As a child, you attended The Lung Association asthma camp. Tell us what camp was like for you and your experience with asthma.
I really enjoyed the time that I spent at the asthma camp! It was a great location right on Diefenbaker Lake, and swimming every day was the highlight, especially on windy days that made for some big waves. There were always a ton of activities planned, and the counsellors were also a blast to be around. When I first started attending I’m fairly sure my asthma was not well controlled, and it was nice to have a large education component to the camp on proper inhaler use, and regaining control of asthma instead of letting it limit your day to day life.
Did your asthma or asthma camp have any impact on your career choice as a respirologist?
When I was a child going through my visits with the asthma and allergy specialist I often thought to myself that I wanted to be a doctor working with others with asthma. I also wanted to be able to come back to the camp as an adult and work with kids towards better asthma control. As I worked through my university education, I took on many other interests and worked through different goals and ultimately completed my training in the Adult Respirology fellowship program at the University of Saskatchewan. I really believe that although I took many twists and turns to get there that I wound up where I was supposed to be, and am truly grateful for that.
Do you have any special interests or expertise within your area of practice?
Currently my area of interest within Adult Respirology is that of interstitial lung disease (ILD), or fibrotic lung disease. This led me to the University of Calgary where I am currently completing a one-year fellowship in this sub-specialized area.
What made your interest peak in ILD?
I became interested in the area of ILD because there are so many different diseases that fall within this category, and trying to determine the correct diagnosis can be like solving a puzzle. It involves careful history taking and thought, thorough physical examination, interpretation of a variety of investigations and discussion with other disciplines such as radiology, pathology and rheumatology. Arriving to the right diagnosis is crucial, as it influences the choice of treatment. I find this kind of thought-process and approach in medicine to be challenging and rewarding. Given that it falls within the chronic disease category, it also means spending more time with patients on education.
Do you have any future plans for respirology research?
Currently I am engaged in multiple research projects at the University of Calgary. I have an interest in quality assurance and would love the opportunity to start building a database of Saskatchewan people affected by pulmonary fibrosis, so that we can facilitate further research and potentially benefit patients in the future.