Hugh Colin MacKay joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1983 as a Signals Officer. After working for a time with 4 CMBG in Lahr, Germany, 1 CDHSR in Kingston and NDHQ in Ottawa, in 1989 Captain MacKay was selected for the Military Medical Training Program and completed his Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of Toronto, followed by his Family medicine Residency at Queen’s University. In 1995 he was first posted as a medical officer in Kingston where he worked in the Base Hospital and then as a Unit Medical Officer with 1 CDHSR again where he participated in Op ASSURANCE in Uganda and the flood response in Winnipeg. Following a command appointment as Base Surgeon of Shilo, Major MacKay became the Brigade Surgeon, 2 Canadian Brigade Group in Petawawa where he also lead the medical component of the Disaster Assistance and Relief Team (DART) during the earthquake in Turkey in August 1999. Following further post-graduate studies at the University of British Columbia, Lieutenant-Colonel MacKay was appointed Head of Operational Medicine focused primarily on CBRN Medical Defence and Medical Intelligence and as the Project Director of the Biological Warfare Medical Countermeasures Project developing vaccines against BW agents. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 as the Commanding Officer of the NATO Multi-national Medical Unit at Kandahar Airfield and as the Canadian Task Force Surgeon. After Afghanistan, he was the Command Surgeon for three operational commands. Colonel MacKay assumed the responsibilities of Director Force Health Protection in July 2009. He was appointed Deputy Surgeon General in 2012, and on 10 June 2015 Brigadier General MacKay was appointed Surgeon General, Commander Canadian Forces Health Services Group and the Head of the Royal Canadian Medical Service. He is an officer of the Order of Military Merit.
The topic of most interest that I like to discuss is my deployment to Afghanistan. It was probably one of the most challenging and rewarding things I did in the military, leading a multinational team to care for both military and civilian casualties of the conflict. I also like to speak about the great opportunities a career in the military offered me, both from an education and experiential perspective.