ACFP Family Physician of the Year and Canada’s Family Physicians of the Year
Dr. Rita Dahlke, Calgary
Dr. Rita Dahlke earned both her undergraduate and medical degrees from University of British Columbia, graduating in 1978. She moved to Ontario to do a rotating internship and a year of anesthesia.
Shortly after, Dr. Dahlke practised in Hay River, Northwest Territories starting from 1981 providing full family practice skills including obstetrics, anesthesia, and emergency coverage until 1998. She was very involved there with the NWT Medical Association and the Canadian Medical Association.
In 2002, Dr. Dahlke moved to Calgary and decided to write the CCFP exam and joined the College. Most of her work in Calgary has been with the Calgary Urban Project Society (CUPS) a not for profit serving Calgary’s homeless and marginalized peoples.
The one thing I love about family medicine is: is the opportunity to really get to know your patients. To have 2, 3, and sometimes 4 generations of patients in your care.
Family Medicine Mentor: Dr. Earle Covert whom I practised with for 15 years. He was always prepared to assist with any emergency or patient concern that I had. Earle owned the practice when I joined him and he always encouraged students and residents to join us and so through him, I became involved in teaching which I enjoyed immensely and have always continued with.
One thing that surprised me about being a family physician: that there is something new to learn EVERY DAY!!
If I wasn’t a family physician, I’d be: be a teacher of some sort. I love seeing lights turn on for people, helping them with information that gives them power over their decision. As a family physician you have many opportunities to teach your patients and that is another thing that I love about this speciality.