Faith and Medicine
Dr. Dan Reilly '96, Redeemer's 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award winner, is a caring advocate for patients in rural Ontario and for the next generation of health-care leaders.
3 min. read
August 28, 2018

Dr. Reilly operates his rural ob-gyn practice in Fergus, Ontario, while also teaching at McMaster University as an associate clinical professor, instructing medical students and residents in obstetrics, gynaecology and ethics.

“In addition to taking on the challenges of a rural Obstetrics/Gynaecology practice, Dr. Reilly invests in the future of medicine in a number of ways,” shared Alyssa Schuurman, mentee of Dr. Reilly. “He is a teacher both in formal structured medical education and as a mentor to learners seeking to integrate their faith in their practice. This reflects a commitment to the competence and character of future physicians. One of the most ‘distinguishing’ aspects of Dr. Reilly’s career (from my perspective) is his work in bioethics and ethics education. He thinks and writes about the many ethical issues relevant to community-practising ob-gyn physicians, and makes himself available to others facing ethical dilemmas.”

“I am first and foremost a Christ follower committed to serving others. My faith has led me to seek opportunities to practise medicine, teach and lead in roles that serve others who are underserved.”

The path to becoming a doctor and one with a surgical specialty, is not for the uncommitted or faint of heart. Five years as an undergrad, four in medical school, five in residency, an added two years working on a graduate degree in ethics, and 13 years in practice have gotten Dr. Dan Reilly to where he is today. Reilly’s work continues to be motivated and informed by his faith., “I am first and foremost a Christ follower committed to serving others. My faith has led me to seek opportunities to practise medicine, teach and lead in roles that serve others who are underserved.”

Reilly graduated from Redeemer in 1996 with an honours bachelor of science in biology with a minor in chemistry. “I always enjoyed science,” Reilly reflects, “but also really enjoyed working with people and wanted to be helpful and useful in the world, and do good work. So medicine made sense as the next step.” Reilly credits Redeemer’s liberal arts approach to education with preparing him to be a well-rounded medical professional. His biology and chemistry courses provided the foundational knowledge required for getting into medical school, and other non-major courses that he took, like Intro to Social Work and Personal Finance, stand out in his mind as especially valuable. During his time at Redeemer, Dr. Reilly also participated in student government, practising leadership through service as a student representative and two years as president of Student Senate.

In addition to his personal practice and teaching at McMaster, Reilly also serves as a staff physician for the Wellington Health Care Alliance, section tariff chair for the Ontario Medical Association, treasurer and board director of the Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada, and board director of The Pregnancy Centre of Kitchener/Waterloo. Outside of work, Reilly volunteers as a speaker about sexual health, pregnancy and medical careers at local high schools. He and his wife are active in their church, teaching adult bible study classes and getting involved in various clubs and initiatives

“As a surgeon, professor and member of his church community Dr. Reilly is shining God’s light,” says Kristel Bulthuis, Alumni Association president. “His involvement serving the underserved in his community and volunteerism in his local church reminds us that, as Christians, we are called to be Jesus’ hands and feet in this world. We are so proud of Dan and grateful for this opportunity to recognize his contributions.”

Redeemer’s Alumni Association will host a reception on October 4, celebrating Dr. Reilly’s career and the contributions he is making to his community and the next generation of health-care leaders.


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