SFU OUTSTANDING ALUMNI AWARD RECIPIENT, 2008
Dr. Gabor Mate is a noted physician, researcher, public speaker, columnist, activist/advocate and best-selling author. He is one of Canada’s pre-eminent experts on parenting, ADD (attention deficit disorder), mind/body connection, and addictions. After operating a successful family practice in Vancouver for 20 years, he made a radical shift, becoming the staff physician for the Portland Hotel Society, a residence and resource centre for the people of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. After receiving his teaching certificate from SFU, his first profession was teaching English and literature. However, his lifelong dream was to become a doctor. At age 28, he successfully battled the challenges of ADD to attend medical school at UBC, and he has been a physician ever since. But not an ordinary physician – a physician-educator, reflecting the early influence of his SFU education. What distinguishes Dr. Mate as an outstanding healer is the way he uses his enthusiasm, knowledge, intellectual curiosity, insight, and compassion to educate others. Whether he is leading a seminar for parents, helping adults or children cope with ADD, writing an informative and thought-provoking book, or treating one of his hundreds of Portland Hotel patients who may be suffering from debilitating chronic diseases such as mental illness, drug or alcohol addiction and HIV, Gabor listens and learns and inspires others to do the same.
Photo credit: Mike Thomas/Yukon News