Where do you practice?
I’m a family physician and currently I practice out of two locations in Ontario: The first location is in Courtice, Ontario and I also practice in Port Hope, Ontario. I also hold privileges in Northumberland Hills Hospital in Cobourg.
In My Words | An ECHO Epilepsy Ontario digital series (Video | Time: 2min. 5 sec.)
Spotlighting healthcare practitioner participants of the ECHO Epilepsy Ontario technology-enabled, collaborative, CPD-accredited learning program.
Why did you join and what where were you hoping to gain from the ECHO program?
I do have a fair number of patients who present with seizures at some point. Maybe not necessarily diagnosed to have epilepsy but that said, I still have a number of patients who are epileptic and have been on medications as such, including those with new diagnosis. I think in this year alone I have at least two patients who have been diagnosed with epilepsy and placed on medication.
I have been involved in other ECHO projects like ECHO Palliative Care and ECHO Paediatrics. I was interested in ECHO Epilepsy because just like most family physicians and general practitioners, our knowledge of epilepsy and management of patients with epilepsy may not be as good as we want it to be, so it was an area I wanted to improve my knowledge on, especially because it can sometimes be difficult getting hold of a neurologist. So it would be helpful for the patients if we’re able to, you know, get cracking with some of the investigations and management until they’re able to see a neurologist.
How has ECHO impacted your practice?
I think that it was really helpful. The initial email I received from ECHO Epilepsy did strongly encourage that we present a case. And at the time I had a patient I actually wanted some input on, so it wasn’t just a general case presentation that I made, I was actually looking for answers on how to better manage this patient. She had actually been to the Emergency Department and of course she was stabilized and sent straight back to her family doctor.
Following my presentation of the case there were recommendations made as to what investigations I could do and what changes I could make to the medication. It was new information for me. It was something I firstly didn’t maybe feel too confident doing, again I thought well I better leave this for the specialist. But when I made the presentation, obviously there were lots of specialists listening and making special recommendations, so I felt more comfortable implementing those plans.
All of that came in very handy because I was able to check the blood levels of the anti-seizure medications that she was on and I was able to make the adjustments to the medications. And she actually felt better. I had already made the (Specialist) referral at the time that I did the case presentation and it took another couple of months before she was seen. So by the time she eventually got to see the Specialist they didn’t have other changes to make. She just felt better afterwards and she continues to feel better to date.
Why did you choose to become a Paediatrician?
I was always fascinated watching medical shows and emergency programs where I would see how doctors and other health practitioners helped patients coming in with their health problems. I took an interest in that. I have to say that my parents were quite instrumental as well in helping me pursue my dream of becoming a doctor. They are quite supportive.
As regards to my ongoing motivation and interest in being a doctor I find it very fulfilling and the most difficult decision was choosing a specialty. I’m glad that I chose general practice because of the variety of patients that come in. My day is very different from one patient to another. I could be seeing a baby one minute and the next minute I’ll have an elderly patient coming in with a walker. It’s very very fulfilling and there’s never never a boring day.