A Thunder Bay doctor will use her training and experience to help dying patients in Africa.

Kathy Simpson, a physician at the Regional Cancer Centre, will head to Malawi, East Africa, next week to help develop a palliative care program for people with AIDS.

Simpson said practising in the northwest has motivated her to reach out to others in need.

"We recognize that a lot of our own citizens … experience disparity in … health care," Simpson said. "That disparity is even greater in parts of the world such as sub Sahara Africa."

Simpson's month-long trip is part of the Leave for Change Program, which encourages professionals to take a leave from their jobs to work in developing countries.