Resident Spotlight: Dr. Matthew Pfaff, PGY1, Family Medicine

Dr. Matthew Pfaff is a first-year resident in Family Medicine. He chose the Schulich Medicine & Dentistry – Windsor Campus for his residency training as it offers residents independence and increased opportunities to interact with staff directly. He believed that this would give him a great chance to increase his knowledge base, and improve his approach to presentations, procedures, orders and consults.

Describe your experience as a resident at Schulich Medicine?

The residents at Schulich Medicine – Windsor Campus are a tight group. Our smaller size gives us the advantage of knowing each other well. We also have the added benefit of leading our academic half-days, which are rewarding for our learning and provide some fun along the way. The site provides many opportunities for independence and positions of influence in patient care. The staff are willing and eager to get us involved to help our learning. Also, Dr. Ziter is very open-minded and responsive to our feedback. I’d say that he has the 'it' factor and is really the type of person you tune into very quickly.

What is the most important lesson you have learned through patient care?

Be nice. Work hard. Read around your patients. Good things will happen.

What activities/initiatives are you involved with that help bring balance in your life?

I have the benefit of having the majority of my immediate and extended family in Windsor, as well as the majority of my buddies from high school, so we have the chance to spend time with one another. We often frequent a gym in the city.

Who inspires you?

My mom consistently pushes me to be a better advocate for my patients. She’s a great motivator. I guess you could say she knows me pretty well.

What have you learned about yourself and others through your residency?

I think the key is trusting the process even when I feel discouraged that I am not making the strides I think I should be making. Family Medicine is a comparatively quicker training period, so it can be daunting when you realize the training wheels are coming off in two years. For my co-residents, I always appreciate their efforts, thoughtfulness, and approaches to presentations on academic half-days. I believe in the benefits of peer learning.

If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be and why?

Coach Tony Dungy. We’d chat faith, family and football. I also want to say Dr. Simon Shanfield to chat Internal Medicine with, but I could just do another Ambulatory GIM/CTU rotation again and then have dinner with Tony Dungy. You know, have your cake and eat it too.