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Resident Spotlight: Gaining inspiration through his work, his family, and his challenges - Dr. Vlad Diaconita

Within a few days of his clerkship rotation, Dr. Vlad Diaconita knew he wanted to pursue a career in Ophthalmology. Dr. Diaconita’s inspiration stems from working with a diverse team, improving the quality of health of patients, and simply enjoying work in the Ophthalmology field.

Where were you born? Where were you raised?
I was born in a northern town in Romania and moved to Canada at the age of nine. I grew up in different areas of Toronto.

What degrees do you have, and from what universities?
I completed my Honors BSc in Neuroscience at the University of Toronto and my MD at Western University.

What special interests or hobbies do you have?
I am interested in anything that challenges me. I joined a beach volleyball team, and my instinct to kick the ball one too many times drives my friends a little crazy. Besides the usual hobbies (sports, books and TV) I’m interested in theoretical physics, management theory and oil painting. I’m definitely going to give up the last one though, because cleaning up the brushes is far less fun than I originally imagined.

Why did you choose to pursue your residency at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry?
After two days of my Ophthalmology clerkship rotation, I called my mom to tell her I decided on my career. I don’t think she asked me “why?” that day, and I’m glad she didn’t because I don’t think I had an answer. At the time it just felt right.

When it came time to rank my choices, I looked back at four years of happy memories at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. How could I leave? A friend of mine called it “Operation Warm Blanket”, which is what I felt during medical school. The people who I met in my clerkship, the residents, and the staff are the main reasons why I stayed. I also dislike moving.

What inspires you in your work?
There are a few things that inspire me. One is when a thousand people from different places with different aspirations can come together under one roof and work together. The fact that every day I have to do only one job, and trust the rest of the team to do theirs, is something special. I believe that overcoming challenges and coming together for the sake of one patient’s health is the inspirational part.

My family has also inspired me greatly, and my inspiration stems from the simple fact that I enjoy what I do.

What has been your greatest experience to date in your residency?
Someone I had just met, who is now a good friend and fellow resident, was having a very difficult day. Being there to help and support him is definitely at the top of my list so far.

What do you do when you're not working?
The truth is, residents work even when we’re not working. What I try to do is make sure that I have time left over in my day for those I care about. The rest falls into place.