A native of the former town of Chatham, Dr. MacDiarmid is a graduate of the University of Waterloo School of Optometry in 1988. He also holds an Honours degree in Biology from Mount Allison University. In addition to his own office, Dr. MacDiarmid has served as optometrist to Atlantic Institution for most of his career. In 1991, he created the Occupational Vision Care (OVC) program for the maritime provinces of optometry and served as chairperson of the program for more than 10 years (this program has since been expanded to include the entire Atlantic region and includes Aliant Telecom among its clients). Dr. MacDiarmid was the 1993 recipient of the Barnes Bell Award from the New Brunswick Association of Optometrists, recognizing his work in the creation of the OVC Program. While chair of the Technology Committee he oversaw the creation of the first provincial optometry website and member listserv in 1999/2000 - the website at www.nbao.ca was completely overhauled under his supervision in 2007. His interests include ocular disease and treatment, vision safety standards, and cutting edge vision technology.
Dr. MacDiarmid has been extensively involved in his community through membership in the Rotary Club of Newcastle. This includes co-chair of the 2001 and 2002 Rotary Fund Runs which raised over $100,000 for Region 7 Hospital equipment, chairing the Rotary Music Festival since 2002, organization of the annual Pond Hockey Tournaments, and the 2006 & 2007 CBC Hockeyville entries which won a $10,000 cash donation to the local Food Bank. As members of the Miramichi Rotary Community Band, Dr. MacDiarmid and his wife have played at every MVHS graduation ceremony since 1993 (JMH since 1997).
Married to MVHS music teacher Elizabeth Walker, he has two young sons Nathan and Colin. When not transporting children between various activities, he finds time to jog and ski.