Dr. Duncan Bull’s Retirement

In light of COVID restrictions, the public drop-in originally scheduled for Thursday, May 28th, to wish Dr. Bull well on his retirement, has been postponed until further notice. 
Please check back for a rescheduled date and time, as things begin to open up again. 

For immediate release
Dr. Duncan Bull retires from family practice and the East Wellington Family Health Team

While not the schedule of events initially planned to honour Dr. Bull’s 39 years of dedicated medical service to the Erin community, in light of pandemic restrictions, the East Wellington Family Health Team did its level best to recognize his long list of contributions to his patients and the Erin community, while still maintaining distance.

On Thursday, May 28th, Dr. Bull’s last day as a practicing physician in Erin, he was surprised by an estimated 50-car motorcade on Thompson Crescent, comprised mostly of clinic staff, former staff, a few community members, and board members of the East Wellington Family Health Team. An event for the public, including Dr. Bull’s patients, will be held at a later date, after COVID-related restrictions are lifted.

Dr. Bull continued to do house calls, right up until his retirement, providing end-of-life care to many patients, as well as valued support to their families. He has served as a model for all health care workers to understand the importance of connecting with patients on a personal level, taking the time to inquire about family members and the important events in peoples’ lives.

“For a person who has achieved as much as he has in both his professional and personal life, he is exceptionally humble, respectful, and focused on other people”, states Kim Bell, Executive Director of the East Wellington FHT. “It’s what makes him a remarkable physician and person. We are so very fortunate and grateful to Dr. Bull, for his time and his leadership and wish him nothing but a long, happy, healthy and well-deserved retirement”.

Dr. Bull set up his family practice, in the Village of Erin, in 1981. His early days in Erin saw him delivering all of his patients' babies, attending car crash scenes to work alongside Erin firefighters in providing advanced life support, and covering ER shifts at Guelph General, in addition to providing primary care for his many patients.

He began working with the (then) East Wellington Advisory Group (EWAG – now East Wellington Community Services) in 2005, to support an application for a Family Health Team in East Wellington. These efforts led to the establishment of the East Wellington Family Health Team (EWFHT) as we now know it, where he fulfilled the role of Lead Physician from 2008 to 2018.

Under Dr. Bull’s leadership, the EWFHT grew from a team of 4 doctors, between the Erin and Rockwood clinics, to 11 physicians who continue to provide high quality care for now 12,400 patients.

Dr. Bull embodies the words care, commitment, integrity, and respect. He demonstrates these qualities to all whom he meets, whether they be patients, neighbours, co-workers, students, or the doctors fortunate enough to learn and work under his stewardship.

In September of 2014, Dr. Bull was awarded the prestigious Council Award by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. The CPSO Council Award is presented to a physician in Ontario, to honour
their outstanding commitment and demonstrated excellence to their profession and comes closest to meeting the society's vision of an "ideal physician".

He was instrumental in bringing the blood donor clinic to Erin, regularly volunteering his time to its implementation and enlisting the support of the Erin Optimists, where he has been a member for almost 40 years. As an Optimist, he has been a regular fixture working the food tent at the Erin Fall Fair, rolling up his sleeves to put up and take down rental tents, manning barbecues, awarding drug awareness certificates for school-aged children, presiding over “Catch the Ace” nights at the Legion, walking in Santa Claus parades and Terry Fox walks annually, to name just a few of his many volunteer efforts.

His family is also passionate about health care. His wife Cecile, a nurse, worked alongside Dr. Bull, in the Erin Medical Clinic when they first opened his practice and for years thereafter. His daughters Alexandra, an Anaesthetist in Australia and Ainsley, a Nurse Practitioner in Toronto say their parents played influential roles in their decisions to become health care practitioners, fondly recalling that clinic staff were like a second family when they were growing up, how their Dad taught them how to sterilize instruments on the stove top, and how even at a young age they were engaged in discussions about complex health issues.

John Wilson, Chair of the East Wellington Family Health Team’s Board of Directors comments, “I would like to thank Dr Bull for his leadership since the formation of the EWFHT. He set the bar high for himself and in doing so raised it for all the rest of us resulting in the creation of a great team of health care providers. Many thanks Duncan and all the best in your retirement."

For more pictures, click here.