Dr. Deborah McFadden

Behind the Stethoscope with Dr. Deborah McFadden

For me, it’s “behind the microscope” as I am a pediatric anatomical pathologist. I work in an area of medicine called developmental pathology, which combines pathology and genetics in the understanding of conditions that affect children. As a Child & Family Research Institute clinical investigator, my research focuses on learning how genetics and epigenetics – chemical modifications to DNA that influence how and when genes are turned on and off – affect human growth and development.

MEDICAL TRAINING

I went to medical school at the University of Calgary and started residency training in Vancouver in Internal Medicine, switching to Anatomical Pathology. My fellowships in pediatric pathology and cytogenetics were in Vancouver at BC Children’s Hospital.

FAMILY / PERSONAL PICTURE

I am married to Dr. Ken Berean, an anatomical pathologist, and I have three adult children – two daughters and one son. Both daughters are joining us in medicine – one daughter is in a psychiatry residency and the other is a medical student. Our son has bucked the family trend and is entering law school in September.

WHY I BECAME A DOCTOR

I am one of those people who has known I wanted to be a doctor ever since I was eight years old. I think this is because I wanted to do good and help people in a way that would be endlessly interesting and involving.

WHAT YOU’D NEVER KNOW ABOUT ME

I am embarking on yoga teacher training. I don’t really plan to teach but one never knows!

HOBBIES

My favourite leisure activity is reading. I have taken up yoga in the last few years and love that. I can occasionally be cajoled into cross-country skiing.

IF I DIDN’T HAVE TO WORK

I love what I do but if I were to change that, I would probably do a bit more of everything non-work that I like: more reading, more yoga, more travel, and maybe going back to school.

PHILOSOPHY

I try to live with integrity and a sense of inquiry. I value maintaining openness to learning and generosity of spirit.

WHAT I’M READING NOW

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.