Veronica McKinney, director of U of S Northern Medical Services. (Photo: David Stobbe)

Communities that inspire

For Dr. Veronica McKinney, health is much more than just delivery of services.

As an Indigenous physician and director of U of S Northern Medical Services, McKinney aims not only to help shape the university’s College of Medicine, developing the curriculum that will aid new doctors in serving the province’s remote communities. She also hopes to inspire the youth of those same communities.

For McKinney, the concept of mentorship being an important part of fulfilling the vision of healthy communities came when she was doing her own northern residency—something that has stuck with her throughout her career.

“I remember that people would come just to see me, because they wanted to see what I looked like, if I really was an Indigenous person who was also a doctor. It was such an incredulous thing,” said McKinney, who graduated from the U of S College of Medicine in 1998. “And sometimes it still happens. But I knew it was important for these communities to see an Indigenous person serving as a doctor.”

Establishing community-based relationships is a key part of Northern Medical Services (NMS), which has been working to provide accessible health care in geographically and culturally distinct areas of Saskatchewan for more than 30 years.

Read more on the University of Saskatchewan news site.