Susan M. Baxter, PhD
medical writer, researcher, lecturer


Faculty: Simon Fraser University (Sessional) Faculty of Health Science: “Health Communication”, HSCI 412, Spring 2018; “Plagues, Pollutants and Poverty: The Origins and Evolution of Public Health”, HSCI 408, Fall 2016; “Senior Seminar in Social Health Science” HSCI 481-3, Fall 2014; “Social Determinants of Health” (Health Sociology), HSCI 340-3, Spring 2014 (120 students, one Tutor Marker).  “Senior Seminar in Social Health Science – Sex, Science and Tapeworms: sociocultural, political and other influences in the health sciences, 481-3, Summer Session 2011, Spring 2012.   “Foundations of Health Science” 130-3, Summer Session, 2010 (65 students, two TA’s); Syllabi & Evaluations available on request

Faculty: Simon Fraser University (Liberal Arts): “The Science of Medicine” Jan-Feb. 2020; SCFC657 “Medical Myths” (Spring 2012); SCFC 571 “How to be an Effective Advocate for Yourself and Others (Fall 2010); SCFC 500, “Medical Advancements: The Anatomy of Disease, Diagnostics and Therapeutics (Fall 2009); SCFC 397 “Understanding Illness” (Spring 2008);

Faculty, SFU Continuing Education/Liberal Arts Program: Medical Communication & Writing, Medical Writing and Editing etc. (1997-2001); Physicians’ Executive Management Program (2000); University of British Columbia MBA program, “remedial” writing (1996/97); SFU Humour Writing, Humour in Business Writing (1985-89); Kwantlan College Writing Humour (1989); The Write Course workshops (1993-98); Sechelt Writer’s Festival Writer-in-residence (summer 1989); Vancouver School Board Introductory Psychology (1981-85)

“Medical Myths: If Health is the answer what was the question?” , SFU Harbour Centre, March 3, 2018; “Medical Myths and Incidental Findings”, June 2016, lecture to  Vancouver Council of Women; “Medical Myths – or lies Google told us”, April 2015, Canadian Association of Independent Scholars; (CAIS), scholar-in-residence talk;  “Misunderstanding Medicine”, CAIS, 2011; SFU Free Saturday Seniors Forums, “A Short Journey into Modern Medicine, or Understanding what your Doctor Says – A Cautionary Tale” (Feb. 16 and 23, 2008), SFU Harbour Centre and SFU Surrey (former available on Youtube); Canadian Women in Communication (CWC), luncheon workshops on writing/communication (1998, 1999); Association of Medical Writers of America (AMWA); speaker, AGM (October 1998); International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) writing workshop (May 1998); Canadian Public Relations Society conference speaker (1997); Association of Marketing Professional Services (AMPS) luncheon speaker (1996); Assoc. of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), luncheon speaker (1995); IABC Canadian Conference speaker (1994); Canadian Library Association Annual Conference, speaker (1994)

The Estrogen Errors: Why Progesterone is Better for Women’s Health – with Jerilynn Prior, MD, available(see May 2009 (Praeger/Greenwood Publishing)

Medicine, Metaphors and Metaphysics: An Interdisciplinary Analysis and Critique of Therapeutic Equivalence as a Health Policy, Scholar’s Press, 2014; available as Medicine, Metaphors and Metaphysicis: An interdisciplinary analysis of the ethical, medical and sociocultural questions raised by therapeutic equivalence – doctoral dissertation (SFU Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, 2006) at

Immune Power, Avery (Penguin/Putnam); New York, 1999 (ISBN 0-89529-934-8)

Program Evaluation in the Health Care Sector (professional designation program) Simon Fraser University 1997 (ISBN 0-86491-185-8)

Textbook of Internal Medicine Lippincott 1990, “Conversion Disorder” chapter (editor)

The Wizards: Millionaire Magicians of the VSE, Creative Classics 1988 (ghostwrite, various chapters)

Writing (textbook), Addison Wesley 1988, reprint of humour article – originally published in Vancouver Province (newspaper)

Medical and Health Writing (For Physicians)
BC Medical Journal: Building Bridges instead of Moats (September 1999); St. Paul’s and Vancouver Hospital, Consolidating Futures (April 1996); Recognizing, Assessment, Management of Delirium (with R. Hewko, MD, Sept. 1996)

