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Dr. Andrea Mossman, Family Physician in New Minas, and her lasting impact on the Future of Family Medicine in Nova Scotia

Photo of Dr. Andrea Mossman, Family Physician

Earlier this year, Dr. Andrea Mossman was awarded Dalhousie Family Medicine’s Exceptional Teacher Award for her contributions to teaching and learning. She was nominated by Dr. Angela Tsai, who Dr. Mossman supervised for a two-week community rotation during her medical degree at Dalhousie University. 

“This was the placement where I gained the most practical and procedural knowledge to work with all kinds of patients. During the two weeks with Dr. Mossman, I had the opportunities to venture into lesser-known areas of Family Medicine,” said Dr. Tsai. “She gave me the liberty to grow while constantly challenging my clinical reasoning, and she was there to fill in knowledge gaps in a non-judgmental manner when I needed assistance with my patient encounters. I strongly believe that Dr. Mossman exceeded expectations as a Family Medicine preceptor.”

Dr. Mossman says that the award was validating and motivated her to become more involved in medical education, despite her busy practice as a clinician.

Originally from New Brunswick, Dr. Mossman pursued undergraduate and Masters degrees in English literature. Driven by a desire for a more hands-on career, she audited science courses at Acadia University to study for the MCAT and, after a successful second application, gained admission to medical school.

Dr. Mossman graduated from medical school at Dalhousie University in 2010, then completed her family medicine residency at Memorial University in Newfoundland and Labrador. Since then, she has been an integral part of the Mud Creek Clinic, a busy clinic that opened as an innovative collaborative practice over two decades ago.

Dr. Mossman applied for a faculty role at Dalhousie University during the pandemic, seeking to diversify her skills and out of a desire to help recruit physicians to Nova Scotia.

"I have supervised residents and medical students through my role at The Red Door (Youth Health Center) and the Opioid Treatment Program in Kentville as well as nurse practitioners and medical students in my family practice at Mud Creek,” explained Dr. Mossman.

Reflecting on her teaching approach, Dr. Mossman underscored the importance of sincerity and cultivating robust patient relationships within her practice and encourages her students to do the same. She facilitates early, hands-on, experiences for students, empowering them to foster their own therapeutic connections.

"I am enthusiastic about having students actively engage in direct patient care. For instance, I frequently involve them in procedures such as IUD insertions, ensuring hands-on experience is gained safely and as early as possible. Having personally benefited from such experiences as a student, I appreciate the confidence it instills in medical learners,” said Dr. Mossman. 

Having practiced family medicine for the last 10 years, Dr. Mossman said she enjoys the diversity and flexibility in family medicine and continues to challenge herself within the role. 

"Each year, I set goals to enhance my proficiency in certain aspects or learn a new procedure. The possibilities are limitless in family medicine. Creativity allows you to find a niche that brings fulfillment," explained Dr. Mossman. "It's amazing how your skills can be applied in diverse settings, whether it's a downtown mobile clinic or a rural community.”

She encourages aspiring family physicians to challenge themselves to find the niche that makes them happy, whether it's in surgery, long-term care, or a procedural focus.

Dr. Mossman's commitment to education and patient care exemplifies the diverse and fulfilling nature of family medicine. As she continues to inspire the next generation of physicians, her story serves as inspiration for those considering a similar path.

Photo of Dr. Andrea Mossman, Family Physician, was awarded Dalhousie Family Medicine’s Exceptional Teacher Award.

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