David Kuhl is a Professor in the Departments of Family Practice and Urologic Sciences, Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Integrating medicine, psychology and the social sciences is fundamental to his worldview and to his work as a clinician/researcher. Dr. Kuhl graduated with a Masters in Health Sciences (Community Health and Epidemiology) from the University of Toronto in 1981, and received his medical degree from McMaster University in 1985. After completing his training in Family Practice (1987) he practiced medicine as a family physician and was a founding member of the palliative care program as St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver. He was the physician leader for palliative care at Providence Health Care for many years, providing leadership for the program and care for persons at the end of life.
In 1996, he became a Soros Faculty Scholar, Project on Death in America. This award allowed him to conduct a qualitative study, Exploring Spiritual and Psychological Issues at the End of Life. The study served as the basis for his doctoral dissertation (Interdisciplinary PhD, UBC 1999) as well as for 2 books, entitled What Dying People Want: Practical Wisdom for the End-of-Life and Facing Death Embracing Life, Understanding What Dying People Want. The research also served as the basis for David’s work to understand the essence of iatrogenic suffering, thereby founding and developing the Centre for Practitioner Renewal (CPR) at Providence Health Care, Vancouver.
During the 10 years of work at the Centre for Practitioner Renewal (CPR), David worked to combine his interests in medicine and psychology developing a program of service, education and research that focussed on sustaining health care providers in the work place, understanding the effect of being in the presence of suffering and working with health care providers in addressing features of resilience, communication and healthy relationships in the workplace. David and his colleagues created a model of Relationship Centred Care for health care providers. Following his time at the CPR, David has continued this work as a consultant to primary care and specialized health care teams and services, locally, provincially and nationally.
As part of his doctoral work, David worked with veterans who were making the transition from military to civilian life. Subsequently he worked with Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officers, corrections officers, men living with prostate cancer, and young men who were in challenging relationships with their fathers. It was in listening to the stories of men that David began to understand the depth of their suffering, affecting them physically, emotionally and spiritually. He also witnessed their personal growth, deepening relationships, and commitment to justice, peace and collaboration. He learned that issues not resolved within are often projected onto others, and at times result in violence, estrangement, addiction and compromised health and wellbeing.
Beginning in 2015 David focussed his work on the health, integrity and well-being of men for the benefit of families and communities. In that context, along with 2 co-founders (Drs. Duncan Shields and John Izzo) he created a university-based non-profit organization (Blueprint.ngo) that strives, through research, service and influence to impact society by improving men’s well-being and enhancing their positive contributions to families and communities.
We conduct research to develop and evaluate programs, education and training models to transform masculine norms and to reduce negative health outcomes. We collaborate with community partners to reach men and boys where they live, work and play with a focus on families, protective services (firefighters, police, and military), business, and collegiate and professional sports. We adopt a gendered approach to engage men, and work with all members of communities to transform the systems that foster harmful behaviours. Our research, in-person and virtual clinical interventions, and educational program offerings have been successfully adopted by NATO, the NHL Alumni Association, UBC athletics, US Military Academy West Point (football), Stanford University (soccer), BC Professional Fire Fighters Association, etc.
Features of fatherhood are significant to global and public health issues. We seek to understand the experience of the impact of fathering and that of being fathered, inquiring how fathers’ behaviours, values and norms affect the health, morbidity and mortality of their children. While David continues to participate in the work and the research pertaining to the areas mentioned above, the Fatherhood Project is David’s primary interest.
To learn more about Dr. Kuhl’s research and projects, please visit: www.blueprint.ngo
David Kuhl, MD, MHSc, PhD
Professor, Departments of Family Practice and Urologic Sciences
Co-founder of Blueprint
Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia
320-5950 University Boulevard
Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z3
Ph: 778 996-4944