Every two weeks, Specialty Café connects medical students to specialists and residents of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Hosted by med students, this series provides a glimpse into the reality of a day in the life of a specialist and/or a resident. Who knows – you might find your specialty!
Feedspot has voted Specialty Café as one of the 10 Best Canadian Medical Podcasts! https://blog.feedspot.com/canadian_medical_podcasts/
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Medical Biochemistry (Staff)
Are you fascinated by diagnostic tests and biochemical pathways? Do you find it thrilling to know that your specialty continually changes and will look very different in the not-so-distant future? Tune in… Medical Biochemistry could be your future career path!
Host Emily Wu, MD ticks off a list of questions for Andre Mattman, MD, FRCPC in order to demystify this collaborative specialty. Dr. Mattman gives great insight into the various residency routes, a day in his life, and a look at the rich and vast patient cases seen by a Medical Biochemist.
Dr. Mattman shares his passion for aligning medical biochemistry practices to climate sustainability. He gives thoughtful insight into his work around assessing appropriateness of certain tests vs other tests, while keeping top of mind how lab tests can have a big impact on our fragile environment... and an impact on limited resources. The health of this planet is, after all, the responsibility of all medical specialists.
And… as an important by the way… work/life balance is really good is Medical Biochemistry!
Hematology - Adult (Staff & Resident)
Here’s the scenario… you get a call in the middle of the night to get out of bed and go to the hospital to view some blood smears. What’s your reaction? If this gets your blood pumping (!), well Hematology might just be for you!
Join Kelsey Uminski, MD, FRCPC (Staff) and Ellen Cusano, MD, FRCPC (Resident) as they easily convince host Cameron Wong that Hematology is exciting, collaborative, constantly evolving, and extremely satisfying.
This specialty is for those individuals who thrive in an environment surrounded by diagnostic puzzles, cutting edge biotechnologies, and frequent new developments.
Dr. Uminski and Dr. Cusano give insight into how the landscape of treatment in this field has radically changed in recent years. Their passion for treating, often curing, and turning around a patient’s life is … infectious!
Of course you’ll learn about routes to Hematology, residency, a day in the life of – but just as important this episode will peak your interest and demystify this specialty (and give you cause to admire your Hematology colleagues).
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (Staff)
Olivia MacLeod, MD, FRCPC is today’s generous guest! She’s fascinated by getting to know peoples’ stories. She enjoys using her people skills as her diagnostic and treatment tool. And, she’s thoroughly invested in treating the family as a unit, with parents as a partner in her patients’ care.
Hence, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry was a ‘no brainer’ (yep, another intended pun) for her chosen specialty.
Dr. MacLeod tells host Andrew Pauls how child and adolescent patients keep her on her toes and make her work a bit harder to develop a rapport, but it’s so worth it. The ability to intervene in a young person’s life, and possibly change their life trajectory in a good way … well, what’s not to like about that?
This episode is packed with wise insights into different types of diverse practices; outpatient vs inpatient opportunities; residency; bread and butter cases; work/life balance, and more!
As a bonus, Dr. MacLeod shares some frank advice about the need to understand your role as a physician. This includes ensuring you have access to trusty mentors and interdisciplinary colleagues. Tune-in to find out more.
Medical Oncology (Staff)
Does a specialty fueled with kind, giving, supportive, and generous colleagues appeal to you? Would you thrive in a discipline where a multi-faceted treatment approach is the norm? Could you see yourself forming deep and meaningful bonds with your patients and their families?
Keep listening… Medical Oncology might just be for you!
Shivani Dadwal, MD, FRCPC tells host Emily Wu, MD about her career journey and why this ‘team sport’ truly appeals to her. She provides a fulsome overview of residency, oncologic management, and insight into other specialties closely linked to Medical Oncology. There’s no such thing as ‘the cancer doctor’! And... she provides a brief overview of potential fee structures in this field.
One key message that shines through this episode is Dr. Dadwal’s conviction that it's a privilege to walk alongside and provide the best care to her patients.
Cardiac Surgery (Staff)
Welcome to the 5th season of Specialty Café! We’ll finish up the primary specialties and then delve into the many Royal College subspecialties.
Do you believe in visualization? It seems that Talal Al-Atassi, MD, FRCSC did (and maybe still does!). At 5-years-old he crafted his own Cardiac Surgeon business cards and shared them with family and friends.
Dr. Al-Atassi no doubt puts his heart (intended!) and soul into his Cardiac Surgery practice. He uses the word ‘fun’ on more than one occasion! His passion for his patients, residents, and family shines through this discussion.
Host Cameron Wong asks Dr. Al-Atassi about the importance of a hybrid practice; the future of this specialty (there’s always room for passion and excellence); innovation; residency, diversity, and more!
Dr. Al-Atassi shares loads of practical insight into his practice, academic endeavors, and ways to be and stay well. But just as importantly he highlights that collaboration is key. After all, his team is the ‘heart team’ and involves an abundance of health care professionals.
Specialty Café Live: Panel 3 - Psychiatry, General Surgery, Anesthesiology
All roads do lead to Rome – apparently! Specialty Café Live, Panel 3, delves into the incredibly unique journeys taken by each of these guests as they became Royal College specialists, and then the paths they took throughout their careers. Rural, remote, urban, and academic practices are addressed in detail.
Anesthesiology, Dr. Marie-Andrée Girard, FRCPC
Psychiatry, Dr. Brian Hodges, FRCPC
General Surgery, Dr. Roy Kirkpatrick, FRCSC
Join host Christina Toma as she dives into the commonalities, contrasts, and such different environments of how and where (and why) these specialists practice. This conversation is full of honest reflection on social accountability, planetary health, generalism in medicine, and more. You’ll hear exciting insight into the future of these specialties. On the topic of commonalities… it’s obvious our guests have the utmost respect for each other. Very inspiring indeed!
Check out Panel 1 (Urology, Pediatrics, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation) and Panel 2 (Obstetrics & Gynecology, Internal Medicine, Family Medicine).
Look out for Specialty Café Season 5, coming soon!
Thank you to the Canadian Federation of Medical Students for their kind invitation to host this live Specialty Café episode at their Spring General Meeting in Quebec City on April 15, 2023.