Resident Spotlight: Dr. Matt Chong, Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine

After completing his undergraduate medical education and medical school at McMaster University, Dr. Matt Chong came to Schulich Medicine & Dentistry for his residency in Anesthesiology. For the past two years, Dr. Chong has felt great pride in presenting ground-breaking research at the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society (CAS) National Residents’ Competition.


Did you have a role model or mentor who inspired you to follow your academic path? If not, why did you decide to pursue medicine? When did you know that you wanted to pursue your specialty?

I have been privileged to have many role models and mentors within my Department, including our leading researchers and clinicians such as Drs. Davy Cheng, Janet Martin, Indu Singh, Craig Railton, and Bill Lin among many others. They have inspired me to pursue a career in academic Anesthesia by demonstrating the impact that perioperative medicine can have towards improving patient care and outcomes.

What has been the most challenging experience to date in your residency?

My biggest challenge has been transitioning to an independent researcher by asking my own clinical questions. Fortunately, I have had some luck insofar as a number of my independently initiated papers have already been published in high impact anesthesia journals and two of my grants have been successfully funded.  

What learning from your undergraduate medical education or early residency do you return to often now as you are pursuing your residency?

I learned very early in my training that one should only order a diagnostic test if it will change management. This adage has driven my thirst for knowledge with regards to conducting research on interventions to improve perioperative outcomes for our patients.

How do you maintain balance in your life?

Balance can be a challenge as a Resident Physician, sometimes you are working 80-100 hours per week. Nonetheless, I think time management is a very important skill.  Although we cannot always ‘tick all the boxes’ each week, I try to stay disciplined and plan my time in order to keep fit, enjoy life, and meet my professional and academic obligations.

Rapid Round:

If you were to create a slogan for your life, what would it be?

Fortune favors the brave.

If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?

I think it would be meaningful to spend a day in my grandfather’s shoes. It was because of his years of toil and labour that my family was able to come to Canada many decades ago. I am indebted to him for his hard work to create all the opportunities I have had so far, such as attending medical school and the honour of becoming a physician.

What is the most random thing you’ve ever watched on Netflix?

The comedy series Arrested Development.