Debbie Pestell, MD, CCFP

Past-President, 2016-2018

Dr. Debbie Pestell joined the Canadian Forces in 1990 under the Medical Officer Training Plan. She graduated from McMaster University Medical School in 1993 and boarded in Family Medicine in 1995. After 4 years as a Ship’s Medical Officer in Victoria, BC with deployments to the Middle East and Asia, she completed a Master’s Degree in Public Health and a Fellowship in Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine with the US Air Force in San Antonio, TX and the US Navy in Panama City Beach, FL. Dr. Pestell returned to Canada in 2001 where she spent 5 years at DCIEM in Toronto, ON providing medical support to the Experimental Diving Unit, teaching courses in diving and aviation medicine, and serving on the NATO Underwater Diving Working Group. In 2006, she was posted to Halifax, NS as the Consultant in Submarine and Diving Medicine. She provided medical consulting services to divers and submariners, served as the Course Director for the international Submarine Medicine Course for naval physicians, and represented Canada on the Medical Panel of the NATO Submarine Escape and Rescue Working Group.

Since retiring from the Canadian Forces as a Lieutenant Commander in 2011, Dr. Pestell has worked as a Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine Consultant at the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She also provides medical support to the commercial diving community in the Maritimes, and teaches national and international courses in diving medicine. She continues to serve in the Reserves.