BCMA News: Ethics and Ageing (July 1998); Rotating Internships (May 1998); Walk-in Clinics: then and now (March 1998); Closer to Whom? (January 1998); Regionalization and Lion’s Gate Hospital (Dec. 1997); Rural Physician Supply a Complex Matter (Oct. 1997); Ethics Conference Spans the Distance (May 1997); The Exiles: Tales from the South; An Enterprising Physician (Nov. 1996); Home births – or home deaths (midwifery) April/May 1995; Co-management (Feb. 1995); Hospital Overhaul (Sept. 1995); Reference-based pricing (Nov. 1995); Health Promotion (June 1995); A Matter of Private Choice? (March 1995)

Family Practice Magazine: Know patients’ values and views before treating health issues (21 Sept. 1998); Strive for negotiated solutions everyone can live with (7 Sept. 1998); BC Health Minister Sacks Board (2 March 1998); Survival Training in Humor (March 2, 1998); Rocky Road to Regionalization in North Vancouver (9 Feb. 1998); Children in pain: here’s how to help (Jan. 12, 1998); Violence, Disease plague women world-wide; Respect, not high-tech, is what female patients need (3 Nov. 1997); Pain Research has clinical implications for Family Physicians (6 Oct. 1997); What your sense of humour says about you (10 Nov. 1997); A serious study on humour; A laugh a day keeps the doctor away; Laugh until it stops hurting (Oct. 20, 1997); Rx for ‘simple’ common emergency infections (4 Aug. 1997); Space Age Surgical Assistant at SFU (7 July 1997); Deep sea predator key to cancer treatment (7 April 1997); The five ‘most useless, overprescribed drugs’ for the elderly; The Side Effects of telling patients about side effects (2 June 1997); BCMA balks at reference-based drug pricing (2 Dec. 1996); Reference-based pricing putting patients at risk (16 Dec. 1996); Antihypertensives now reference-based in BC (18 Nov. 1996); Medical ethicist debunks health care ‘crisis’ (19 Aug. 1996); No surprises at pre-election health care forum in BC (20 May 1996); ‘Inoculating’ patients against smoking (3 April 1996); Antidepressant tolerance doesn’t mean no side effects (15 April 1996); Integrating ethics into palliative care; Confidentiality takes new twist (15 April 1996); Ear transplant can change patient’s life (15 Jan. 1996); Hyperactivity not always behind a child’s ADHD; Children paying for too much fluoride (16 Jan. 1995); High rate of suicide in the elderly (3 Oct. 1994); Delirium: Not just a matter of confusion; Quick, easy tests to gauge a patient’s level of understanding; Delirium in the elderly common and dangerous (4 July 1994); Depression often missed in sick patients (20 June 1994); Bear in mind teddy clue (17 Jan. 1994); On the brink of a vitamin revolution?; Ethics: A Matter of Life and Death (2 Aug. 1993); Hedy Fry will be Kim’s opponent at home (21 June 1993); Bad News Bearers (3 May 1993); Pain: First, do no harm (12 April 1993); Cardiac Patients/The Fit life (18 Jan. 1993); All Heart Symposium: Cardiac Rehab; Thrombolytic Therapy its own limitation (20 April 1992); Alzheimer the Silent Epidemic (7 September 1992); Perception of Drug Benefit not always Reality (2 March 1992)

Hospital Quarterly: A Private/Public Partnership at VGH (Summer 1998)

Medical Post: MD shortage puts entire health care system at risk, task force warns (May 16, 2000); Nurse practitioners can play role in primary care; Most med students still practicing on each other; Declaring specialties in third year stressful; Tuition deregulation could mean only wealthy apply (May 23, 2000); Wanted: Well-rounded medical resident (June 6, 2000)

“Family Practice is to be commended on this excellent overview of acute and chronic pain.” Dr. David Hunt, pain specialist, WCB and VGH and former ER physician

Medical and Health Writing (For Patients)
BC Woman Magazine: Hormone Therapy at Menopause (July 1995); Migraine: The Headache From Hell (November 1995); Not Just the Blues: Overcoming Depression (November 1994); Coping with Cancer (April 1994); Putting on the Ritz – without putting on the pounds (January 1994); Health Care Wars: New Directions (June 1993); When a Relationship Ends (October 1992)

BC Medical Association: Brochures/speaking notes: Medicare, Ageing, Stress, etc. (1994-96)

Chatelaine: Why Girls Still Smoke (July 1996)

