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Resident Spotlight: Dr. Lukas Brown, Department of Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine

After demanding on-call shifts at the hospital, second-year anesthesia resident Dr. Lukas Brown often refers to a popular quote by writer Haruki Murakami about overcoming challenges and difficult situations in life. An adrenaline junkie and lover of the outdoors, Dr. Brown explains it is those demanding shifts that are helping him improve and become the best doctor he can be.

Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Scarborough, but grew up in Markham. I spent summers and some winters in Haliburton, exploring the great outdoors with my three siblings.

What degrees do you have, and from what universities?
Prior to being a resident, I went to Western University for my undergraduate studies. I spent three years at Western pursuing a bachelor of medical sciences with a specialization in physiology. However, I was delighted when I gained acceptance into Queen’s University School of Medicine — an offer I could not refuse. I had an excellent education at Queen's while completing my Doctor of Medicine, and enjoyed the time I spent at both universities.

What special interests or hobbies do you have?
I must admit that I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie. When I’m not in the hospital working, I try to get outdoors as much as possible. My hobbies include team sports like hockey and soccer, and individual activities like mountain biking. When I get the chance to get out of town, you will find me wakeboarding at my family cottage, or off camping and hiking.

When the weather isn’t great, I enjoy spending my time with family and friends at the local pub, or brewing up my own batch of beer at home. Few are lucky enough to get a sample of "Brown's Bathtub Brew" (Disclaimer: Not actually brewed in a bathtub).

Why did you choose to pursue your residency at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry?
As a medical student, I was not sure what medical specialty I would pursue. That is, until I came to Schulich Medicine & Dentistry for an elective in anesthesia. My passion for medicine and physiology flourished, and it was at this time that I decided that anesthesia was the best fit for me. What better place to study than the location where I found my brightest spark?

What inspires you in your work?
It is often tough to remember the big picture when you are a resident, busy tackling the daily grind and the not so glamorous parts of the work. It is through mentorship and support that I again find inspiration. I look up to the physicians I encounter whom, many years into their career, are still delighted to attend their working duties and get a chance to make a difference — the doctors who lift the spirits of those around them with their enthusiasm, dedication and verve. They’re the ones who show me how great this career can be, and how fortunate we are to have the opportunity to help our patients.

What has been your greatest experience to date in your residency?
It is difficult to tease out specific experiences that shine as the illuminating moment of my residency so far. In my opinion, residency is purely the preparation for the challenges of a career in medicine — it is not meant to be glamorous or shining.

Haruki Murakami once wrote, "And once the storm is over, you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm’s all about." That is what I think about residency. Sometimes I refer to this quote after a particularly demanding call shift.

In a way, some of the best moments in my residency have been times when I made mistakes or got an earful from a superior, because they made me improve.