Sunnybrook Magazine - Spring 2016

The veterans’ physician: Dr. David Shergold


Photograph by Doug Nicholson

As a son, of a son, of a son of a sailor and with more than 100 years of naval service combined, it was a fairly good bet that he would pursue a military career, too. But Dr. David Shergold was also charting another course – his lifelong dream of becoming a doctor.

His vision was realized after nearly 20 years of dedicated service in the Royal Canadian Navy. As a submariner, he participated in naval operations and reconnaissance on Canadian coasts and crossed the Atlantic to Norway, patrolling and monitoring Russian submarines during the Cold War in the 1980s.

“After completing medical school, I worked as a military doctor and went from periscope to stethoscope!” says Dr. Shergold. He did his bachelor’s degree in bioethics at the University of Toronto and completed medical school at McMaster University in 1990. He credits his success to his wife of 36 years, Elizabeth, who was fully supportive of him while she raised their three sons. “She is an inspiration for our family.”

At Sunnybrook’s Veterans Centre, he works in an interprofessional team setting and cares for approximately 75 residents across three resident- care units: mental health, end-stage dementia care and the Dorothy Macham Home, a 10-bed unit for veterans who have challenging behaviours due to dementia.

He also works in emergency medicine and is a physician consultant at the 32 Canadian Forces Health Services base in Downsview.

“I am intrigued by the aging population, who fought when [they were] young and are now, at the end of their lives, fighting other health battles. I have immense respect for them and embrace the opportunity to serve them,” says Dr. Shergold.

Ready? Aye, ready.