Building on strong supports


Dr Crystal Doyle, Chief of Emergency Medicine, WDMH

Dr. Doyle getting away from it all.

“As a little girl growing up on a farm on Prince Edward Island, I always thought I would farm with my parents. I used to spend my days playing with the animals and having typical childhood daydreams about saving the day when a catastrophe struck the farm.

“I recall, as a child, my mother saying to me that my persistence would eventually get me somewhere and that I could do anything I wanted to if I put my mind to it. The hardest part of that was to try to not listen to the naysayers. And I had lots of people who thought the blond haired blue eyed child couldn’t. From a Drivers Education teacher to a high school teacher to a university professor, I was told frequently that I didn’t have the skills needed to succeed. 

“My grandmother told me once that it takes ten positive comments to erase one negative comment. Luckily for me, I had some wonderful mentors along the way who saw my true potential and advocated heavily for my success.”

For the longest time Dr Doyle thought having children would inhibit her success as a physician, until she discussed it with her residency program director, Dr. Karen Graham, who was extremely supportive and advocated for parental leave.

“My approach to becoming a parent changed at that moment. I now have four wonderful children, three daughters and a son. Balancing parenting along with my own personal and professional interests is a challenge relatable to all mothers, but the rewards are heartwarming and so very worthwhile.”

As Chief of Emergency Medicine at Winchester District Memorial Hospital, Crystal leads and represents a team of twenty-five physicians practicing emergency medicine 24/7/365. 

“I am fortunate to work with a well rounded, charismatic group of physicians and to represent rural emergency medicine with other Department Chiefs and Hospital Administration to deliver the best care close to home.”

Now, Crystal’s days are as varied as much as her interests.  When she is not working, or driving a minivan of children around to different activities, you can find Crystal going for a Starbucks coffee with friends, or training for her next half marathon. When asked what does International Women’s Day mean to her, she replied: “I see International Women’s Day as a way for all women to support each other and become each other’s mentor.”

And while we think about the many accomplishments women have achieved in society, whether it is motherhood or otherwise, International Women’s Day reminds us each year that these contributions are the foundation of progress for women, most importantly, as individuals first, for women in rural Ontario, and internationally.  “I’m fortunate to work and raise my children because those are my aspirations.”

When asked what Crystal hopes International Women’s Day will mean when her young daughter is her mother’s age, Crystal said “ I am hopeful that by that time we won’t need to recognize the struggles of our success and that all genders will have equal opportunities.”


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