Meet the PCC Speakers
Dr. Daniel McIsaac is an Associate Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine and the School of Epidemiology & Public Health at the University of Ottawa, and a full status Adjunct Scientist at IC/ES. His clinical practice is as an Anesthesiologist at The Ottawa Hospital. He obtained his MD from Dalhousie University, a Master of Public Health from Harvard University and his anesthesiology residency at the University of Ottawa.
Dr. McIsaac leads the Aging Innovation in Perioperative Medicine and Surgery (AIMS) Research group, a multidisciplinary team which aims to improve the care and outcomes of older people having surgery. Dr. McIsaac’s group is currently completing a number of CIHR-funded studies evaluating patient-centered recovery after surgery in older people, as well as trials of home-based prehabilitation for people with frailty.
What is the greatest piece of advice you have received?
Slow down and take the time to enjoy the journey
How do you achieve work-life balance?
Work life balance doesn’t just happen, it requires active effort like anything where you want to be successful. But knowing that work won’t be successful if life isn’t in balance is a great motivator.
What makes you laugh?
Mostly my wife and kids
One thing we might be surprised to learn about you?
I spent the first 17 years of my life milking cows on a farm in PEI
Su-Yin started her career as a professional ballet dancer before completing her BSN at UVIC (2005). After two years as a medical-surgical Registered Nurse, she obtained her MD at UBC (2011). Her Residency in Anesthesiology at UBC (2017) was lengthened slightly by having two daughters. Following residency, Su-Yin had additional training in Perioperative Vascular Medicine in Hamilton, Ontario and Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) certification through CHEST. Su-Yin is presently studying her masters in Perioperative Medicine, through the University College of London.
As a staff Anesthesiologist at St. Paul’s Hospital (Vancouver), Su-Yin is part of the ERAS working group, Perioperative Anesthesia group and is the Perioperative Medicine Fellowship Director (Anesthesia). She is involved with planning the Whistler Anesthesiology Summit, ultrasound training and has recently helped create a Confidential faculty advisor committee for residents. She looks forward to returning to Guatemala for her second surgical mission in April 2020.
Outside of medicine, Su-Yin continues to dance, reluctantly cleans up after her husband and two young children, and tries to read before falling asleep with the light on.
Was there a defining moment that led you to choose a career in medicine?
I was always interested in a career in health care. I grew up in a small town, without many female doctors to look up to, so I hadn’t really had a chance to consider what professional options were open to me. As a nursing student, I asked why insulin was used as a treatment for hyperkalemia. I was told to look it up, so I did. I thrived on the challenge, and the information I learned along the way. I realized then that I needed a deeper understanding of the interventions I was participating in. My inquisitive nature and excitement to learn led me to apply to medical school.
“Mao’s Last Dancer” by Li Cunxin because it describes the journey of a boy who rises from a village in China to work as a reknown professional dancer. The story touches me personally as it speaks to my mother’s journey from a farm in Malaysia to Canada, as well as being set in the professional ballet world.
There is swearing involved, so I better not say.
If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Before bed each night I read my two daughters a few pages from “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo. The book features short stories about real women throughout history who can be role models to children. I can imagine a thrilling conversation around my kitchen table with a random selection of any three women from the book.
It’s a good thing I am an early riser. I wake up at 4:30 am most mornings to work on my non-clinical responsibilities in my department and other professional goals, which recently has included working on a masters in Perioperative Medicine. I leave my evenings open for family and ballet class. I’m in bed shortly after my kids are asleep.
What makes you laugh?
Recently, my husband who works in an office was complaining about his “cubicle body”. I asked him if I could sign him up for a running group that would meet once a week for some casual workouts. My husband agreed. Shortly after he arrived at the first workout my husband sent me a text complaining that I had signed him up for a marathon training program – of course I had! I still laugh thinking about his face and shuffle as he came home that night. But, I’m also happy to say he’s still out there training.
Physicians in the perioperative setting should focus on absolute blood pressure measurements instead of relative changes in blood pressure measurements from the patient’s baseline measurement
Moderator: Donald Redelmeier
I came from a medical family (Dad GP, Mom RN), but moving into a University Residence with a bunch of guys making a go at achieving good results as Undergrad students to go into post-grad education was my eye opener to the possibilities of education and how to achieve them.
What is your favourite book and why?
At present, it is “Pi of Life – The Hidden Happiness of Mathematics”, by Sunil Singh. Sounds nerdy, right? As my kids broach the field of Mathematics in grade school this book has offered incredible insight into the atrocious job we have done in teaching Mathematics to kids. The author is trying to change things from the present process that largely amounts to “cerebral ditch digging” to one with a joyful, enlightened and inspired human aspect.
King Arthur: “Merlin, what is the greatest virtue of Knightship?”
Merlin: “Truth. When a man [woman] lies he [she] murders some part of the world”.
My paternal Grandparents (they died before I was born). They left all behind in Scotland in 1929 to start a new life in Vancouver. I want to hear their story directly from them.
Find ways to fit activities into your life style. For exercise, ride your bike to work. For kids activities, help with coaching or teaching. For Spouses/Partners, have some sacred time set aside.