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C. Elizabeth Dougherty

C. Elizabeth Dougherty BSW MSW RSW

Assistant Clinical Professor (Adjunct)Division of Palliative Care


After providing family-centred care in the community for a number of years, Elizabeth began working in General Internal Medicine in 1999 supporting individuals and families facing complex illness at the Toronto Western Hospital. Wanting to provide greater support, in 2000 she joined the Psychosocial Oncology Program at the largest cancer treatment centre in Canada and cared for families following diagnosis through to end-of-life. In 2002, Elizabeth was privileged to become the first Palliative Social Worker at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and specialized in therapeutic interventions with individuals and families on the Acute Palliative Care Unit and in the Palliative Outpatient Clinics. Wanting to continue this meaningful work in the community, Elizabeth launched her Private Practice in 2015 offering individual, family and group support to anyone facing complex illness, grief or bereavement. Understanding professional caregivers also require support, Elizabeth is a Clinician with the Physician Health Program at the Ontario Medical Association. She provides counselling to healthcare professionals and fosters coping strategies, self-care and resiliency.

An experienced educator, Elizabeth highlights the value of empathy and communication in the context of coping with complex illness, grief and loss. She teaches courses, workshops and seminars to the general public, health science learners and healthcare professionals. She collaborates on numerous local, regional, provincial and national Hospice Palliative Care initiatives and has examined access to care and quality of life with findings published in peer-reviewed journals. In 2016, Elizabeth was honoured to receive the appointment of Assistant Clinical Professor (Adjunct) with the Department of Family Medicine, Division of Palliative Care, Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University.

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    • McMaster University Department of Family Medicine
    • David Braley Health Sciences Centre
    • 100 Main Street West, 6th Floor
    • Hamilton, ON L8P 1H6
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