Dr. Heather Smith

PGY-3, General Surgery

1) What has helped you work through the COVID-19 pandemic?

The rapid response from my program director and chief residents, the virtual teaching from colleagues, and ability to keep active have helped tremendously in this unprecedented time. Dr. Williams, Gawad, Towaji, and Danielle have been extraordinarily diligent and innovative leading a response has enabled the general surgery residents to safely care for our patients. Virtual teaching by staff and co-residents have helped me to continue learning between hospital shifts as we practice physical distancing. Finally, running along the Ottawa river every morning before everyone is out has helped me to keep healthy during these past few weeks.

2) What message would you give to your fellow physician colleagues on National Doctor’s Day?

Thank you to all the physicians and trainees as they continue to care for their patients through this pandemic.

3) What message of encouragement would you give to the public during this time?

Thank you to everyone for physical distancing! Your efforts have not gone unnoticed. You have helped to flatten the curve of COVID-19 and enabled us to care for patients within the capacity of our health system. Please continue your efforts.

4) Describe what work/life has been like for you over the last few weeks.

Unpredictable. I am a general surgery resident currently doing my masters degree. For the first few weeks we had daily, sometimes hourly updates on changes and modifications. In my clinical work, our teams have adjusted our work flow to reduce exposure. As residents we now rely a lot more on phone calls, and virtual platforms to discuss cases and develop plans for patients. In my research work, meetings and conferences have been placed on hold or switched to virtual platforms. I’ve changed my work plan and progressing forward with some extra time carved out to work on an international project looking a surgical outcomes of COVID-19.

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