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May 30, 2022

As an ICU doctor, Dr Robert McDermid shares healthcare’s worst-kept secret: despite all the medical advances, the death rate remains one per person. Medical science has been incredibly successful at helping people live longer, but at what cost? By making death the enemy to conquer, modern healthcare may have caused the idea of death to become unfamiliar and frightening. He believes that creating time to discuss death with those we trust is a critical step we must all take. Talking openly and compassionately about death makes the end of the lives an important part of the lives, rather than something to fear. Rob completed his medical degree at the University of British Columbia in 1997, followed by residency training in Internal Medicine, Respirology and Critical Care at the University of Alberta and a Cardiac Ultrasound fellowship at Vancouver General Hospital. He was an attending physician in the University of Alberta Hospital Intensive Care Unit prior to moving to British Columbia in 2014.

He is an intensive care physician, the former Site Medical Director of Surrey Memorial Hospital and the current chair of the Health Authority Medical Advisory Committee for Fraser Health. He is a Clinical Professor at the University of British Columbia and is an author on more than 40 scientific publications and book chapters. Rob has participated in committees and presented at conferences nationally and internationally. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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