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Lecturer in Department of Pediatrics (primary) and department of Palliative Medicine (secondary) with U of M; 0.5 position with palliative medicine, working primarily in pediatric palliative medicine; Regular locum Pediatric consultant to Thompson, Mb (Bu
After completing my pediatric training in Winnipeg (through the University of Manitoba), I went on to complete a fellowship in palliative medicine (focusing on pediatric palliative medicine, one of the first pediatricians to undergo such training in Canada) in 2009. During my fellowship, I was frustrated by the paucity of clinically relevant literature that existed in pediatric palliative medicine. I also found that many medical personnel outside of the palliative medicine department viewed palliative medicine as more of a “social science” and not “real medicine”. A big part of this ignorance, I believe, is due to lack of training or education in the field. Afterall, palliative medicine is a relatively juvenile field of practice, and pediatric palliative medicine is still in its infancy. In Winnipeg, for example, the pediatric palliative care program only started in late 2002.
For this reason, I initially focused on reforming palliative medicine education in the pediatric residency program. We now teach 8 sessions per cycle of pediatric academic half-days, and have ever increasing requests for elective rotations from the residents in our program. As a clinical aside, I think our program is also advancing locally with the increasing number of “non-dying patient” consults for our input in controlling complex symptoms.
While the local cultural views of pediatric palliative medicine are now evolving, the next step is to impact this practice on a larger scale. As mentioned earlier, there is a paucity of literature around clinically relevant pediatric palliative medicine, which I think, results in many clinicians thinking the specialty is clinically irrelevant. To effect this culture, and given my somewhat unique training background, I feel an obligation to generate research to not only help the specialty “break through”, but also to help advance the quality of lilfe of children with non-survivable conditions.
Bachelor of Medicine (MD), University of Manitoba (2004)
Board certified in pediatrics Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons (FRCPC), University of Manitoba (2008)
Chief resident 2007-2008
Certified as subspecialist in Adult and Pediatric Palliative Medicine, University of Manitoba (2009)
Typically, the research I do is collaborative with the other members of the pediatric palliative medical team. My preferred focus is on clinically relevant palliative medicine, with most topics pushing into “new frontiers”. We are a small group, so for the forseeable future, our research will likely remain as case reports, case series, chart reviews, opinion papers, etc. In general, the goal I have with these publications is to improve the quality of life (usually through better control of complex symptoms) in children with non-survibale conditions.