By: Yasmine Elmir
Dr. Keith Todd, Assistant Professor at the Herzl Family Medicine clinic, took a unique path to Family Medicine. In 2001, Dr. Todd completed his undergraduate degree in Zoology at the University of Manitoba, where he studied animal physiology and science. After gaining significant experience in the research area, he obtained a Master’s degree in Neurophysiology, also at the University of Manitoba. He then moved to Montreal to begin his PhD in Neuroscience, which he completed in 2008 at Université de Montreal. Dr. Todd joined McGill University in 2008 to start his postgraduate fellowship in Neuroscience. After years of research and working in academia, Dr. Todd changed gears again and obtained his MDCM from McGill in 2014. When the time came to pick his residency in 2014, Dr. Todd joined the Department of Family Medicine and has been part of the team ever since.
“I grew up on a farm in rural Manitoba, where family physicians were the most important contact we had in the health care system,” Dr. Todd shares. “I looked up to my uncle who was a rural family physician in British Columbia and I always appreciated his work and the impact he had on the community.” He recalls the yearning of one day going back to a small town and having that crucial role. Yet, the Herzl clinic, situated in the heart of Montreal, is where Dr. Todd decided to practice Family Medicine. “I always felt like I was appreciated and supported at Herzl. I also found that the diversity of people was really quite excellent. There are some great mentors there.”
Dr. Todd has taken on several teaching roles and administrative roles in the Department of Family Medicine including serving as the physician lead for the Quality Improvement Program, the Assistant Residency Site Director, the Undergraduate Site Director and the Resident Scholarly Activity Lead.
Dr. Todd has been the physician lead for the Quality Improvement Program at Herzl clinic since 2017. He has been working towards building a teaching program for the residents at the clinic. “I think that all caring physicians should look into Quality Improvement,” he expresses. “It is about equity, access, efficiency and a lot of aspects that improve safety for our patients.” Dr. Todd has also been preceptor for the Longitudinal Family Medicine Experience, which serves to provide students with early exposure to primary care, to give an opportunity for clinical correlation with themes introduced in the classroom and to deliver an opportunity for students to practice history-taking and physical examination skills in the clinical setting.
In 2020, Dr. Todd joined Dr. Roland Grad, Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine, on the Canadian Taskforce on Preventative Health Care. “Our mission is to prepare a new guideline on prostate cancer screening that will be published in a few years,” says Dr. Todd. The creation of the new guideline will help the current and future generation of family physicians have a better understanding of prostate cancer screening and follow new recommendations. “It will be a significant change as the current guideline has been reported as problematic in some ways. It is one of the most common cancers for men, and we do not have a great screening test for it. Historically, there have been a lot of harms associated with screening. We hope to solve that.”