Easy Living: Life After 60 (June 1991); To Sleep, Perchance to Dream (Winter 1990)

Flare: One Woman Band (August 1992); A More Confident You (Oct. 1994)

Health Watch: The Usual Suspects (Knowing when to call the doctor); Stroke symptoms (Fall/Winter 2000); The Painful Truth – about children’s pain (Winter 1998); The Creative Art of Healing (Winter 1998); Heartening News – women and heart disease (Spring 1997)
Heart and Stroke Foundation: Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors speaking notes (2001)
Lifeline (VGH): A Matter of Life and Breath (Spring 1991); New Look(Eye) Surgery (Winter 1989); Transplant, To the Heart of the Matter (Summer 1989); Consult Psych (1988)
OWL Family Magazine: Children’s Pain (Winter 1998-99)

“V” Magazine (Van. Sun): Cut and Paste, Nip and Tuck: Cosmetic Surgery (August 1988)
Your Better Health (BC Ministry of Health publication): Vitamin Invasion (Winter 1991); Allergies: A Convenient Catch-all? (Spring 1991); Food fads and fairy tales (Winter 1991); Smart kids don’t get AIDS – do they? (Fall 1990)

YOU/Verve: She who laughs, lasts (1989); The Myth of Creativity (1990)
Vancouver General Hospital: Non-malignant chronic pain, patient info sheet (March 1996)

“I applaud Susan Baxter and BC Woman for ‘Not Just the Blues’. [She]expresses how a clinically depressed person feels and behaves [in unpatronizing lay terms]which is difficult for the sufferer to articulate.” N.W, Vernon, B.C.

“Thank you for your excellent article ‘Coping with Cancer’. (I was diagnosed with cancer in 1985.) I’ll be reading it over and over and will leave the magazine open and folded at pages 10 and 11.” A.M., Princeton, B.C.

“I think you found a wonderful balance in your article ‘Hormone Therapy at Menopause’ — I am going to use the article as a reference for my patients.” Dr. Tom Elliott, cardiac endocrinologist, Vancouver

Essays, Humour, Satire, Insights, Book Reviews etc.
BC Woman : No More Food for Thought – Where’s Lunch? (April 1995); Feminism in the ‘90’s (May 1992); The Fine Art of Flirting (Feb. 1993); Is Your Husband Having an Affair? (March 1992); Success or Love? (May 1995); More Flex, Better Sex (July 1992)

BCMA News: Hospital overhaul – Surprise, it works (Opinion, Oct. 1995)

Canadian Public Health Association: Communicating Risk/Benefit/Cost of Pharmaceuticals – report, workshop proceedings (1992)

Chatelaine : The Summertime Blues (humorous essay, July 1996)

Easy Living Magazine: The Spirited Diner, monthly column on wine and spirits (1988-89); Who Owns Native Art? (June 1989); Rules to Eat By; Test your Food IQ; How Adventurous Are You? etc. (comedy quizzes, various 1985-90); The Fine Art of Dinner Conversation (Oct. 1985); Overcoming Loss (Aug. 1988); Yes Virginia, there was a Santa (Xmas 1987); The Automobile, A Driving Passion (Nov. 1990); Torn Between Two Cultures: Bi-cultural Teens (May 1991)

Family Practice: Survival Training in Humor (book review, 2 March 1998); A Child in Pain (book review, 12 Jan. 1998); The Real Drug Problem? On prescribing … (opinion, 9 June 1997); Healing and the Creative Arts (essay); The plague that never was (book review,14 Oct. 1996)

Psychology Today : Humor (Oct. 1995);The Last Word on Gender Differences (April 1994) , The Last Self-Help Article You’ll Ever Need (March 1993)

SHAPES: Food Glorious Food (Spring 1988)

SPY: What’s So Damn Funny Anyway? (Dec. 1994)

The Reader: (Book Reviews, available on line at Hallucinating Foucault by Patricia Duncker (Spring 1999); Blood Rites by Barbara Ehrenreich (Fall 1997), Lip Service by Kate Fillion (Spring 1996), The Snarling Citizen by Barbara Ehrenreich (Summer 1995), Kipper’s Game by Barbara Ehrenreich (Winter 1994); Angels and Insects by A.S. Byatt (Spring 1993), The Secret History by Donna Tartt (December 1992), Four Books About Women [Backlash (Faludi); The Mismeasure of Woman (Tavris); A History of Women, Vol. I; The War Against Women (French)] (July 1992); Lewis Percy by Anita Brookner (Aug. 1990); Civil to Strangers and Other Writings by Barbara Pym (Sept. 1988); The Life of Jane Austen by John Halperin (1986)

