Dr. Dan Cutfeet
Doctor | Senior Physician
Provide a brief general introduction about yourself.
My name is Dr. Dan Cutfeet. I am from Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation (Big Trout Lake). I grew up in Sioux Lookout, Ontario. I am currently living and working in British Columbia.
What does your daily job entail?
I am the senior physician in Alert Bay, BC and currently work with the Namgis First Nation. I work in a family medicine clinic Monday to Friday. In addition to this, I also work regular ER (emergency room) shifts at the local hospital, monitor my patients while they are in the hospital, and tend to residents in a long-term care facility.
What got you interested in your chosen career?
I chose medicine because I want to help, serve, and make changes. I have a strong desire to work with First Nations people and communities. I want to improve our standards of living.
Is there anyone in particular who has inspired you?
So many people have inspired me. My grandfather Daniel Cutfeet (my namesake) was an Anglican minister and the wisest person I have ever known. My mother was a nurse in Northwestern Ontario and a powerful advocate for people’s health, and my father continues to work tirelessly for First Nation people and communities in any capacity he can. These people, who are my family, have been my greatest influences.
How did you get to where you are today?
To get to where I am today, I had to complete two Bachelor Degrees, four years of medical school and two years of medical residency. All of which amounts to 10 years of University and two years of Postgraduate work. During these years I faced a ton of challenges that served to mould and make me. I am who I am today because of them.
What financial opportunities did you use and what was the process?
My education trajectory was helped by Northern Nishnawbe Education Council, which provided financial support during University. Once I got into medical school, I qualified for a line of credit that went a long way in helping me financially during my Postgraduate years.
How do you keep developing your skills in your career?
My career as a physician mandates that I continue to develop my skills through ongoing studies and courses.
Outside of work, what kind of things do you do to take care of yourself?
I paint, exercise, travel, and spend time with my family.
What do you still hope to achieve?
I hope to see a dramatic improvement in the standards of living for First Nations people, particularly on reserves. I want to be a part of this change.
What would you like to share with the youth reading this?
I love my career and the opportunities it affords me.