Health Care Provider Spotlight: Dr. Hillary Bohler, Psychiatrist with St. Joseph’s Care Group

Dr. Bohler was born and raised in Thunder Bay and has chosen to continue building her life in her hometown. After completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing between the University of Wyoming on an athletic scholarship (springboard/platform diving) and Lakehead University, she pursued her MD and residency with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM). In between her undergraduate degree and medical school, Dr. Bohler worked as a nurse on an inpatient psychiatric unit and it was this experience that sparked her interest in mental health and ultimately steered her toward a career in psychiatry. She is one of Thunder Bay’s newest psychiatrists, having started with St. Joseph’s Care Group (SJCG) in 2020.

“I chose St. Joseph’s Care Group as a well-founded organization that was pivotal in supporting and educating me throughout residency. The Care Group works to meet a huge need spanning the region, offering a diverse range of sub-interests within psychiatry, including severe and persistent mental illness, which I was drawn to. Now with the organization for nearly one year, I most enjoy the variety of practice, collegial support, team-based approaches, leadership and teaching opportunities that the Care Group has provided. The work is gratifying, and I feel valued for my contributions.”

St. Joseph’s Care Group provides a range of services in Addictions & Mental Health, Seniors’ Health and Rehabilitative Care to the residents of Northwestern Ontario. The Addictions & Mental Health division provides a continuum of services from inpatient mental health rehabilitation, to fulsome outpatient services, to medium and high support housing, as well as fulfilling regional lead roles including for the Ontario Structured Psychotherapy Program and Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine.

Dr. Bohler enjoys a well-rounded practice that expands well beyond full-time patient care. She has elected to cover call at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) and teach medical learners. She is excited to step into the position of Research Coordinator for NOSM’s Psychiatry Postgraduate program.

On a personal note, Dr. Bohler appreciates the ideal work-life balance afforded by Thunder Bay. Sunny skies, fresh water, and the soothing escape provided by Northwestern Ontario nature are conducive to relaxation and preventing burnout. Most of her hobbies combine her love of the outdoors with her athleticism, such as mountain biking and cross-country skiing. Some of her favourite pastimes during the pandemic have been backcountry canoe trips and tending to her vegetable garden.

“Thunder Bay allows me to live rurally while maintaining a short 20-minute drive to the hospitals. As the regional hub for mental health services in the North, opportunities for further development and growth are endless.”

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