BARRY’S BAY – The St. Francis Memorial Hospital is gearing up to welcome a new doctor to their team.
Dr. Alex Atfield is joining the St. Francis family, and is currently in the process of setting up his office and practice.
Atfield, along with his partner Erica Colley, is planting roots in Barry’s Bay. The couple recently moved to the area and have a clear passion for their work that they’re bringing to the community.
Originally from Deep River, Dr. Atfield spent 19 years in the community before his studies brought him to the University of Guelph.
“Medicine wasn’t really on my radar,” said Atfield, reflecting on that period in his life. “I took the long road.”
At Guelph, he received an honours degree in molecular biology and took a minor in theatre.
“From that I got a summer job working in a research lab at Princess Margaret Hospital, in Toronto, and that developed into a Masters degree in medical science,” added Atfield.
Atfield admitted that medicine wasn’t the first thing on his mind when he started his university career.
“I wasn’t really thinking along those lines yet,” he mused. “I was thinking a lot about research, and found that very stimulating, and intellectually very interesting.”
Medical research, though an early passion, didn’t quite grab him the way it grabbed others.
“The research world is huge, the people who are in that, they love it,” he commented.
“The people I worked with would happily spend their weekends [at it], and I liked it, but I realized I liked being around people more than I liked being around lab mice,” said Atfield with a laugh.
It was after this that the seeds of his career in medicine began to grow.
“I had what I think is kind of a fortunate opportunity,” shared Atfield. “I was able to go home and take care of my mother, who was dying of breast cancer.”
Though tragic, the experience stayed with Atfield and influenced his decision to go into medicine.
“I accompanied her in and out of hospital visits, and got a really good sense of what it means to be involved with healthcare.”
Get your November 26, 2014 edition of The Valley Gazette to read more of this story.