Riff and Raff’s Topical Humour: 1984-89, monthly four-page newsletter of current comedy, lines and witticisms for public speaking, speeches, toasts, etc. (co-writer/publisher with L. Lawson);
Vancouver Province Sunday Magazine: Riff and Raff, bi-monthly humour column (1982); Life in the Day column (1982-83); To Each According to his Reads (28 Nov. 1982); Bring on the Dancing Boys (22 Nov. 1981), plus book reviews & articles, various, on humour, life, the universe and everything (1982-85)

“Susan Baxter, in her article ‘The Last Self-Help Article You’ll Ever Need’, hit the bull’s eye! Contemporary mind-fix suggests ‘I’m probably broken, fix me…’” C.H., Eugene, Oregon (Psychology Today, Feedback)

“I work in a hospital kitchen and I really hope Susan Baxter’s ‘Where’s Lunch’ made some food fascists lighten up.” D.K., Langley (BC Woman to woman, letters)

“I thoroughly enjoy the Riff and Raff column and hope it continues weekly. A regular humorous article, such as this, is a necessity and should be available, as dessert is, after a good Sunday dinner.” R.B., Vancouver Province

Memberships & Other Professional Activities
Peer Reviewer: Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) health/drug policy, ethics, family practice, practice guidelines (2005-present)

Memberships: Writer’s Guild of Canada (WGC) since 1984; Canadian Association of Independent Scholars (CAIS), since 2009; International Society for Humor Studies (ISHS) 1995-2002; Canadian Women in Communications (CWC) 1997-2008 (member of BC Chapter Steering Committee); Int’l Association of Business Communicators, IABC 1989-1999.

Volunteering: Canadian Women in Communications, member-at-large, BC Board, (1997-2008); International Association of Business Communicators (1992-2000), Mentorship program, 1994 Conference organizing committee; writer: conference program; Canadian Cancer Society, Task Force on media relations and external communications (1993-94); Literacy BC, BIZ (Spelling)BEE Organizing Committee (1994)

Fellowships/Awards: SFU President’s Scholarship (2004); Asia Pacific Foundation Fellowship, finalist (1988, 1989); IABC Award of Excellence for Riverview Hosp. annual report (1992); Graphex Award of Excellence for Spartan and Boutari Blanc print ads (1989)
BA (Psychology), Simon Fraser University 1977; PhD, Special Arrangements (interdisciplinary), 2006, Simon Fraser University (for link to dissertation see Books, above)

Medical/Health/Educational Organizations

BC Cancer Society: Cancer Society Backgrounder (Oct. 1997)
Delta Hospital, Annual Report (1993), Health Labour Relations Association: Annual Report (1992)LaneLabs: Report and research – The Case for therapeutic use of shark cartilage in reducing solid tumor cancers (July 1997)Louis Brier Extended Care Facility: Fund-raising brochure on geriatric care (Dec. 2000)
Riverview Hospital: Annual Report (1992)

Simon Fraser University, Continuing Education: Report for Community and Professional Programs, Continuing Studies (1997); press releases for various courses (Health Care Research Skills; Certificate Program in Management; Human Resources; Contract training – international; Tourism, etc.) 1992-96

St Paul’s Hospital: Annual Report (1991)
Tzu-Chi Institute: Case Statement on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (March 1998)

Vancouver General Hospital: Joint agreement, Council of University Teaching Hospitals – report (Oct. 1995)

Long ago and far away (Advertising, Radio, TV, etc.)
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC): Beachcombers (series, various episodes); comedy sketches “The New Dr. Bundolo Show”, “The Rene Simard Show” (1981-5); “Idiot Proof” and “Idiot Proof II”, Cable TV, half hour comedy shows – writer, director (latter), performer (1976 &1982).

Advertising spots, various, radio and TV: Army and Navy stores, , radio spots (1989); Benndorf Verster (1989); Entre-Lac wine (1988), Kokanee Beer (1988); Safeway/Coca Cola (1994)Print ads: Bootlegger, Koji Restaurant, Boutari Blanc wine and Spartan beer (1988)
BC Institute of Technology: Planned Giving brochure (1993); View Book (1992)