2004 – Nova Scotia

Dr Michael Cussen is a medical graduate of University College Dublin. He believes his interest in medicine is hereditary as both his father and grandfather were family physicians. During his first three years in Canada he practiced in Alberta and Newfoundland. For the past 18 years, Dr Cussen has been practicing family medicine in Hants Shore Nova Scotia, a rural community of 4,000 people.

As a preceptor, he encourages both his students and residents to consider rural family medicine as a career. He has worked with his community to develop a community health centre that focuses on health promotion. He is convinced that health promotion must address the determinants of health. His particular passion is literacy and health. As a result the health centre runs a variety of literacy programs for everyone from preschoolers to grandparents. He has edited a healthcare kit (in association with the literacy secretariat) that was distributed for free to all the households in his community. He has also helped develop a wide variety of programs including school breakfasts, a seniors’ club, a women’s network, nutrition and exercise programs, a homework club, a nursery school and many others

Dr Cussen is a firm supporter of the medical humanities and adheres strongly to the belief that medicine is both an art and a science. To this end he has helped run an annual reading weekend for physicians and their partners. Over the years he has contributed many literary pieces to the Medical Post. He also has a love of cinema and, working with a number of others, has helped to bring back the Acadia Theatre in Wolfville.

Dr Cussen currently sits on the CMA’s Council for Health Care and Promotion and the Editorial Advisory Board for the Medical Post. In the past he has been a board member of Literacy Nova Scotia, Heart Health Nova Scotia, The Physician Advisory Committee for Cancer Care Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Medical Society.

He is married to Mary, a retired nurse. They have two children Cliodna and Nevin. His hobbies include cycling, running (he has completed 3 marathons), movies, theatre and reading.

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